Woman Shot Dead in 71st Murder in Israel's Arab Community This Year

Josh Breiner
Josh Breiner
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The car in which a woman was shot dead in Ramle, today.
The car in which a woman was shot dead in Ramle, today.Credit:
Josh Breiner
Josh Breiner

A woman was shot dead on Friday in her vehicle in the central city of Ramle, in the 71st violent death in Israel's Arab community this year.

Police are investigating the notion that the victim, Lorin Tefal, was murdered because she moved out of her in-law's house after her husband was murdered in a 2015 shooting in the city. Police suspect that Tefal, who was living in Haifa since her husbands' death was visiting her children in Ramle on Friday.

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An immediate investigation revealed the gunman, who fled the scene, may have lay in wait to commit the attack, meaning it was unlikely that the 28-year-old woman was mistaken for someone else.

A large contingent of police was sent to the scene, where it collected evidence and security camera footage. Police previously assigned Tefal as "high risk" however social services say she refused help from authorities out of fear for retaliation.  

Women march against violence in the Arab community and police incompetency Credit: Rami Shllush

Earlier this year Tefal's brother-in-law was arrested in Haifa near her apartment for allegedly intending to attack her. According to police and social services this incident was part of a larger pattern of threats made against Tefal after she refused to marry her brother-in-law. 

A source at the Social Services Ministry told Haaretz that despite several attempts from the department and the police to help, Tefal was hesitant to cooperate with authorities, fearing her family will be hurt if she does. Tefal's sister-in-law, Nassrin was murdered in 2012 at the age of 27 after fleeing her home due to physical abuse from her husband. In 2006, Nassrin's sister was murdered in her home at the age of 30 in a case that remains unsolved. 

Women protest against Violence in the Arab Community in Tel Aviv earlier this yearCredit: Ofer Vaknin

Tefal is the 11th woman violently killed in the Arab sector since the beginning of this year. In response to the incident founder of Na'am-AWC (Arab Women in the Center) Samah Salaime said "it is clear to us as Arab feminists that in this country Arab women's lives worth less than Jewish women's lives." 

The problem is even worse for women who are associated with men engaged in organized crime. "They are in imitate threat on a daily basis by armed violent men who threaten they're lives," Salaime said "especially if they try to break the cycle of violence and get out." 

According to recent data, the police have helped solve only 23 percent of the murders in Israel's Arab community this year, compared with 71 percent for the Jewish community. Last year only one-third of the 97 murders of Arabs produced indictments, while in the Jewish community two-thirds of the 44 killings were solved.

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