Protests, Strike after 2018’s 25th Woman Victim is Murdered in Acre

Demonstrations were held on Wednesday, December 12, in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Sakhnin, Acre, Beer-Sheva and other locations throughout Israel following the brutal murder of yet another women, the 25th victim of femicide this year.

Thirty-year-old Eman Ahmad Awad was found stabbed and in critical condition in her home in the northern town of Acre on Tuesday, December 11. Paramedics who arrived at the scene fought to resuscitate Awad before declaring her dead. Police have opened an investigation into the incident.

One of thousands of protesters who took part in a mass rally in Tel Aviv's Rabin Square against the far-right government's inaction toward gender violence, December 4, 2018.

One of thousands of protesters who took part in a mass rally in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square against the far-right government’s inaction toward gender violence, December 4, 2018. (Photo: Activestills)

“The city that is in mourning today is the city I love, the city in which I live, Acre,” said Hadash MK Aida Touma-Sliman (Joint List), chairwoman of the Knesset’s Committee on the Status of Women and Gender Equality. “The families that lost their loved one just a little while ago are families that I know; I cannot imagine how they will bear the pain of their loss.”

Touma-Sliman related how Eman Awad “the 25th woman murdered this year,” like all those previously killed, is not simply the victim of her direct assailant. Rather “there are also partners in this murder; there are accomplices, some of them are aware of their complicity, others are not. Over the past several weeks the painful story of the murder of women has been discussed publicly, all due to the insistence of women, I’m sorry to say, following the horrendous killings of two young women.”

On Monday, November 26, two girls 12-year-old Sylvana Tsegai from Tel Aviv and 16-year-old Yara Ayoub from Jish, were murdered in separate incidents. Their savage deaths ignited protests throughout Israel. Tens of thousands of women workers went on strike to denounce the government’s inaction towards violence against their gender. Marches and demonstrations were held across the country, and protest displays were set up in central locations.

Organizers of that strike had called on all women in the workforce to halt work every day for 25 minutes, until the far-right government approves the budget for a plan to battle domestic abuse. Following Awad’s murder in Acre on Tuesday they wrote: “Just a week ago women united to warn against this state of emergency. The government remained silent and today yet another woman was murdered. Starting tomorrow [Wednesay, December 12], every day at 10 am, we will all stop everything for 25 minutes… until the government meets our demands.”

The High School Teachers Union announced that it will join the protest, with teachers striking for 25 minutes starting Wednesday. The chairperson of the union, Ran Erez, said: “As teachers and educators who lead the struggle against violence aimed at educational staff, we cannot stand silent. The union has already announced its support of the struggle led by the ‘Red Flag’ coalition,” which unites feminist organizations in Israel crying out against violence aimed at women.