West Bank Resident Suspected of Aggravated Murder in Ashkelon Infant’s Death

Police believe the 10-month-old, who died last week, was being regularly abused. Her mother remains under house arrest

The building in Ashkelon where Ziaad Abid's domestic partner and her baby lived.
Ilan Assayag

A West Bank man living illegally in Ashkelon is suspected of aggravated murder in the death of his partner’s baby last week. The 10-month-old baby died from a blow to her head.

The suspect, Ziad Aabid, denies the allegations, but the court said that it had to wait for the autopsy results before it could respond to his claims. The Ashkelon Magistrate’s Court extended his detention on Sunday.

The baby was hospitalized on October 20 in critical condition after she ostensibly fell out of Aabid’s arms and hit her head while he was watching her. Both Aabid and the baby’s mother were arrested. Police investigators said the baby was being regularly abused. She died of her injuries on Wednesday.

Aabid, 21, was living with the baby’s mother even though he has no permit to enter Israel. When the incident occurred, he was watching the baby while her mother went out. After the baby fell, he asked neighbors to call for help. He left the house after the first responders arrived and was arrested while allegedly trying to make his way back to the West Bank. Police are investigating whether Aabid had beaten the baby because he was angry with the mother for leaving without his permission.

The mother was released to house arrest after the baby died and was allowed to attend the child's funeral. However, she is suspected of child abuse, neglecting a helpless person and harboring an illegal alien.