Family Tragedy as Father of Seven Kills Ex-wife, Then Himself, in Kiryat Arba

Victim complained to authorities her husband had physically abused her, over the years, but police say since no complaint had been filed they had no authority to take action.

A resident of the Jewish settlement of Kiryat Arba near Hebron killed his ex-wife Thursday night and then took his own life.

The family of the man, Gabi Twito, had been known to social welfare groups in the settlement since the period when Twito had still been married to his former wife, Mazal. The couple had seven children.

Mazal Twito had complained to authorities over the years that her husband had physically abused her. The couple divorced in 2007 and Mazal Twito went to live in Safed, but later returned to Kiryat Arba. After their divorce, some of their children stayed with their mother and others with the father.

Relations between the couple were said to have improved after Mazal Twito returned to Kiryat Arba, but Gabi Twito was apparently frustrated that his ex-wife refused to get back together with him.

He has also been unemployed for an extended period and was in difficult financial straits.

On Thursday evening, Gabi Twito came to his wife's home to have dinner with his children. The positive atmosphere in the home that evening apparently motivated him to press further for a reconciliation.

After dinner, when the children had gone out, Twito took an M16 rifle that belonged to his son, who is in the army, and shot his ex-wife and then killed himself. The bodies were found by the children when they returned home.

"This is the first murder in Kiryat Arba that was not committed out of nationalistic motives," said the head of the settlement's council, Malachi Levinger. "We had provided help to this family and now we will draw conclusions from this unfortunate occurrence."

The police said they had received no complaints and therefore had no authority to take action.