An Israeli man was convicted Wednesday of attempted murder of his wife at the time, in a case that highlighted the scourge of domestic violence.
A panel of Be’er Sheva District Court judges also convicted Aviad Moshe of inflicting serious injury under aggravated circumstances on his wife, Shira Isakov, as well as abuse of the couple’s son for forcing him to watch his acts of violence. The attack occurred at the couple’s home in Mitzpeh Ramon last September.
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The verdict said it was proven beyond any reasonable doubt that Moshe intended to kill Isakov. She cited his “many dozens of blows with a wooden rolling pin to her face, the breaking of her teeth, the shattering of her skull and stabbing her – all of which shows an intent to kill.”
The court rejected Moshe’s claim that he was not in control of his actions when he attacked his wife. “The defendant could have refrained from his actions but chose to continue to harm [Isakov]. He spoke with the neighbors, closed the door. All of this didn’t cause him to stop his attack. His statements that he didn’t want her to die are no more than mere talk.”
The indictment detailed the critical role played by the couple’s neighbors, who pleaded with Moshe to stop, tried to break down the door and enter through a window, and called the police and emergency medical help. Isakov, who was 31 at the time, was airlifted by helicopter to Soroka Medical Center in Be’er Sheva.
In April of this year, Isakov and her neighbor Adi Guzi were given the honor of lighting torches at the Independence Day ceremony in Jerusalem. Guzi was recognized for risking her life to save Isakov.
“Most of the defendant’s testimony dealt with an attempt to portray [his wife] in the most negative light,” said Judge Yael Raz-Levi, reading the three judges’ verdict. In convicting him of abuse of his son, who was less than two years old at the time, the court said that subjecting the boy to his mother’s screams as she begged for her life, and with her blood spattered everywhere, constituted abuse of the child, even if it was psychological and not physical.
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In February, during her court testimony in the case, Isakov said that Moshe whispered “die already” to her as he strangled her with his hands. He asked not to be present in court for her testimony, purportedly “due to the coronavirus,” but the court denied the request.
In his own testimony about a month later, Moshe, an electrical engineer who was 45 at the time, said, “I lost it. … I don’t have the capacity to explain. I don’t know what took hold of me.” He adamantly denied that he had wanted to kill his wife.
He accused Isakov of goading and insulting him and of verbal abuse. He testified that after Isakov suffered a miscarriage, she accused him and his sister of causing it and wished for his sister’s death. He also accused her of slapping him and of claiming that he was not her son’s father.
Reacting to Wednesday’s verdict, Isakov said: “I am very surprised, very happy. I’m shaking all over.” She called on victims of violence to be more cautious. “I didn’t think he would do such a thing, and I wasn’t careful.”