Tel Aviv prosecutors on Friday filed an indictment at the city’s District Court against Alaza Mandparo, 37, for aggravated murder in the brutal killing of his wife Mastwell, 31, in late April.
The alleged murder came just weeks after Mandparo was released from prison, where he served time for previously assaulting his wife.
Mastwell Mandparo was found unconscious in the couple’s Holon apartment with multiple stab wounds on April 28. She was pronounced dead at the scene by Magen David Adom paramedics. The couple’s two children, aged 6 and 14, were in the home at the time of the stabbing.
The indictment said Mandparo had in recent years attacked his wife and threatened to kill her on numerous occasions.
According to the charges, on the evening of April 28 an argument erupted between the accused and Mastwell after she refused to help him make a cup of coffee.
It said Alaza “took a glass bottle that was in the living room and beat [her] over the head with it.”
Afterwards he went to the kitchen and retrieved a knife with a 20-cm-long blade (eight inches). Mastwell escaped out of the apartment to the stairwell, at which point “the accused chased her and stabbed her in the back and neck in front of their children.”
The 14-year-old son unsuccessfully attempted to help his mother while crying out, “Dad, stop,” and was injured during the struggle with his father.
Alaza fled the scene and was arrested by police some hours later, after members of the public alerted police that they had seen him wandering the streets of the central Israeli city.
Last August, Mandparo was arrested for assaulting his wife and was sentenced to 10 months in prison, including time served while under arrest. Prior to the sentencing, welfare services had warned the court that he posed a danger to his wife and therefore recommended he be sent to prison.
He was released on March 11 after serving two-thirds of his sentence, as is common in Israel.
Mandparo initially went to live with his sister, also in Holon, but later moved back in with his wife after the couple apparently reconciled.
The couple emigrated from Ethiopia in 2005. After Mandparo’s arrest last year, his wife and children moved to a shelter for battered women but she left within days, of her own accord, telling authorities she felt unable to earn a living and support the children. At the time of his release, his wife had told welfare services in Holon that she did not feel in danger from Mandparo, Hebrew media reports said.
The stabbing was one of several acts of serious violence against women by their partners in late April and early May.
On May 3, a man was arrested after calling police to tell them he had murdered his wife in their Bat Yam apartment. The man was believed to be intoxicated during the call. He had previously served time in prison for assaulting his wife. The couple have two young children.
Earlier in April a man stabbed his girlfriend at an Afula supermarket. He was arrested and confessed to the attack, which left his girlfriend hospitalized with moderate wounds. He explained to police that she had planned to leave him.
Thirteen Israeli women were murdered in 2019 by someone known to them. In 2018, 25 women 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.
Last October, the Welfare Ministry issued a report on intimate partner violence conducted in 2018, which found a surge in the number of reported cases of domestic abuse.
According to the ministry, the number of women calling its abuse hotline rose 160 percent between 2014 and 2018, and more than 6,000 victims of domestic violence received treatment last year. In 2018, 1,219 women called the hotline to report spousal abuse.
Stuart Winer contributed to this report.