A police officer was charged Thursday with murder for allegedly shooting his wife dead in the West Bank settlement of Na’ale earlier this month.
The Police Internal Investigations Department filed an indictment in the Central District Court in Lod against Amir Raz for the murder of Diana Raz, 35, as well as for the assault and abuse of his children during the killing.
According to the indictment, after an argument erupted between the couple on February 5, Amir Raz tied up his three older children with a rope. After Diana Raz challenged him about his actions, he began to strangle her before stabbing her and then shooting her in the leg and head.
“Yes! There is no more mommy,” he then called out to his crying children, the charge sheet alleged.
According to prosecutors, Amir Raz demonstrated “clear and predetermined intent” to carry out the murder, detailing how, following an argument during which his wife had poured coffee on him, he went to a safe to retrieve his service weapon and prepared to kill her.
“He took out an 8.2-meter-long rope, called the children, sat the three older children on small chairs in the living room and tied them up, while the baby sat in a dining chair next to them. Next, he picked up a kitchen knife with a 20-inch-pointed blade and placed it on the dining room table,” the indictment reads.
According to the order of events described in the indictment, Diana Raz then entered the living room and began a physical altercation with Amir Raz, who beat her and tried to strangle her in front of the kids as she screamed at them to try and get help. When the eldest child, 7, broke free and made a run for the front door, Amir Raz grabbed her and threw her down the stairs.
As Diana Raz tried to flee, Amir Raz chased after her with the knife, stabbing her twice in the thigh. After she continued to struggle, attempting to take the knife away from him, he took out his gun and shot her, first in the leg and then in the head, according to the charge sheet.
He then immediately called his mother to pick up the kids, followed by his commander.
“I do not know what went through my mind, it was not planned. I never treated her violently. The children were at home and saw everything,” he reportedly told investigators.
Diana Raz was a relationship mentor who had counseled thousands of women over the past 14 years on abusive relationships, after escaping one herself. On her website she said she was now “married to an amazing man.”
The family was not known to welfare services, though some neighbors said they heard audible arguments between the couple recently, Channel 13 reported.
The alleged murder was not the first case in recent years in which a woman was killed by her police officer partner.
Last month the Lod District Court handed down a 29-year jail sentence to police officer Masresha Wasa who shot and killed his wife Angoach Malkmu Wasa in 2018 using his service pistol. The couple’s three young children were in their Netanya apartment at the time. Two older children were not at home.
A national plan to fight domestic violence was approved in 2017 by the Knesset but has since been abandoned, due to lack of funding. Activists say most of the approved NIS 250 million ($71 million) has not yet been transferred to relevant authorities.
Police and social services organizations have also reported a major rise in domestic violence complaints since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.