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Posts Tagged ‘domestic violence’

When Murder Comes Home…

In Violence in Israeli Society on November 15, 2010 at 01:54

Firends and neighbors of 26 yo Ethiopian woman murdered by her husband

Unlike news stories about politics and global intrigue, murder rarely makes it into Israel’s English-language media. Perhaps it is deemed unfit for international consumption. So when an entire series of articles appears in YNet News,  the Jerusalem Post and Ha’aretz,  it is not business-as-usual.

In this deeply family-oriented society, the sheer number of family members murdered by their own flesh-and-blood in the past several weeks has hit a nerve.

I can’t speak for all Israelis but as I scan the headlines and see the names of veteran Israelis, Ethiopian and Russian immigrants,  Arabs and Bedioun, men, women and children from big cities, small towns and villages all grieving for sons, daughters, spouses, children and grandchildren, I no longer find myself asking “when will it end?” but, rather, “which of us will be next ?”

 

Pregnant woman murdered in South Tel Aviv
The Eritrean citizen in her fourth month of pregnancy was found dead in her apartment.

Ha’Aretz 12.11.10

By Yaniv Kubovich and Yanir Yagna

A migrant worker originally from Eritrea was found without signs of life in her South Tel Aviv apartment on Friday night. The woman, in her 30s, was apparently four months pregnant. Police are investigating all possibilities.

The woman’s brother had been trying to reach her for several hours, but she didn’t answer his calls. He arrived at the scene and found her already dead. The brother called emergency aid workers and the police, who are currently searching for the woman’s husband.

In June, a woman in her eighth month of pregnancy was murdered in Ashdod after entering into an argument with her neighbor. The woman’s fetus was delivered in an emergency c-section operation.

The Ashdod police arrested the neighbor, a 38-year-old woman, suspected of having stabbed the victim to death after the latter had spilled coffee in her doorway.

Netanya couple seriously hurt in suspected murder-suicide attempt
Man, 34, allegedly shot his wife while their 3-year-old daughter was in the apartment; incident comes as the latest of several recent cases of severe domestic violence.

By Yaniv Kubovich

An attempted murder suicide left a Netanya couple in serious condition, police said on Saturday, in the latest in a string of domestic violence cases in recent weeks.

A preliminary probe of the event lead police investigators to believe the man, 34, shot his wife in the head, later trying to commit suicide. The woman, who was evacuated to the city’s Laniado hospital, is in critical, with the husband is in serious condition after suffering gun shot wounds to the chest.

The couple’s 3-year-old daughter was reported to have been present in the apartment on Netanya’s Etzel street during the incident.

Late last month, a man allegedly stabbed his wife to death before taking his own life in Petah Tikva.

Paramedics who arrived on the scene confirmed the death of the 43-year-old man, who had hanged himself. His wife, 32, was taken to Beilinson Hospital to the Rabin Medical Center in Petah Tikva in critical condition. She succumbed to her wounds shortly after arriving at the hospital.

Neighbors had apparently heard shouting from the apartment and alerted police. When police arrived, they spotted the man, who had hanged himself from the grating of the apartment’s balcony. They then entered the apartment and found the wife in the living room with stab wounds covering most of her body.

The couple had immigrated to Israel from their native Ethiopia in 2007. They had no children and no previous police record.

On Wednesday, Police arrested a woman in the central Israeli city of Ra’anana suspected of killing her two daughters. [see story below]

 

Police: Mom murdered 2 girls

Mother admits to strangling two girls aged four, six in Raanana home, according to police

YNET 11.10.10

Raanan Ben-Zur

The bodies of two girls aged four and a half and six were found strangled Wednesday in the apartment they shared with their parents in Raanana.

Paramedics arrived to find the girls dead. Police questioned the mother, Michal Aloni, who was found in the apartment along with them, and say she admitted to the murder. “I took their lives,” police say the mother confessed.

The girls were identified as Roni and her older sister Natalie. The mother’s 42-year-old brother was also arrested because he was in the apartment at the time of the murders.

The girls’ father, who has four children from a previous marriage, was also detained for questioning. His first wife fainted upon arriving at the scene. He said he was the one who alerted rescue forces, after arriving home to find his daughters dead.

In addition, a preliminary investigation has revealed that the mother has been institutionalized in the past. Magen David Adom spokesman Zaki Heller described the events. “At 1:20 pm we received a call about two children found dead in an apartment in Raanana. The paramedics found two girls lying lifeless in their beds,” he said.

The suspected murder is the last in a string of incidents in which parents took violent turns towards their offspring, the previous one occurring in Tel Aviv, where a mother threw her two small children from a fourth-floor window.

Before that, in July, Itai Ben Dror stabbed his three children to death in their sleep, and then attempted to take his own life in his Netanya home.

Violence We Prevent Makes No Headlines

In violence prevention on October 26, 2009 at 16:12
Young Arab Jerusalemites Learning How To Stop Violence Against Them

Young Arab Women in Jerusalem Learning How To Stop Violence Directed Against Them

While rocks and words fly in response to the  Imams’ outlandish fantasy of some Jewish conspirency to retake the Temple Mount, there is a real battle going on right here in the halls of El HaLev, a battle to prevent violence.

For the last two Sundays, 16 young Arabic-speaking women served by the Arab section of the Youth Advancement Department of the Jerusalem Municipality  have made their way from their homes in East Jerusalem, Shuafat, Beit Zafafa and Sheikh Jarrah to our headquarters in the Talpiot section of Jerusalem for an IMPACT for Teens Self-Defense Course. In IMPACT, they learn how to feel and trust their intuition,   identify dangerous situations,  use words and body language to discourage potential attackers and, when necessary, to employ full-power self-defense techniques that can enable them to disable their attackers and survive.

According to one of our IMPACT staff members: “It’s really hard to tell who is more excited about this course: the girls, their community workers or the staff of El HaLev.”

For these students, who tend to  come from families on the less-educated, less-affluent side of Arab society, these skills are a virtual revolution.

Violence Against Women in The Arab Sector

In order to confront the fear of violence, these girls are dealing with enormous issues concerning who their society views violence against women. According to a poll conducted last year by Naamat Women, some 70% of Arab women in Israel believe that women who are pushed, slapped or struck by their male partners are not victims of domestic violence.  Some 73% believe that women whose partners curse or humiliate them are not victims of violence.

Similarly, these girls are growing up female under the cloud of  “honor killing”, the murder of women and girls by  family members as the result of  such things as  dressing in an “immodest” or “too-Western” manner, opting out of  arranged marriages or engaging in certain sexual acts, including being the victims of rape.

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) estimates that the annual worldwide total of honor-killing victims may be as high as 5,000. UNICEF reports, based on 1999 estimates, that more than two-thirds of all murders in the Gaza strip and the West Bank were most likely ‘honor’ killings.

Against this background and these odds, and despite the difficulty getting out of their neighborhoods under the current conditions, these brave girls have completed eight of the 16 hours of this  four-session course. I am certain that they will be back next week, and the week after to finish their course. Despiteit all, they seem bound and determined to ensure that they acquire the skills to keep at bay the violence that lives and breathes all around them.

Untold thanks to our staff, the staff of the Arab section of Jerusalem’s Youth Advancement Department and the Kathryn Ames Foundation, whose generous contribution made this course possible.

The rioters in the Old City and their sympathizers may be making headlines. But WE are making a difference!

Jerusalem: Temple Mount riots resume

Efrat Weiss
Latest Update:     10.25.09, 15:27 / Israel News

Nine police officers were lightly injured Sunday stones and Molotov cocktails hurled at forces stationed at the Temple Mount as part of the high state of alert in the area. A female Australian reporter was lightly injured by stones in the Old City.

Forces patrolling the area also noticed oil poured on the floor, apparently in order to cause the officers to slip and make their activity in the area more difficult.

A police force entered the Temple Mount compound in order to catch the stone throwers, using shock grenades. More than 18 people were arrested on the Mount and in its surroundings, including senior Fatah member Khatem Abdel Kader, who is charge of the Jerusalem portfolio in the Palestinian organization.

Palestinians and members of the Waqf reported that at least eight worshippers were injured, but the police said they were unaware of any injuries.

Abdel Kader was arrested at the Temple Mount plaza after allegedly rioting, assaulting policemen and calling on worshippers to launch a parade. He was taken in for questioning by the Jerusalem Police’s minority unit.

Three masked Arab men were arrested in the afternoon hours after hurling stones at the security forces in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Ras al-Amud. Police also detained Ali Abu Sheikha, No. 3 in the Islamic Movement’s northern branch.

Abu Sheikha was arrested on suspicion of rioting and calling on residents to go out and demonstrate. In mid October he was detained on suspicion of inciting Arabs near the Temple Mount during the riots which began on Yom Kippur Eve.

Another incident was recorded when Knesset Member Ahmad Tibi (United Arab List-Ta’al) tried to enter the Temple Mount but was stopped by the police. “This is extremely severe,” Tibi said in response. “The police are violating the law. It’s not in their authority. The al-Aqsa Mosque is not a closed military zone.”

Police Commissioner Dudi Cohen told reporters while visiting the Mount, “I identify many large groups of east Jerusalem Arabs and Israeli Arabs who have arrived here following calls made by the Islamic Movement, whose leaders are here. I call on them to practice restraint and calm and not to incite.

“The Jerusalem Police will act firmly against any rioters on the Temple Mount. The inciters are the same people you know. It’s impossible that the Israel Police will have to deal with the Islamic Movement every Sunday, and so we will handle this on the investigative level.”

He clarified that the police did not enter the al-Aqsa Mosque and had no plans to do so.

The Jerusalem Police accused elements in the Islamic Movement and Hamas of inflaming the situation after calling on youngsters to riot on the Temple Mount on Saturday.

Police officials clarified that the forces were prepared for the disturbances and exerted efforts to maintain the status quo on the Temple Mount, allowing worshippers and tourists to enter the site. Several minutes after the Mount opened for prayers, however, rioters began hurling stones, objects, Molotov cocktails, acid and oil at police officers patrolling the area, forcing the police to enter the site.

Mount closed to visitors

Following the violent incidents, the police closed the mount to Muslim worshippers and visitors. The Jewish worshippers’ prayers in the Western Wall are continuing as planned, while the reinforced police forces remain in the area to prevent another outbreak of riots.

The area was cleared of worshippers, apart from several dozen young men who remained inside the mosque. The police are trying to hold a dialogue with different representatives, including the Waqf, in order to calm things down.

Tensions high on Temple Mount

The violence spread to other places in the Old City, and in one alley Arabs hurled stones at passersby and policemen. There were no reports of injuries or damage, and the police began searching for the stone throwers.

The police fear the recurrence of violent incidents on the Mount after Arabs in east Jerusalem and northern Israel were urged Saturday to come protect the al-Aqsa Mosque, while right-wing activists called on Jews to come visit the Temple Mount in masses.

The police decided Saturday evening not to close the Mount to visitors and not to limit the age of Muslim worshippers, but vowed to act firmly against any attempt to cause disturbances or change the status quo on the Mount and in its surroundings.

The Islamic Movement announced that it would make buses available for worshipers who wish to arrive at the mosque Sunday. The movement’s spokesman Zahy Nujeidat said the flyer calling Arabs to protect the area was issued “in response to those who try and desecrate al-Aqsa.”

According to police, there was a call for the capital’s Arab residents to “protect Temple Mount from Jewish conquest,” as well as a call on Jews by extreme-right elements to arrive at the compound.

Choices Of The Heart

In Violence in Israeli Society on October 18, 2009 at 01:47

All too familiar a scene

All too familiar a scene

This past Wednesday night, I went to Beit Shemesh to talk to a group of residents, to hear their concerns about rising crime in their neighborhoods and to talk with them about the possibility of  creating a Beit Shemesh Safety Patrol for Israel’s Guardian Angels.

My hosts were originally expecting it to be a parlor meeting about 10-12 people. Then, last Friday night a neighborhood 14 year-old was attacked by four local 11-12 year-olds. He eventually managed to get away from them, but not before sustaining a cut under his eye that looks like it may have been made by a “sharp instrument”. Suddenly, requests to join the meeting started pouring in. My hostess had to turn people away.

Apparently, that young man from BeitShemesh has the entire community behind him now! If the young thugs who attacked him plan on continuing their violent ways, they sure picked the wrong victim and the wrong time.

Timing: Is It Everything?

Nothing like an attack close to home to bring out the neighbors. But what about all these recent crime stories, this summer’s spate of killings or yesterday’s shocking family murder (see below)? Is this the direction all our neighborhoods are headed or it is just media spin?

Well, according to a recent study that analyzed violent crime in Israel on the basis of Israel Police data for every violent offense between 1980-2007,  there has been an average increase of 37 percent in the number of cases opened for crimes of violence per 100,000 inhabitants.

However,  despite today’s shocking headlines, most of this increase occurred during the 1990s; since 2000, the level has been roughly stable or slightly declined.

Murders Down, Assaults Up

The number of murder cases per 100,000 inhabitants fell from 2.29 in 1980 to 1.82 in 1990 and then to 1.75 in 2007. According to researchers Prof. Aryeh Rattner, head of the Haifa University Center for the Study of Crime, Law and Society, and Prof. Gideon Fishman, an expert on criminology and president of Western Galilee College, the incidence of murder and attempted murder in Israel remains relatively low. By comparison, the incidence of murder in the United States in recent years has been about 7 to 8 per 100,000. In England, it is 1.62, and in Canada, 1.74. In Russia, the rate has been 18 murders per 100,000.

At the same time,  incidents of assault jumped. In 1980, there were 281 cases of assault per 100,000 inhabitants; by 2007, this number rose to 444.

About one-third of all 1990s assault cases were domestic violence cases. Cases of assault and grievous bodily harm in the context of domestic violence between 1990 and 2007 increased  157 percent. Ladies, maybe it’s not such a good idea to stay home after all…

Choices of The Heart

I don’t know about you, but, in my experience, very few people are moved to action by statistics.  They may use statistics to justify themselves, but real decisions of this nature are usually made in the heart, not the head. In the end, whether its Guardian Angels Safety Patrols or El HaLev Self-Defense Classes, it boils down to how close to your heart the threat of violence has come and what you choose to do with the fear that that threat engenders. Some people go into denial. Others lock their doors and bar their windows. And some  stand up, by themselves or with their neighbors, and take their safety into their own hands.

Family of 6 Slain in Central Israel

Emergency services called to scene of fire in Rishon Lezion shocked to find four adults, toddler, three-month old baby stabbed to death. Firefighter: It was a gruesome scene;  incident believed homicide

Eli Senyor- Ynet

The bodies of six people, including two children, were found in a torched apartment in central Israel’s Rishon Lezion’s Nordau Street Saturday.

Mass emergency, Fire and Rescue and police forces were called to the scene of the fire in the early hours of the morning. The flames were soon extinguished, but paramedics had no choice but to pronounce six individuals found at the apartment dead at the scene.

The victims were identified as Eduard Ushrenko and his wife Ludmila (56), their son Demetri (32), his wife Tatiana (28) and their two children, Revital (3) and Netanel (four months).

Initial investigation revealed multiple points of origin for the fire, as well as evidence of blood and stab wounds on the bodies. The Police believe the deaths were not related to the fire and are treating the case as a homicide…

Firefighter Moshe Cohen told Ynet …

“It was a gruesome scene. We quickly realized their deaths were not related to the fire, but that it was in all probability a criminal act…

Police Commissioner Dudi Cohen, Central Police District Commander Nisim Mor and HaShephelah Subdistrict Commander Shimon Ben Harush arrived at the scene to personally supervise the investigation.

Mor: “This is a very difficult scene. Five members of the family were found stabbed and one body was found charred. We are currently exploring all leads, but we believed the murders were committed from within the apartment, since it was found with the door locked.”…

A background check on the family involved revealed the police had no record of them…