The sister of a woman suspected of stabbing her two children to death on Monday morning before attempting to take her own life spent Sunday night with her sister and children because she saw that the woman “was in bad shape.”
The sister, whose name as well as that of the suspect have not been released, visited the family on Sunday, and decided at the time to spend the night when she saw how poorly her sister was faring.
Emergency services found the children — a boy, 7, and a girl, 5 — dead with multiple stab wounds in an apartment on Ein Gedi Street in the Talpiot neighborhood of the capital, according to police.
Despite seeing the woman’s condition on Sunday, the sister said that she “never thought that something like this could happen.”
The mother, 36, was rushed to the hospital in critical condition after the shooting. She came out of surgery early in the afternoon and her condition was reported as stable. She had multiple stab wounds on the upper part of her body, which police said were self-inflicted.
The divorced mother and her children immigrated to Israel from Ukraine in March of this year, but the father of the children remained in Ukraine. Welfare services said they received a report last month concerning difficulties the woman was having with one of the children.
Meetings and treatment began immediately and the mother was completely cooperative, according to welfare services sources.The psychologist who had been seeing her did not detect any signs of abnormal behavior or an imminent threat to the children.
The sister called police after she awoke to the sound of screams as her sister attacked the children sometime before 7 a.m. A police official said the sister was an eyewitness to the attack and unsuccessfully tried to stop the mother.
Upon arriving at the scene, police found the mother had barricaded herself in the home. They broke in, finding the two children already dead and the mother severely injured.
Ilana Ifergen, the assistant principal of the school where the woman’s son was in the first grade and her daughter was in kindergarten, was quoted by the Maariv daily as saying that the mother was a “brave woman who nurtured her children and took care of them.”
The Education Ministry’s psychological and counseling services sent therapists to the children’s school on Monday morning to meet with students and teachers.