Israeli Woman Abducted From Shelter by Her Brothers, Police Say

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A police car at the scene of a murder in Lod, June.
A police car at the scene of a murder in Lod, June. Credit: Ilan Assayag

A woman living in a women’s shelter in northern Israel was abducted on Tuesday by her four brothers, who were arrested after a police chase, according to law enforcement.

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Women's shelters are generally secure facilities in secret locations. The woman had sought protection from her brothers' violence in the shelter and she was abducted after leaving to go to the grocery store and a clinic, police said. Some of them were armed with so-called airsoft guns, used in sports and designed to shoot non-metallic projectiles.

The woman, who is 27 and divorced, left the shelter with two friends to go to her HMO clinic. Police believe she communicated with a female relative and told her she had left the shelter. She went into a grocery, where she was abducted into a waiting vehicle. Her friends photographed the vehicle’s license plate and sent it to the shelter’s director, who called the police. Police sources said a preliminary investigation showed the brothers did not intend to take her back to the family home, but rather to hurt her.

The police said in a statement that a large contingent of police from the northern district as well as a helicopter set out in pursuit of two vehicles after the police emergency line received the call about the abduction. According to the statement, the woman was found in one of the vehicles near the Turan intersection, “upset and crying.” The second vehicle was stopped near the village of Maghar.

Thirteen percent more domestic violence complaints were filed with the police in 2020 than the year before, police data shows, and this is a direct consequence of the coronavirus pandemic and the restrictions imposed on the public because of it, the police's investigation and intelligence division claimed. 

The rate at which the complaints turn into legal procedures has remained constant however, with indictments jumping by 16 percent, while, like in 2019, the vast majority of cases were closed.

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