Within two hours on Monday, October 19, two women were found dead in their homes in Israel and, in both cases, their partners are suspected of having murdered them. In the southern city of Beersheba, police were called to an apartment building after receiving reports of a man on the roof apparently attempting to commit suicide.
After bringing the man down from the roof and treating him, police became suspicious that he may have harmed his wife. They entered the couple’s apartment and found her with a severe wound to the head, and without any signs of life. The victim, 67, was likely struck with a blunt object as there were no gunshot or stab wounds on her body.
Two hours earlier, 35-year-old Najah Mansour, a mother of four, was found dead in her home in Kiryat Haim, a suburb north of Haifa, with signs of violence on her body. Police said they arrested the victim’s partner, 28, on suspicion of murder. “When we arrived at the scene, we joined the police and firefighters, and together we entered the apartment,” Magen David Adom paramedic Anan Abu Yaman said. “The woman was unconscious. We performed medical tests, saw she was without signs of life, and we had to determine her death at the scene.”
The two women are at least the fourteenth and fifteenth murdered in Israel in 2020 by someone known to them. Thirteen Israeli women were murdered in 2019 in such incidents. In 2018, 25 women were murdered by someone known to them, 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 in Israel.
Hadash MK Aida Touma-Sliman (Joint List) said on Monday that the far-right government was continuing in its failure to take action on the issue of violence against women. “The wave of murder against women continues, the writing is on the wall and the Netanyahu gang simply does not care. The best evidence of this is the plan to combat violence that was already approved in 2017 by the government, and to date has not been implemented,” Touma-Sliman told Al-Ittihad. According to the leading Communist Party member, “Around 200,000 women in Israel live with violence — the coronavirus has turned their homes into prisons, the economic and psychological pressures are turning it into a life-threatening situation.” Social services organizations have reported a major rise in domestic violence complaints since the start of the coronavirus crisis. Hadash activists say most of the NIS 250 million ($71 million) approved in 2017 for national programs to prevent domestic violence has not yet been transferred to relevant authorities.