Police arrested a 48-year-old man on suspicion of stabbing his wife to death on Saturday in the town of Jadeidi-Makr near Acre in Israel’s north. After a first aid team pronounced Amina Yassin-Farhat, 35, dead at the couple’s home, police arrested the husband at the scene. The couple has five children between the ages of 3 and 15.
An initial police investigation showed that Yassin-Farhat had not filed any complaints against her husband and that he has no criminal record. The Jadeidi-Makr municipal authorities said that the family was known to its welfare department due to the suspect’s drug use. An acquaintance of the husband said that the latter had led a religious lifestyle until his brother was killed in a car accident a few years ago. According to the acquaintance, the husband has had psychological problems since then.
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The Haifa District extended on Sunday by nine days the remand of Yassin Yassin. His attorney has asked that he be sent to a psychiatric examination to see whether he is fit to stand trial.
According to neighbors, Yassin-Farhat was from the Western Galilee village of Majd al-Krum. Her uncle said the family had asked that the funeral be held there, and that the traditional mourning tent be put up there as well. “We can’t be with the family of the murdering husband,” he told Haaretz. He added that the couple had been married for about 15 years and that for the past few years the husband has been out of work.
“It’s a terrible tragedy that five children are now without a mother and the father is a murder suspect. We don’t know what happened there,” the uncle said.
A family friend said that Yassin-Farhat wanted to raise her children in good conditions. “Now they’ll start saying that [the husband] was using drugs or suffered from psychological problems. I don’t know what the truth is exactly. What I do know is that the mother was cruelly murdered in her home in front of her children and now they’ll start giving explanations for a murder that has no explanation.”
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Joint List lawmaker Aida Touma-Sliman said in response to news of the murder: “There’s a system-wide failure of all government agencies in this matter – the police, the welfare authorities and the education system. The Netanyahu government pledged to transfer significant funding to fight violence against women, to silence increasing protest,” but the funding had still not been received. “Too many women are living with a lack of security and in mortal danger, especially in the Arab community,” she added.
Dr. Ali Na’ameh of the Hian Medical Center, whose team was the first to arrive on the scene, said that an intensive care ambulance was dispatched to the house following a report that a woman had been stabled. The team found Yassin-Farhat severely injured with stab wounds to the upper body, and pronounced her dead shortly thereafter.