A man was charged with murder on Monday for allegedly stabbing his wife at least 10 times, slitting her throat and setting her body on fire after she told him that she planned to leave him.
Yafit Furian, 30, a mother of four, was killed September 27 during the Rosh Hashanah holiday, in the family home in the central city of Rehovot.
Her husband, Shay Selami, 36, was charged with murder, arson and aggravated assault.
He was found unconscious alongside his wife in their burning apartment bedroom. He remains hospitalized under guard and was charged in absentia.
Three of the couple’s children were lightly injured in the blaze.
According to the indictment, Furian told her husband on September 15 that she wanted a separation and that she would leave the family home along with the children.
Selami convinced her to stay and they decided to continue living together for the sake of the children, but not as a married couple, the Ynet news site reported.
As a result, they lived with their four children on the upper floors of a house belonging to Selami’s parents, who lived on the first floor.
According to the indictment, a few days after the couple made the decision, Selami checked Furian’s cellphone and found she was corresponding with a male work colleague. Shortly after this discovery, Selami decided to murder her, the indictment read.
In the early hours of September 27, Selami wrote a suicide note and, taking a knife and lighter, went up to the room where Furian lay in her bed, their baby in a crib next to her.
Selami took the crib and the baby out of the room.
He is then alleged to have stabbed Furian at least 10 times and slit her throat.
Prosecutors said that Selami’s hands were covered in blood as he took the baby to his parents’ area of the house, placed the child on the floor, and then returned to his wife’s bedroom.
Selami locked himself in the room with his wife’s body, and set fire to her and the mattress she was lying on, prosecutors said.
Selami’s father heard the baby crying and went to the child, at which point he saw the blood and smelled the smoke.
He went upstairs and banged on the door but his son refused to open it. Eventually the father broke down the door and rescued his son, who was badly burnt. He was unable to save his daughter-in -law.
Selami initially claimed he had not murdered his wife, but had acted in self-defense. According to Ynet, the suspect frequently changed his version of events when questioned.
The couple had been married for nine years and was not known to social services. Police told the Walla news site that they had not been alerted to any previous instances of domestic violence involving the family.
According to Channel 12 news, the children — aged seven, six, four and one — are now living with their mother’s family.
“We told them there was a fire in their home and that their father was injured and he is in the hospital because he doesn’t feel well,” said the late woman’s brother. “We decided to raise [the children]. We’ll take care of them.”
Activists have long complained about violence against women in Israel, saying not enough is done to prevent domestic abuse.
In July, Prime Minister Yair Lapid addressed the scourge of violence against women, saying it was “a stain on the country and it cannot continue.”