Man indicted for murdering wife, 2 young children by stabbing them to death

Prosecutors tell court it is still not known why Mohammad Masarwa got up in the middle of the night and fatally attacked spouse Bara’ah, 2-year-old Amir and 6-month-old Adam

Bara'ah Jaber Masarwa (right) and her sons Amir and Adam, murdered overnight in Taibe on May 1, 2023. (Courtesy)
Bara'ah Jaber Masarwa (right) and her sons Amir and Adam, murdered overnight in Taibe on May 1, 2023. (Courtesy)

A man was charged with murder on Wednesday for allegedly stabbing his wife and two young children to death earlier this month.

The lifeless bodies of of Bara’ah Jaber Masarwa, 26, and her two sons, 2-year-old Amir and 6-month-old Adam, were found in their home.

According to the indictment, filed at the Central District Court, Muhammad Masarwa, 32, woke up in the middle of the night on May 1 and for “reasons that are still not known” decided to kill his family members who were all sleeping in a room together.

He went to the kitchen, got a knife, returned to the bedroom and began stabbing Bara’ah in the neck, according to prosecutors.

She woke up and fled toward the door to the apartment. Her husband chased her, knocked her to the floor, and stabbed her multiple times.

He then returned to the bedroom, put both the children on the bed and stabbed them to death, one after the other, prosecutors said.

Prosecutor Liat Gilboa requested that Masarwa be held in custody until the end of proceedings.

“The violent, aggressive and cruel actions of Muhammad, who did not hesitate to attack his wife and sons while they were sleeping, and stab their necks until they died, show that he is a blatant danger to public safety,” she said.

Taibe Mayor Shuaa Masarwa Mansour told the Ynet news site after the killings that the family was not known to the city’s welfare authorities, and that there had been “no red lights raised” before the slaying.

While domestic violence has long plagued the country, and the Arab community is grappling with a years-long uptick in deadly crime, familicides are fairly rare, though not unheard of.

In March, lawmakers in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition voted down a bill that would impose electronic monitoring on domestic violence suspects with a restraining order, saying they sought language that was fairer toward predominantly male abusers.

National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir, a far-right lawmaker who campaigned on promises to beef up public safety, has largely stayed quiet on the soaring crimewave, which is mainly impacting members of the Arab community and women.

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