Suspect to neighbor: 'I don't think an ambulance is needed'

Neighbors of murdered woman: ‘Her partner beat her every day; we called the police’

Edisi Elbena’s neighbor: ‘She screamed her heart out. Then there was silence’; suspect’s ex told police of violence; killing comes days after coalition blocks bill to track abusers

Edisi Elbena. (Courtesy)
Edisi Elbena. (Courtesy)

Neighbors of a woman stabbed to death in Kiryat Ata, in the year’s 8th fatal incident of domestic violence, said Saturday that they heard her being beaten on a daily basis and had called the police in the past.

Edisi Elbena’s partner initially went on the run after the woman’s body was found on Friday evening, but later turned himself in at a police station, where he was arrested.

According to the Walla news site, police said that they had received complaints about the man’s violence from a previous partner.

“He was stoned, drunk and beat her every day,” neighbor Hani Abu Azizi told the outlet.

“He would bring crates of drinks home. He would beat her every day,” Abu Aziza said.

“Every day from six o’clock there would be shouting. We called the police and they would come. I would show them where to go and they would knock on the door, but nothing. I suggested to her that she call the police, but she just said ‘later, later,'” Abu Aziza said.

Police seen at the scene of a murder in Kiryat Ata on March 24, 2023. (Israel Police)

Another neighbor said the woman’s partner had turned up the volume of the music when her screams got louder on Friday night.

Yochai Suisa said he heard the “terrible” cries until the woman fell silent.

“I live right above them. Around 8:30 in the evening I heard a noise, the awful sounds of a long struggle that went on and on, with terrible screams from the woman,” Suisa said.

“She screamed and screamed her heart out, until she was silent,” he said.

“She was in a pool of blood, with her face on the floor, without a shirt, and her whole back was full of stab wounds,” said Suisa. “It seems that he went on a rampage, and just stabbed and stabbed.”

Police said they were called to the scene after receiving calls from neighbors. They broke down the door to find the woman laying unconscious with multiple stab wounds.

Emergency medics were also dispatched to the scene but were forced to pronounce her death upon arrival.

An unnamed neighbor told the Ynet news site he encountered the woman’s partner outside the building when the ambulance arrived.

“I asked him why he didn’t open the door for the medical team and he calmly replied, ‘I don’t think an ambulance is needed anymore’ and left,” the neighbor said.

“He didn’t run, he walked away nonchalantly as if he had done nothing,” the neighbor said.

According to the Ynet news site, the woman had a 16-year-old son who lives in Ethiopia.

She had only moved to Israel a year ago and worked at a clothing factory where she was described as “good and dedicated.” Her manager said she had been off work sick for a number of days but had been expected to return on Sunday.

The incident came just three days after a 61-year-old woman from Tel Aviv died of head injuries she sustained after being beaten by her partner last week.

The woman was identified as Vera Palacinta, and her partner has been placed under arrest as the suspect.

Vera Palacinta. (Courtesy)

In another killing, 31-year-old Darya Leitel was found dead in her Haifa apartment last week.

The woman’s husband, 35, called police to report that he had murdered his wife, and was placed under arrest.

The killings come amid controversy over a bill that would track domestic abusers.

Darya Leitel, allegedly murdered by her husband on March 17, 2023. (Courtesy)

On Wednesday, coalition lawmakers narrowly voted down the bill that would have mandated an electronic monitoring system to track domestic abusers, drawing furious outrage from opposition members and others who say the system could help save lives.

The legislation, which would have helped enforce restraining orders against abusers, fell 54-53 on its preliminary reading in the Knesset, as lawmakers brawled verbally, leading to several being removed from the plenum.

Ahead of the vote, National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir was met with cries of “shame” from opposition members, as he concluded a speech urging lawmakers to reject the measure.

Ben Gvir has promised to advance his own version of the legislation, which he claims will go further to balance men’s rights against the needs of women in potential danger.

Itamar Ben Gvir speaking from the Knesset podium on March 22, 2023. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Hebrew-language media reports indicated that the issue had created a rift within the hard-right religious coalition, with more moderate lawmakers attempting to rein in Ben Gvir on the issue.

The head of the Na’amat women’s organization, Hagit Pe’er said Saturday that the blocking of the legislation showed the coalition had little concern for women and their safety.

“The Israeli government is abandoning the lives of women in Israel. Those who overthrew the electronic surveillance law just this week and those who try to impose equal justice between violent men and the victims of crime are detached and dangerous people,” she said.

Activists have long complained that not enough is done to prevent violence against women in Israel, particularly in cases known to the authorities.

According to the Israel Observatory on Femicide, in 2022, 24 women were “murdered because they were women,” a 50 percent rise over the 16 such murders recorded in 2021. Half of those murders were in the Arab community, which makes up just 21% of the population.

A report released in November by the Welfare and Social Affairs Ministry showed that between January and October of 2022, the ministry received 5,712 complaints of domestic violence — a 3.6% increase over the previous year.

While data is scarce on false domestic violence accusations, researchers around the world agree that the number of actual assaults far outweighs the number of false claims.

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