Activists in Jerusalem on Friday blocked the entrance to the Public Security Ministry and lay on the ground in puddles of red paint to symbolize bloodshed, as they demanded action from the authorities and an end to violence against women.
Protesters carried signs with slogans directly addressing the public security minister. “Gilad Erdan, how do you intend to prevent the next murder?” they read, as well as “Her blood is on your hands,” the mako news site reported.
In reference to so-called honor killings, one sign read: “There is no honor in murder.” Some of the protesters were detained by police.
On Thursday, protest rallies were held in 25 locations across Israel in reaction to the recent uptick in number of women killed by their partners or family members.
— Kulan-כולן (@TogetherKulan) October 19, 2018
At the main protest in Tel Aviv’s central Dizengoff Square, some 200 activists gathered to honor the memory of women killed by members of their families, as well as demanding change.
The Na’amat women’s organization distributed 500 clear balloons emblazoned with the slogan, “the cry of the transparent women.” The word “transparent” is often used to describe those members of society who are unseen and unprotected.
“Men are afraid women will laugh at them, women fear that men will kill them,” and “What will happen to the children who discover their mother was murdered?” read the signs in Tel Aviv.
When the city’s mayor Ron Huldai arrived at the protest, demonstrators demanded he allocate further money for shelters for the victims of domestic violence as well as lambasting him for not closing the city’s strip clubs.
The demonstration was attended by multiple lawmakers from opposition parties, including Tzipi Livni, Yael Cohen Paran and Merav Michaeli of the Zionist Union, Tamar Zandberg and Mossi Raz from Meretz, and Aida Touma-Sliman and Dov Khenin of the Joint List, Haaretz reported.
“At an event like this we should see men, as well as ministers and government officials. Twenty women have been killed this year. Men must understand that women aren’t their possession,” Livni told the newspaper. “The government hands out weapons instead of dealing with the problem. This is intolerable.”
More than half a million Israelis have recently become eligible to receive gun permits under a major reform of the country’s firearms rules, with the stated goal of improving the immediate response to terror attacks.
“Arab women have protested many times over the years against the murder of women [in the Arab sector of society] and have felt alone in their struggle, which the authorities treat as part of the ‘Arab society’s culture,'” Touma-Sliman told Haaretz.
“Today’s demonstrations are extremely important. It’s time to point the finger at the government, which bears responsibility, and at its roaring silence and incompetence in the face of this widespread affliction” she said.
The only government coalition member to attend was MK Merav Ben-Ari of the centrist Kulanu party.
“What has this to do with opposition-coalition? Women are being murdered, we must all fight this terrible situation together,” Ben-Ari told Haaretz. “The woman who was murdered last week — did anyone ask her who she was voting for? The organizations must be strengthened and laws must be passed.”
Last week a police officer shot and killed his wife in their home in the coastal town of Netanya with three children were in the apartment with them. Masresha Wasa, 24, shot and killed his wife Angoach Malkmu Wasa, 36, before calling the police to turn himself in. He has been remanded in custody.
A few days earlier Aliza Shafak, was killed in her Netanya home, with her ex-husband suspected of murdering her.
Twenty women have been murdered by their relatives so far in 2018.