Man charged with murder of wife in Jerusalem suburb

Man charged with murder of wife in Jerusalem suburb

Prosecutors say Eliran Malul acted with ‘particular cruelty’ in stabbing Michal Sela multiple times as she tried to resist ‘with the last of her strength’

A WhatsApp photo of Michal Sela, who was found stabbed to death at her home outside Jerusalem on October 3, 2019
A WhatsApp photo of Michal Sela, who was found stabbed to death at her home outside Jerusalem on October 3, 2019

Jerusalem prosecutors on Tuesday charged 34-year-old Eliran Malul with murder under aggravated circumstances in the death of his wife, 32-year-old Michal Sela last month.

The charge sheet accused Malul of stabbing his wife 11 times in her upper body in their home in Motza. It said Malul acted “with particular cruelty in assaulting [Sela] in the presence of their baby daughter, injuring her in the head, dragging her and stabbing her in many areas of her upper body, as she attempted to defend herself with the last of her strength.”

Officials said the couple had experienced tension in their relationship, with Malul exhibiting jealousy and demanding that his wife cut ties with partners and friends from her past. She had on several occasions discussed the possibility of leaving him with family and friends.

On the night of the murder, October 3, at around 1 a.m., Malul was accused of striking his wife on the head while she was in their daughter’s bedroom. He then allegedly took a knife from the kitchen, dragged her out of the room and stabbed her repeatedly. She died shortly afterwards due to loss of blood.

Prosecutors said Malul “cut short the life of a young, promising woman in her home, the place where she should have been protected and safe… In his actions he left behind a bruised and wounded family that must deal daily with the repercussions of his terrible deed.”

After killing his wife, Malul apparently attempted to kill himself, seriously injuring himself before heading over to the neighbors with the couple’s eight-month-old daughter to ask them to take care of her. The neighbors then called emergency services.

He was taken to a hospital and was questioned by investigators while recovering from his injuries, though he was reported to have refused to cooperate.

Sela had worked as a social worker with at-risk youth in Jerusalem and it is thought she met her husband through that work.

Michal Sela, husband Eliran Malul and their baby, in a photo uploaded September 30, 2019 (Facebook)

Sela was the twelfth woman killed in Israel in 2019 in a domestic violence-related incident. Two more women have been murdered since her death.

Last year, 25 women in Israel were murdered in such incidents, the highest number in years, prompting a string of protests and urgent calls for authorities to take action against the increasing incidence of violence against women in Israel. Many of those women filed police complaints prior to their deaths out of concern for their safety.

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