A former police officer on trial for shooting his wife dead in the West Bank settlement of Na’ale in 2021 while his tied-up children watched on in horror pleaded guilty to all charges on Wednesday.
According to a 2021 indictment, after an argument erupted between the couple, Amir Raz tied up his three older children with a rope.
After his wife Diana challenged him about his actions, he began to strangle her, then stabbed her and shot her in the leg and head.
Appearing at the Lod District Court on Wednesday, Raz admitted to all charges in the indictment, despite having previously claimed that he tied his children up as part of a game rather than to prevent them from intervening in the murder of their mother.
“The accused fully admits to the charges,” a lawyer for the Police Internal Investigations Department told the court, according to the Walla news outlet. “These are crimes involving murder under aggravated circumstances that have been attributed to him from day one, and they carry a life sentence.”
“We hope that the legal process will end soon and that the family will be able to begin their journey of rehabilitation,” the lawyer added.
Outside the courtroom, the victim’s sister, Marianna, told the Kan public broadcaster that “hearing him admit to it, and not deny his actions — it was the most valuable achievement that I could have hoped for over the past two years.”
“We are here to cry out for Diana,” said Marianna.
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 at the time of her death she said she was “married to an amazing man.”
According to prosecutors, Amir Raz demonstrated “clear and predetermined intent” to carry out the murder, detailing how, following an argument during which his wife had poured coffee on him, he went to a safe to retrieve his service weapon and prepared to kill her.
“He took out an 8.2-meter-long rope, called the children, sat the three older children on small chairs in the living room and tied them up, while the baby sat in a dining chair next to them. Next, he picked up a kitchen knife with a 20-inch-pointed blade and placed it on the dining room table,” the indictment reads.
According to the order of events described in the indictment, Diana Raz then entered the living room and began a physical altercation with Amir Raz, who beat her and tried to strangle her in front of the kids as she screamed at them to try and get help. When the eldest child, 7, broke free and made a run for the front door, Amir Raz grabbed her and threw her down the stairs.
As Diana Raz tried to flee, Amir Raz chased after her with the knife, stabbing her twice in the thigh. After she continued to struggle, attempting to take the knife away from him, he took out his gun and shot her, first in the leg and then in the head, according to the charge sheet.
He then immediately called his mother to pick up the kids, followed by his commander.
“Yes! There is no more mommy,” he then called out to his crying children, the charge sheet alleged.
“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 at the time.
Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.