Woman Shot to Death in Central Israel in Suspected Murder

Mother of five was shot at close range inside her car ■ Woman's former husband was questioned by police, but was not placed under arrest

Bar Peleg
Jack Khoury
Lee Yaron
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The scene of the murder in Taibeh, March 1, 2020.
The scene of the murder in Taibeh, March 1, 2020.Credit:
Bar Peleg
Jack Khoury
Lee Yaron

A 36-year-old woman from the central Israeli city of Taibeh was shot to death on Saturday.

The police have launched an investigation, with preliminary results showing that the woman, a mother of five, was shot at close range inside her car. A gag order has been imposed on details of the investigation until March 7. The woman’s former husband was questioned by police, but was not placed under arrest.

The woman arrived at a friend’s house in her car on Saturday morning, to pick her up on her way to work. Police believe the murderer opened the car door, got in the car and shot her. Police also believe the woman was the intended target and was not shot by mistake, with the killer knowing she’d be at that location. The assessment is that the shooter followed the woman, accompanied by others, and entered the vehicle as the woman’s friend exited it to call another friend.

The police have located a witness to the shooting and summoned neighbors and family members for questioning. The police are investigating whether one of the multiple surveillance cameras in the area managed to document the shooting.

One of the woman’s neighbors said that the victim was a kindergarten teacher, and that she’d heard that the woman had problems with her former husband. “Six months ago, she went to Turkey while they were having problems,” she said. The victim filed a complaint against the man a few months ago, after he threatened her for wanting to travel to Turkey. She later retracted her complaint after divorce proceedings were initiated.

According to this neighbor, “people here murder over any problem.” She said that “the woman came from a quiet family, a calm religious family, one of the best in Taibeh.” Last year, the woman’s uncle was murdered, but the police have found no link between the two murders.

Tamar Schwartz, the CEO of an NGO called Ruach Nashit, which helps abused women achieve economic independence, said that “the fact that the murder of women in Israel is a routine occurrence is objectionable and must be ammended immediately.” She added that “the timing, one day before an election, is a sad and unnecessary reminder for party leaders that the murder of women is a big societal problem that needs a systemic solution.” Attorney Maha Shehadeh-Suweitat from the Itach-Maaki Women Lawyers for Social Justice task force said that “the state continues to relate to violence against women as a private issue, especially regarding Arab women.”

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