A resident of southern Israel was arrested on Friday night on suspicion of stabbing his wife and seriously injuring her at their home in Mitzpe Ramon.
The woman, 31, underwent emergency surgery at Beersheba’s Soroka Medical Center Friday night and was in serious but stable condition Saturday.
The victim’s brother told Channel 12 news on Saturday evening that his sister was on a video call with their parents when the attack began, with the husband allegedly hitting his wife on the head with an unknown object, causing her to drop the phone. The parents then heard screaming.
The woman’s father told Ynet that his daughter was telling her parents she was unhappy and planning to leave her husband during the call. “I’ve had enough, I’m leaving. He hits me, he won’t let me leave, help!” the father recalled her saying.
The husband, a 45-year-old electrical engineer working in the defense industry, was reported by Hebrew media outlets to not be cooperating with police. Police had arrived at the scene after neighbors reported hearing screams and found the woman wounded on the floor of the couple’s house.
A witness told Channel 12 news that he ran to the couple’s home after hearing the screams and saw the husband covered in blood still holding the knife.
“I pleaded with him. I said ‘please don’t kill her, please don’t kill her,'” the witness said.
The couple has a child, 18 months old, who is reported to have witnessed the attack.
Police said they had a file on the couple after a previous incident of domestic violence in 2019. The woman’s brother said she had filed a complaint that she later pulled after their respective families intervened and got them to reconcile.
“In retrospect, this was a huge mistake,” he said.
Police and social service organizations have reported a major rise in domestic violence complaints since the start of the coronavirus crisis, as many families have stayed at home for extended periods of time combined with high levels of stress.
Organizers said most of the NIS 250 million ($71 million) approved in 2017 for national programs to prevent domestic violence have not yet been transferred to relevant authorities.
The rally came as the Welfare and Social Services Ministry published figures that showed a 112 percent increase in the number of complaints about domestic violence it received to its hotline in May compared to April.
In May, the Knesset approved the formation of a subcommittee to combat domestic violence against women, sitting under the Knesset Committee for the Advancement of Women. Feminist groups expressed outrage after MK Oded Forer, the only man on the committee, was chosen as its new chair.