Body of missing woman found in central Israel; 5 of her relatives arrested

Najla al-Amuri, 19, reportedly suffered abuse in past and her family had not reported her missing; gag order imposed on details of investigation

Najla al-Amuri, 19, whose body was found in central Israel, April 28, 2019 (Courtesy)
Najla al-Amuri, 19, whose body was found in central Israel, April 28, 2019 (Courtesy)

Police on Sunday found the body of a woman who went missing over two weeks ago, and arrested five members of her family as part of the investigation.

The body of Najla al-Amuri, 19, was discovered in an open area near the town of Tel Hadid in central Israel.

Police arrested two men aged 15 and 23, and three women aged 28, 29 and 49, all residents of the central city of Lod. A gag order was imposed on details of the investigation and the identity of the suspects.

The family of al-Amuri, from Lod, had not reported her missing.

When police, acting on a tip, began to investigate the whereabouts of the young woman, her family said she had disappeared for long periods of time in the past.

According to the Haaretz daily, al-Amuri suffered violence and threats from family members in the past, and had spent time in a shelter for victims of domestic violence. She was recently offered the opportunity to return to the shelter by welfare authorities, but refused.

A few months ago, the young woman was summoned to the police station in Lod and was offered protection. Upon leaving the police station, two members of her family attempted to force her into a vehicle. They were arrested and convicted but were only jailed for a few months for the attack.

Twenty-five women were killed in Israel in 2018 in suspected cases of domestic abuse or violence directed at females. Many of those women had told the police prior to their deaths that they were concerned for their safety.

In December 2018 thousands of women went on strike and tens of thousands rallied across the country to protest women killed by a partner, family member, or someone known to them, and what they say is the authorities’ failure to stem a sharp increase in violence against women.

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