A man arrested Tuesday night on suspicion of having murdered his wife confessed Wednesday to police that he carried out the fatal stabbing, officers said.
The alleged murder came just weeks after Alaza Mandparo, 37, was released from prison, where he served time for previously assaulting his wife.
Police were probing whether Mandparo thought his wife, Mastwell Mandparo, 31, was having an affair while he was in prison, after he indicated to them during his interrogation that that may have been his motive.
He was to be brought for a remand hearing at Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court later in the day.
A member of the suspect’s family told media Wednesday that “no one thought there would be more violence. They made up, they talked.”
Mastwell Mandparo was found unconscious in the couple’s Holon apartment with multiple stab wounds. She was pronounced dead at the scene by Magen David Adom paramedics. The couple’s two children, aged 6 and 14, were in the home at the time of the stabbing. An initial investigation revealed that the couple had argued in their apartment. As the husband grew violent, the woman fled to the apartment building’s stairwell, where he allegedly followed her and stabbed her to death.
The 14-year-old son, who witnessed the stabbing, called police.
Mandparo left the scene of the crime and was arrested hours later, after members of the public alerted police that they had seen him wandering the streets of the central Israeli city.
Last August, Mandparo was arrested for assaulting his wife and in February was sentenced to 10 months in prison, including time served while under arrest. Prior to the sentencing, welfare services had warned the court that he posed a danger to his wife and therefore recommended he be sent to prison.
He was released on March 11 after serving two-thirds of his sentence, as is common in Israel.
Mandparo initially went to live with his sister, also in Holon, but later moved back in with his wife after the couple apparently reconciled.
The couple immigrated from Ethiopia in 2005. After Mandparo’s arrest last year his wife and children moved to a shelter for battered women but she left within days, of her own accord, telling authorities she felt unable to earn a living and support the children. At the time of his release, his wife had told welfare services in Holon that she did not feel in danger from Mandparo, Hebrew media reports said.
The stabbing was the second reported act of serious violence against a woman by her partner in under a week. A man stabbed his girlfriend at an Afula supermarket on Wednesday. He was arrested and confessed to the attack, which left his girlfriend hospitalized with moderate wounds. He explained to police that she had planned to leave him.
Earlier this month, a 45-year-old woman was shot dead by an intruder in front of her husband in their Lod home. A police investigation led to the arrest of a family member.
Thirteen Israeli women were murdered in 2019 by someone known to them.
In 2018, 25 women were murdered in such incidents, the highest number in years, prompting a string of protests and urgent calls for authorities to take action against the increasing incidence of violence against women in Israel. Many of those women filed police complaints prior to their deaths out of concern for their safety.
Last October, the Welfare Ministry issued a report on intimate partner violence in 2018 that found a surge in the number of reported cases of domestic abuse.
According to the ministry, the number of women calling its abuse hotline rose 160 percent between 2014 and 2018, and more than 6,000 victims of domestic violence received treatment last year. In 2018, 1,219 women called the hotline to report spousal abuse.