Israeli Woman Sues State for Not Preventing Husband From Killing Daughters

Bedouin woman had repeatedly complained to police about domestic violence, but they took no action.

Oren Nachshon

A woman from the south whose two small daughters were murdered by her husband two years ago is suing the Public Security Ministry and the Israel Police for 12 million shekels ($3.1 million) for not preventing the murders after she had repeatedly tried to report her husband’s violence to police.

According to the lawsuit, in 2010 Abir Dandis, a resident of the Bedouin town of Al-Fura’a in the Negev, first went to the police station in Ma’aleh Adumim to complain about her husband Ali Amtirat’s violent behavior that threatened her daughters. Police there refused to deal with the complaint because she was not an Israeli citizen, even though the alleged violations took place in Israeli territory and Amtirat is an Israeli citizen. Instead, they told her to complain to the Palestinian police. She tried to file a complaint in Ma’aleh Adumim at least six more times, but was rebuffed each time.

At one point Abir left their home with the girls, Asinat, 2, and Ramais, 3, and went to live with her parents in the village of Azariya, near Jerusalem. In response, Amtirat allegedly snatched her younger brother and threatened to kill him if she did not come home. Following this incident Dandis again tried to file a police complaint, but the police referred her to the District Coordinating Office, which liaises with the Palestinian Authority. She sent the girls back to her husband.

From then, Amtirat refused to let her see her daughters. Shortly before the May 21 killings, she met with the girls through an intermediary without Amtirat’s knowledge. After hearing she’d met the girls, Amtirat started to beat Ramais.

When Dandis heard about the beating, she went to the Arad police to file a domestic violence complaint. Police there took her complaint but took no action.

The following day, Amtirat beat and strangled the girls to death. He then fled and was found several weeks later hiding in a cave in the Dead Sea area. Then-Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino ordered an inquiry into Dandis’ last complaint, resulting in the Arad police commander being removed from his post.

Amtirat was convicted last month of two counts of murder, kidnapping and conspiracy to commit a crime.