Talia Atar
Talia Atar Photo by Reproduction
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Talia Atar, a woman in her eighth month of pregnancy, was killed yesterday afternoon in Ashdod after becoming embroiled in a dispute with her neighbor. Police detained the neighbor, Mazal Bar-Osher, 38, for questioning.

The suspect, a mother of two, allegedly stabbed Atar because she had dirtied the door of Bar-Osher's apartment and the stairwell in their building.

After being stabbed, Atar was taken in critical condition to Kaplan Hospital in Rehovot, where her baby was delivered by caesarean section; he survived but is in serious condition. However, efforts to save Atar, who lost large quantities of blood, failed and she died on the operating table. The 34-year-old mother of four was stabbed throughout her body.

Atar's brother, David Vitzman, said she lived in the apartment building for 10 years and worked at a soup kitchen. He said her alleged assailant moved in half a year ago, and "made trouble for my sister all the time."

Neighbors said the suspect called local police yesterday morning, complaining that Atar had thrown garbage into the hall. The police refused to come to the scene and suggested that Bar-Osher come to the station to file a report.

It appears that a confrontation developed between the two, and that Atar spilled coffee in the stairwell and threw garbage at her neighbor's door. The two then apparently went down to the entrance of the building, where things became violent and Bar-Osher allegedly slit Atar's throat.

Police brokered reconciliation

A neighbor of the two women said they had argued in the past, but neighbors had managed to reconcile them.

"The argument today was over coffee," a neighbor said yesterday. "The woman who did the stabbing claimed [Atar] spilled the coffee on purpose." She added that the suspect frequently accused Atar of all kinds of things that occurred in the building, and that Bar-Osher had terrorized the residents.

Police Chief Superintendent Gabi Danon, who arrived at the scene, said the investigation of the case is still in its preliminary stage and that the suspect is cooperating.

The families of both Atar and Bar-Osher are known to the Ashdod social welfare department. Atar's children have been temporarily placed in foster care and her funeral will take place today in Ashdod.

Dr. Ada Reicher-Yoster, who was present when the Atar's child was delivered, said, "he was in very serious condition ... From the moment the mother was injured, she was no longer able to provide the blood and oxygen the fetus needed."

Reicher-Yoster said the child was put on a respirator and the doctors are fighting for his life. "[His] chances are not so good," she added, "but we will not give up."