Partner Confesses to Murder of 21-year-old Israeli, Amid Uptick in Violence Against Women

The woman's boyfriend confessed to her to death, adding to a wave of domestic violence cases since coronavirus lockdown began

Bar Peleg
Bar Peleg
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The entrance to the building where the woman was killed, May 16, 2020.
The entrance to the building where the woman was killed, May 16, 2020.Credit: Tomer Appelbaum
Bar Peleg
Bar Peleg

A 21-year-old woman was murdered by her boyfriend on Saturday night in the central Israeli city of Ramat Gan. 

22-year-old Maya Vishniak who was murdered in Ramat Gan is seen in an undated photo.Credit: Courtesy of the Vishniak family.

Later Saturday, the man stabbed his own mother after she returned home. The mother was taken to the hospital, where her condition was described as light. The man fled the scene and was apprehended by police on a nearby street. He confessed to killing the woman after being taken in for police questioning.

Haaretz’s tally shows that seven women have been murdered since the beginning of this year, four of them in April and May, not including Saturday's murder.

The woman was identified as Maya Vishniak, a resident of the West Bank settlement of Oranim. She was described as intelligent, artistic and musically talented. She served in a cyber warfare unit of the Israeli military. 

The suspect told the police that he heard voices in his head telling him to murder his girlfriend. His attorney told Haaretz that his client suffers from mental problems, without providing further details.

Emergency medical service paramedic Guy Arazi said that the medical team that arrived on the scene could only declare the woman’s death. “The other injured person, a woman of 50, was walking around the apartment fully conscious. She was treated on the scene and taken to hospital in non-serious condition,” he added.

The mother gave a statement to police, saying that when she entered the apartment and her son told her that he had strangled his girlfriend to death, she told him she was calling the police. He then rammed her and stabbed her with a knife from the kitchen, she said, after which she was finally able to call the police.

Two weeks ago, 50-year-old Tatiana Khaikin from Bat Yam was murdered. Her partner called the police to inform them that he had killed her. A few days earlier, 31-year-old Mastwell Alaza was murdered in Holon, with her husband confessing to the murder the next day. Last month, 42-year-old Mervat Dasuki from Lod was murdered in front of her children. A resident of the city was arrested on suspicion of being involved.

According to the Social Services Ministry, since the start of the coronavirus crisis there have been four cases of suicide following domestic violence. The number of complaints reaching the ministry in the second half of April was four times higher than in the first month that stay-at-home orders were in place. Most of the complaints dealt with violence against women and children.

Police near the building where the killing took place, Ramat Gan, May 16, 2020.Credit: Tomer Appelbaum

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