A top cabinet committee voted Sunday, June 14, to back a bill to impose electronic tracking of violent men with restraining orders against them. The electronic bracelet system would alert its carrier and police if the man approaches his spouse’s or partner’s home in contravention of a court order.
The decision by the Ministerial Committee for Legislation comes just hours after the announcement of the death of a pregnant woman, 29-year-old Roan Al-Katani of Rahat, at Soroka Hospital in Beersheba, allegedly from wounds sustained when her husband beat her. Al-Katani’s death was the latest in a series of killings of women by their spouses or significant others in recent months that sparked calls for action by lawmakers and law enforcement authorities.
Ministers on Sunday expressed support for the bill, which was first proposed by Joint List MK Aida Touma-Sliman (Hadash) and that was approved in its first of three readings in 2017. “This is another dramatic step, as part of a broad set of bills, to rein in violence against women in Israeli society,” Touma-Sliman said in a statement. However, the communist MK criticized that most of the NIS 250 million ($71 million) approved in 2017 for national programs to prevent domestic violence have still not been allocated.
Twelve women have been killed in Israel this year, by somebody known to them, compared to 13 such murders in 2019. In 2018, 25 women were murdered in such incidents, the highest number in years, prompting a string of protests and urgent calls for authorities to take action against the increasing incidence of violence against women. Many of the women killed had filed police complaints prior to their deaths out of concern for their safety. Thousands of people protested in Tel Aviv earlier this month against the trend, calling for government action to end violence against women.