A police officer was arrested Friday on suspicion of shooting his wife dead in the West Bank settlement of Na’ale, and later confessed to the murder and recreated it at the scene of the crime.
The woman, 35-year-old Diana Raz, was a relationship mentor who had counseled thousands of women over the past 14 years on abusive relationships, after escaping one herself. On her website she said she was now “married to an amazing man.”
The officer told interrogators that he shot his wife while their small children were home and “saw everything,” according to Hebrew media reports.
He said he was arguing with his wife when he pulled out a gun and fired two bullets at her, one to her head.
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“I do not know what went through my mind, it was not planned. I never treated her violently. The children were at home and saw everything,” he reportedly told investigators.
The cop was named as Amir Raz.
The suspected murderer called his mother first to pick up the kids, then his commander, Channel 12 news reported.
It was unclear if he used a service weapon in the attack.
The couple had four young children.
The chairwoman of the Na’amat women’s rights group, Hagit Pe’er, said that all domestic violence murders should be thoroughly investigated but that Israel Police had an additional responsibility when one of its officers used a weapon.
“Every murder requires an in-depth investigation, but in the case of a police officer carrying a weapon, it must be examined whether there was a systemic failure and if there were preliminary signals that should have been warning signs,” Pe’er said.
The family was not known to welfare services, though some neighbors say they heard audible arguments between the couple recently, Channel 13 reported.
The alleged murder was not the first case in recent years in which a woman was killed by her police officer partner.
Last month the Lod District Court handed down a 29-year jail sentence to police officer Masresha Wasa who shot and killed his wife Angoach Malkmu Wasa in 2018 using his service pistol. The couple’s three young children were in their Netanya apartment at the time. Two older children were not at home.
A national plan to fight domestic violence was approved in 2017 by the Knesset but has since been abandoned, due to lack of funding. Activists say most of the approved NIS 250 million ($71 million) has not yet been transferred to relevant authorities.
Police and social services organizations have also reported a major rise in domestic violence complaints since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.