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Ex-husband of mother of 3 released to house arrest

Custody extended for brother suspected in shooting of woman left badly hurt in Lod

Victim’s parents say they heard the shots fired at Lamis Abu Laban, 26, as she came to visit them; father: She said ‘forgive me’ as we waited 40 minutes for ambulance

Lamis Abu Laban. (Courtesy)
Lamis Abu Laban. (Courtesy)

A court on Sunday extended the detention of a man suspected of involvement in the shooting of his sister, Lamis Abu Laban, as she sat in her car outside her parents’ home in the city of Lod, which left her fighting for her life.

Rishon Lezion Magistrate’s Court ordered Ibrahim Abu Laban held in custody for a further eight days in connection with the Friday shooting, according to Hebrew media reports.

Presiding Judge Itai Regev ruled that there was “reasonable suspicion” of his involvement, Channel 12 news reported.

Abu Laban’s former husband, who was also arrested Saturday, has already been released to house arrest.

Abu Laban is a mother of three young children. There were conflicting reports as to whether Laban was already divorced or still in the process of separating from her husband.

Relatives told the Haaretz daily that she “feared for her life” due to violence from her former partner, and had spent time living in a women’s shelter. The report said she had previously filed a complaint with police on the matter.

Illustrative: a protest against violence against women in Tel Aviv, December 4, 2018. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

The gunman reportedly waited in ambush for Abu Laban and opened fire as she arrived at her parent’s home on Friday evening.

Her parents said Sunday that they heard the shots and it was her father, Sayeed Abu Laban, who discovered his wounded daughter in her car outside.

“I heard shooting at the window,” Abu Laban’s mother, Nadin, told Channel 12. “I opened the window and we saw her car outside.”

Nadin said she noticed her daughter was not getting out of the vehicle, at which point her husband said he thought she had been shot at.

Sayeed ran outside and as soon as he got to the car he told Nadin “call an ambulance, they have killed Lamis. It was shooting at Lamis,” she recalled.

Sayeed told the Walla website that when he reached the vehicle he could see the windshield was full of bullet holes.

“I went straight to my girl. I asked her how she is and she answered me in Arabic ‘Dad, forgive me,'” he said.

Sayeed said that it took some 40 minutes until an ambulance arrived.

“It wasn’t immediate. And in the meantime, she was inside the car. They fired at her from close range,” he said.

Sayeed said police had taken security camera footage from a garage across the street from his home. The getaway vehicle was found not far from their home, he said.

Abu Laban was treated at the scene by paramedics from the Magen David Adom ambulance service before she was taken to Assaf Harofeh Medical Center.

She underwent multiple surgeries overnight and was said on Saturday morning to be in serious but stable condition.

Citing police sources, reports said the initial suspicion is that the shooting was linked to the woman’s divorce.

The Ynet news site said Abu Laban had originally lived in Lod but recently spent time in Haifa with her children, where she was receiving help from the city’s welfare authorities.

Channel 12 news said she had decided to move permanently to the northern city with her children, a decision that reportedly angered some people.

Arab communities have seen a surge in violence in recent years, driven mainly by organized crime. Arab Israelis blame the police, who they say have failed to crack down on powerful criminal organizations and largely ignore the violence, which includes family feuds, mafia turf wars, and violence against women. The community has also suffered from decades of neglect.

Activists have long complained that not enough is done to prevent violence against women in Israel, particularly in cases known to the authorities.

In January, researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem reported that the number of women in Israel murdered by a relative or partner dipped by 25% from 2020 to 2021.

Last year, 16 women were murdered in Israel by someone they know, down from 21 in 2020, the Israel Observatory on Femicide said. Women or girls who are intentionally killed because they are female is known as femicide, and considered a hate crime.

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