Less than a day after the double murder of two young children by their father left Israel reeling, the kids’ mother, Ronit Gur, returned to her home in Bat Hefer Thursday, where she was comforted by friends and family.
Gur’s friends and acquaintances told Ynet News that she was struggling to cope with the horrific deaths of her two children, 4-year-old Eden and 5-year-old Yahav, at the hands of their father Eli, whom she had been trying to divorce.
On Wednesday, 52-year-old Eli Gur killed his two children after taking them from their mother’s house, then committed suicide.
Gur apparently hurled his children off the roof of an 11-floor building on Eliyahu Berlin street in north Tel Aviv, according to eyewitnesses, then jumped off himself. The three were pronounced dead on the scene by Magen David Adom paramedics.
They did not live in the building and their personal belongings were found on the roof, police said.
“We don’t know if it could have been prevented,” Bat Hefer municipality manager Yoni Ari told Ynet News on Thursday. “I wish there had been some red flag or warning sign, but there was none. They were a normal family,” he said.
Eli Gur’s neighbors from Or Yehuda, where his parents resided until his mother died two months ago, were equally surprised to hear what had occurred.
“He was a quiet man who never caused any trouble. His family has lived here for many years. I’m shocked,” one neighbor told Ynet News. Another said Gur had been very badly shaken by his mother’s death.
“I know he took it very hard,” said the neighbor.
An initial police investigation revealed that Gur kidnapped the children from their mother earlier in the day. The parents have been undergoing divorce proceedings, and a restraining order was filed against Eli after Ronit alerted the authorities that he had threatened to “break her bones” and kill her. Prior to that, they had lived together for a year while receiving therapy separately in a futile attempt to reconcile their differences.
A charge sheet filed against Eli Gur in June accused him of threatening Ronit, puncturing her car tires, cutting up her credit card and shredding her checkbook.
He allegedly arrived at Ronit’s house in Bat Shefer Wednesday and took the kids by force. Ronit called the police, who began searching for the children.
She was taken in for questioning Wednesday, but returned Thursday to the now-empty home she had once shared with her two children.
This was the second incident involving the murder of children by a parent in less than a week.
Earlier Wednesday, the funerals of the two children, who were found stabbed to death on Monday in Jerusalem, were held in the city.
The mother is suspected of stabbing them to death and attempting suicide.
Emergency services found the children, a boy, 7, and a girl, 5, with multiple stab wounds in an apartment on Ein Gedi Street, in the Talpiot neighborhood of the capital.
The mother was said to be in stable condition after undergoing surgery at Jerusalem’s Hadassah Medical Center.
Earlier this month, a 48-year-old man killed his three daughters, his wife and his wife’s employer before killing himself in the Galilee village of Daburriyya.