Three More Arrested for Involvement in Israeli Arab Mother’s Murder

Four suspects detained on Saturday, including three of her brothers, for alleged role in brutal murder.

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Dua'a Abu Sharkh, a mother of four who was shot to death on Friday by masked gunman in front of her children in Lod, south of Tel Aviv.
Dua'a Abu Sharkh, a mother of four who was shot to death on Friday by masked gunman in front of her children in Lod, south of Tel Aviv. Credit: Courtesy

Three more people were arrested on Monday on suspicion of involvement in the murder of Dua’a Abu Sharkh, an Israeli Arab who was shot to death in Lod on Friday by a masked gunman in front of her four children.

The police said the suspects, all residents of Lod aged 52, 33 and 25, were being questioned. A court extended through Tuesday the detention of four other people arrested on Saturday on suspicion of involvement in the case. Three of the original suspects were Abu Sharkh’s brothers, and the fourth is the son of her estranged husband.

On Sunday, the police agreed to allow her brothers to attend her funeral, while handcuffed to police officers. Hundreds of people, including the woman’s relatives, had demonstrated earlier in front of the police station in Lod, refusing to begin the funeral procession until her brothers were released. After the funeral the brothers were returned to jail.

The brothers of murdered Dua’a Abu Sharkh at her funeral in Lod on September 25, 2016. Credit: Tomer Appelbaum

Abu Sharkh, 32 at the time of her death, was separated from her husband. She spent a few hours on Friday with her children, with their father’s knowledge. When she brought three of her children, who range in age between 4 and 12, back to his house, a masked man moved the children aside and then shot her. She was critically wounded and pronounced dead a short time later at Assaf Harofeh Hospital, Tzrifin.

Imad Abu Sharkh, the father of the dead woman, told Haaretz on Sunday that the police automatically arrested his sons because of the stigmas over the murder of women in Arab society. “In every murder in the Arab community they leave the murderer alone, despite knowing very well who he is, labeling the case an ‘honor killing.’ That’s a lie. Not every murder has to do with family honor.”

Relatives told Haaretz on Saturday that the couple separated about three years ago but never formally divorced. One of her children, a son, was said to have been living with his mother at the time of her death for nine months after allegedly suffering a severe beating at the hands of his father. They said that about two years ago, her husband kidnapped her and tried to kill her, but she managed to escape.

A relative told Haaretz that her husband threatened her on other occasions and she would return to her parents’ house with bruises and suffered beatings in the presence of her children. “Everyone knew that he was abusing her. He would also threaten the children that if they met with their mother, he would kill them,” the relative said.

Family members said the slain woman celebrated her 32nd birthday on Thursday but the celebration was tinged with sadness because, other than her son, who had been living with her, her three other children, all girls, would not visit her because their father would not allow it. The separation, the relatives said, was the result of the husband’s violence directed at his wife and his children. A relative said one of Abu Sharkh’s daughters had recounted that her mother would come to school to see her children.

Abu Sharkh was offered a place in a home for abused women three times over the past two years, but she refused to live there, Haaretz has learned.