Protests held across Israel as violence against women continues

Wafa Masarwa was the 13th woman murdered in Israel since the beginning of the year

Women block King George St. in Tel Aviv in protest against government inaction concerning domestic violence (photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/ MAARIV)
Women block King George St. in Tel Aviv in protest against government inaction concerning domestic violence
(photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/ MAARIV)
Rallies took place in 13 cities across Israel on Saturday to protest against the murders of a number of women this year, after a women was murdered last week in a domestic violence incident, becoming the 13th woman murdered this year in Israel.
One of the rallies took place in Taibe, where Wafa Masarwa was murdered last week.
"Wafa Masarwa was the 13th woman murdered since the beginning of the year," tweeted Joint List MK Aida Touma-Sliman. "The coronavirus crisis is intensifying social hardships - and together with them, violence against women. The government must immediatly increase social services, finally fund the plan to fight violence and do everything in order to prevent the next murder."
"The murder of women is just the tip of the iceberg, and beneath the surface are thousands of cases of violence against women that aren't handled by the police and welfare," said Joint List MK Ofer Cassif, according to Walla news. "For every woman murdered there are thousands who suffer from abuse and violence."
"While the social workers are on the brink of a justified strike to save the welfare system, this is the moment for the disconnected government to connect to reality and to fund the plan to prevent abuse and violence against women," added Cassif. "The guilty are the abusers, the beaters and the murderers, but the responsibility is on the Israeli government.
Joint List MKs Ahmad Tibi, Sondos Saleh and Osama Saadi were present at the rally in Taibe as well.
Masarwa, 40, was stabbed to death on Thursday by her husband during an argument between the two, according to Walla. She tried to run away from him and collapsed in the stairwell. Their five year old daughter witnessed the murder and called the neighbors to the scene.
The husband admitted to the murder before the Magistrates Court in Petah Tikva, saying "We have nothing. There was a little money and look what I did. I don't know what happened, I didn't do it on purpose. I'm not escaping, I need compassion," according to Walla.
In the past four months, three women have been murdered in Taibe. The budget for the plan to fight violence against women has been held back since the plan was approved in 2017.
Last week, the Abraham Initiatives organization released the Personal Security Index report, analyzing crime and violence in Arab-Israeli society. 65% of people killed in Israel in 2019 were Arab citizens.
“Our understanding is that violence and crime is the outcome, the manifestation, of a systematic neglect and discrimination and underdevelopment of the Arab community and Arab citizens in Israel for many decades,” Abraham Initiatives co-CEO Amnon Be’eri-Sulitzeanu told The Jerusalem Post.
After more than a year of requesting that an interministerial committee be formed to address the violence and crime in Arab-Israeli communities, the findings of the Personal Security Index were presented on Monday for the first time at the Committee Tackling Crime in Arab Society, headed by Joint List MK Mansour Abbas.
Last year, Arab-Israelis conducted a series of protests and strikes against government and police failure to deal with violence in Arab communities.

Tzvi Joffre contributed to this report.