Jerusalem Man Charged With Murdering Sister After She Spoke With a Man

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The EIlat apartment where Goumana Keisi was murdered
The EIlat apartment where Goumana Keisi was murderedCredit: Sassi Horesh

An East Jerusalem man was indicted on Wednesday for the murder of his sister a month ago in Eilat. Falach Keisi, 34, allegedly strangled his sister Goumana to death with a shoelace after she spoke with a man on the telephone.

At first, Keisi confessed to the murder, but he later retracted his confession.

On May 26, Falach visited his sister in her apartment in Eilat, states the indictment. After he saw that his sister was speaking with a man on the phone at night, he went to the kitchen, took a pot and hit her over the head with it. Goumana tried to push him away and scratched at him. She screamed and left the house, and fell, which is when Falach allegedly pulled her back into the apartment and strangled her, while her son was sleeping in the other room.

Prosecutors asked the court to detain Keisi until the end of legal proceedings against him. Goumana’s ex-husband was also arrested on suspicions of conspiring to commit the murder, and he was released to house arrest. The police suspect that a conversation between Falach and the ex-husband a month before led Falach to murder her sister. Prosecutors have not yet made a decision about charges against the ex-husband.

Goumana was the sixth woman murdered in Israel since the beginning of the year. She complained in the past about violence from her husband, whom she left two months ago, said the police. She moved to Eilat a year and a half ago from East Jerusalem, and was known to local welfare authorities.

Monthly domestic violence complaints ballooned by 250 percent in 2020, Labor and Social Affairs Ministry data shows, with the coronavirus pandemic being a major contributing factor. 

In 2019, before the virus, an average of 270 domestic violence complaints were received each month. But in 2020, the average skyrocketed to 699. And it has continued rising in the first months of 2021, to an average of 756.

Police statistics also show there was a substantial increase in domestic violence complaints following the first lockdown in March 2020. The police believe the increased levels of domestic violence will persist, primarily due to the economic distress that the pandemic has caused.

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