Rallies took place in 13 cities across Israel on Saturday evening, July 4, including in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Haifa, Nes Tziona and Be’er-Sheva, to protest violence against women, following the death of this year’s 13th victim of wanton murder, in a case of domestic bloodshed late last week.
The main rally Saturday evening took place in the Arab city of Tayibe in the center of the country where Wafa Masarwa, 40, was stabbed to death on Thursday, July 2 during an argument with her husband. The victim tried to escape after being wounded, but collapsed in the stairwell of their building where she was pronounced dead. The couple’s five-year-old daughter witnessed her mother’s murder, chased after her brutal father and called neighbors to the scene. During the past four months, three women have been murdered in the city of Tayibe, in which about 45,000 Palestinian-Arab citizens of Israel reside.
Joint List MK Aida Touma-Sliman (Hadash) addressed Saturday’s protest in Tayibe and told the crowd, “The coronavirus crisis is intensifying social hardships – and together with them, violence against women. The government must immediately increase social services, finally start funding the plan to fight violence, and do everything 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 authorities,” Joint List MK Ofer Cassif (Hadash) told those gathered. “For every woman murdered there are thousands who suffer from abuse and violence,” Cassif added. “While Israel’s social workers are on the brink of a justified strike to save the welfare system, this is the moment for the disconnected government to hook up with reality and to fund the plan to prevent abuse and violence against women… The guilty are the abusers, the beaters and the murderers, but the responsibility is that of the Israeli government.”
Last year, Arab-Palestinians citizens for Israel conducted a series of mass protests and strikes against the failure of the far-right government and police to effectively deal with violence in the country’s Arab communities.