The scene of the murder in Bat Yam.
The scene of the murder in Bat Yam. Photo by Ofer Vaknin
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A border policeman killed his wife and then himself Sunday, according to police.

The man, who was in his 20s, apparently used his own gun to kill his wife, who worked as a prison guard, authorities said. He then reportedly called her brother and asked him to come to their Bat Yam apartment to collect their 2-year-old son because he was about to kill himself. When the brother arrived, he found both his sister and her husband dead.

An ambulance crew tried unsuccessfully to resuscitate both of them. The toddler is being cared for by the welfare authorities.

This is the third time in little more than a month that a man has allegedly murdered a woman he was sharing a house with. Last week, Yulia Vinokorsky was killed in her Tel Aviv apartment; her husband later called the police and confessed to the murder. About two weeks earlier, on April 26, neighbors had called the police to report what sounded like a dangerous confrontation between the couple, but when the police arrived, they found no signs of domestic violence, so no action was taken.

On April 5, a man in his 50s who worked as a security guard was arrested on suspicion of killing the foreign worker who took care of his mother. The man and his wife lived in the same Ashkelon apartment as his mother and the caregiver. In this case, too, the man called the police and admitted to killing the woman.

According to statistics compiled by women's organizations and human rights groups, at least 30 people - 16 women and 14 men - have been killed by guns legally owned by security guards from 2002 to 2013. In addition, seven men and one woman reportedly committed suicide with such guns. All seven of the men killed themselves only after killing someone else first, the reports state.

According to Public Security Ministry data, 292,625 guns are currently in the hands of Israeli civilians. Of these, about 157,000 are privately owned, while about 130,000 are owned by companies or organizations. The total does not include guns owned by the army, the police and the Israel Prison Service.

Using the number of eligible voters in this year's election as a rough estimate of the total number of adult Israelis, this figure translates into one gun for every 19 adults in Israel.

At a hearing in the Knesset three weeks ago, police Maj. Gen. Nissim Mor detailed the measures the force has taken recently to reduce the number of guns owned by security firms that end up going home with their guards. Among other things, guards in restaurants have been ordered not to carry their guns, and all institutions that employ security guards must have a safe in which the guards must deposit their guns at the end of the shift. The new rules will come into full effect at the beginning of July.