Pregnant woman stabbed to death in front of her kids in Lod; unborn baby also dies

Father and brother arrested on suspicion of murder; doctors perform emergency C-section in effort to save victim and child, but neither survives

Screen capture from video of an assailant, bottom right, stabbing a pregnant woman in Lod, November 30, 2023. (X. Used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)
Screen capture from video of an assailant, bottom right, stabbing a pregnant woman in Lod, November 30, 2023. (X. Used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

A woman in the advanced stages of pregnancy was stabbed to death Thursday morning in Lod, with her unborn baby also killed in the attack.

Doctors at Assaf Harofeh Medical Center, where the critically injured woman was taken, performed an emergency caesarean operation in an effort to save her unborn baby. However, doctors were forced to declare them both dead.

The woman’s father and brother were later arrested on suspicion of murder, Hebrew-language media reported.

Security camera footage shared on social media showed the assailant following the woman, in her twenties, as she walked along a street with her two young children on their way to a nearby kindergarten.

In the video, the attacker pounces on the woman from behind and repeatedly stabs her. The two young children flee, as do other passersby.

The woman tried to defend herself but was stabbed multiple times in her torso.

The attacker then ran to a waiting car, which then sped off.

Hagit Pe’er, chairwoman of the Na’amat women’s rights group, called the stabbing an act of “domestic terrorism” and “a double murder of the woman and the fetus.”

“We all hope that the Israel Police will soon find this inhuman terrorist and that Israel will serve him justice, as should be done with terrorists,” Pe’er said in a statement.

According to the anti-violence Abraham Initiatives group, the woman’s death brought to 222 the death toll from violence in the Arab community since the start of the year. The figure apparently didn’t include the death of her unborn baby. It compares with 103 deaths during the same period in 2022.

Of the homicides in 2023, 16 were women.

Also Thursday morning, a man was shot and moderately injured in the northern Arab town of Umm al-Fahm. According to Hebrew media reports, the man was sitting in his car at the time. He was taken to Emek Medical Center in Afula.

The incidents came amid a wave of deadly crime in the Arab community.

On Wednesday, a man was shot dead in the southern town of Rahat. The man, in his twenties, was not named by police, who said their initial investigation found that the killing was probably connected to a dispute between criminal families.

On Tuesday, two men were shot dead. In Nazareth, 29-year-old Moanas Marwat, a resident of the city, was critically wounded and later died of his injuries, the Israel Police said in a statement. Hours earlier, Issa Ghazi, a man in his 30s, was found fatally shot in a car in Kafr Qara.

The killings are part of a violent crime wave that has engulfed the Arab community in recent years, but which has risen this year to unprecedented heights.

Many Arab Israeli community leaders put the blame on the police, who they say have failed to crack down on powerful criminal organizations and largely ignore the violence, which includes family feuds, mafia turf wars, and violence against women. The communities have also suffered from years of neglect by state authorities.

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