Israeli Man Suspected of Murdering Wife to Remain in Police Custody

Giora Perry, 67, believed to have shot Esti Ahronovitz, 70, after he refused to agree to a divorce

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Esti Ahronovitz, who was shot to death in Moshav Talmei Eliyahu in southern Israel on November 3, 2019.
Esti Ahronovitz, who was shot to death in Moshav Talmei Eliyahu in southern Israel on November 3, 2019.

Giora Praff Perry, who is suspected of murdering his wife Esti Ahronovitz on Sunday night, was ordered kept under arrest at least until Thursday.

Ahronovitz was shot in their home on Moshav Talmei Eliyahu in southern Israel, and Perry was arrested a short time later when he fled and his car overturned near the Ketziot Junction. He was injured in the accident. He was found with a licensed pistol and bullets in his possession.

The couple had been in the process of divorcing, and the police suspect this was the reason behind the murder. Ahronovitz, 70, was the mother of four and a grandmother of nine from a previous marriage.

Signs of violence were found on Ahronovitz’s body. Perry, 67, was hospitalized in moderate condition in Soroka Medical Center in Be’er Sheva, and as a result was not present for his hearing on Monday in the Be’er Sheva Magistrate’s Court. The couple was not known to the social services or the police. The police declined to answer Haaretz’s questions about whether Perry had tried to commit suicide.

His lawyer said he had received information from his client’s family that he was still suffering from a major case of PTSD from the Yom Kippur War. Another of his lawyers said Perry was still hospitalized and uncommunicative, so he should not be judged until he can give his version of the events and reply to the accusations.

Nirit Zach, Perry’s ex-wife, who he was married to for 13 years, told Haaretz on Monday that he had attacked her after they divorced in 2009, pushing her up against a wall, and kept pursuing her. “I was alone at home and he came in and threatened me, pushed me against the wall and until I screamed, he didn’t leave. Physically, he wanted to kiss me and touch me. But it was the only time and I haven’t seen him since.

“He did everything for it to be bad for me when we divorced, so it would be hard and horrible for me, but he didn’t hit me,” added Zach. “He had a violent verbal side, he would really get mad and yell. He was very jealous of people, and always thought he deserved things.”

A relative of Ahronovitz who found her at home shot in the head, told Army Radio that the relationship between her and Perry was about to end, and “he wouldn’t accept it.”

Ahronovitz taught music in a local elementary school until she retired. Perry, said the relative, “seemed to be friendly, very interesting and intelligent,” but the relationship had reached its end – and “we saw a man who changed and his reactions were different,” she said.

She went to check on Ahronovitz when she didn’t answer her phone because she was worried, said the woman. “I thought I’d find her crying after an argument, or during an argument,” she said, adding that she realized right away who did it.