The Jerusalem District Court on Wednesday found an Israeli man guilty of murdering his wife in October 2019.
The court convicted Eliran Malul of aggravated murder for stabbing his wife Michal Sela, 32, to death in front of their young daughter.
“Nothing can bring back those no longer with us,” the judge said. “Our hope is that this ruling will contribute to the fight to end violence against women.”
Malul’s sentence will be handed down at a later date.
Sela’s parents and siblings attended the hearing. They burst into tears after the conviction was read and cried out “wretched murderer” as Malul was escorted out of the courtroom, according to the Ynet news site.
Malul was accused of stabbing his wife 11 times in her upper body in their home in Motza, a Jerusalem suburb. The charge sheet against him 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 with family and friends the possibility of leaving him.
According to investigators, on the night of the murder, October 3, 2019, at around 1 a.m., Malul struck 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 afterward 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 take his own life, 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.