Prosecutors on Thursday filed murder charges against Moshe Peri, 52, accused of stabbing his ex-wife Reli to death with a screwdriver.
According to the charge sheet filed in the Lod District Court, the Rishon Lezion resident obtained a key to Reli’s apartment and entered it on the morning of May 12, her 55th birthday, “with the intent of killing her.”
Inside, he stabbed her sixteen times with a screwdriver and then tried to strangle her, the indictment said.
Her cries woke up their son who was asleep in the apartment, who then tried to stop his father. Reli tried to flee but collapsed.
Peri then stood there and watched their son try and resuscitate her, allegedly shouting: “This is what happens when you try and stop me seeing the grandchildren.”
He then wiped the screwdriver clean and threw it under a couch, the indictment said.
The indictment said that the couple had divorced in 2018, but he only moved out in 2021 and was apparently angry as he suspected her of seeing other men.
A family member told the Walla news site that he was obsessive.
“She was a refined woman, highly intelligent with a great heart and did everything for her children. Troubles began in her marriage to him. He was insanely jealous, he would check her phone, her Facebook and then they got divorced,” the relative said. “The difference between love and obsession is a fine line.”
At the time of the killing witnesses told media outlets they heard the man arrive at the apartment and begin to argue with the woman. They reported hearing her scream, “he’s attacking me, he’s murdering me.”
One of the neighbors told Channel 12 that the suspect was constantly threatening her and blaming her for not being able to see his grandchildren.
“He also had a restraining order against him, more than once. He did not have an electronic tracking bracelet,” she said.
Recent months have seen a dramatic spike in killings throughout the country, many of them tied to underworld gang wars or domestic violence.
Verdit Danziger, CEO of the No To Violence Against Woman organization, said she was “running out of words” amid the skyrocketing violence.
She slammed politicians who “probably do not understand the magnitude of the national tragedy that is unfolding before our eyes,” and said that with proper funding of anti-domestic violence programs the tragedy may have been avoided.
Campaigners have sought to pressure the government to devote more resources to protecting women and make good on promised earmarks meant to help stem domestic violence.
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.