Police suspect man tried to murder his wife, then jumped from apartment window
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Police suspect man tried to murder his wife, then jumped from apartment window

Investigation opened into suspected murder-suicide attempt in Modi’in Illit settlement; both husband and wife hospitalized in serious condition

Jacob Magid is the settlements correspondent for The Times of Israel.

View of the settlement of Modiin Illit, February 2019 (Flash90)
View of the settlement of Modiin Illit, February 2019 (Flash90)

Police launched an investigation Saturday into a suspected attempt by an Israeli man in the West Bank to murder his wife before trying to kill himself.

Police said officers arrived in ultra-Orthodox settlement of Modi’in Illit to find a man sprawled out on the concrete, with his wife lying barely conscious in an apartment above with stab wounds throughout her body.

The husband, 40, and wife, 37, were rushed from Modi’in Illit to Tel Hashomer’s Sheba Medical Center in serious condition, according to the Magen David Adom emergency service.

Since March, when lockdown measures to prevent the coronavirus spread were introduced, eight women have been murdered in Israel. Police and social service organizations have reported a major rise in domestic violence complaints since the start of the coronavirus crisis, which has been blamed for exacerbating tensions as people were confined together by lockdown measures.

Thousands of people protested in Tel Aviv on Monday against the phenomenon, calling for government action to end violence against women.

Israelis protest in Tel Aviv against violence towards women, on June 1, 2020. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

Demonstration 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.

Also this week, the Welfare and Social Services Ministry published figures that showed a 112 percent increase in the number of complaints about domestic violence received by its hotline in May compared to April.

In February, the hotline received 316 calls; in March, that went up to 344; and in April, the figure jumped to 849. During May, the hotline received 1,885 calls.

Women’s rights activists have predicted that violence could grow even as restrictions are eased.

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