Ramat Gan man arrested on suspicion of killing his 72-year-old mother
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Ramat Gan man arrested on suspicion of killing his 72-year-old mother

Son held after hospital report raised suspicions; if he’s found guilty, mother would be 13th woman killed in Israel this year by someone known to her, a tally equal to 2019 toll

Illustrative: An Israeli police car (Roy Alima/Flash90)
Illustrative: An Israeli police car (Roy Alima/Flash90)

A man from the central city of Ramat Gan was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of murdering his mother two days earlier, police said in a statement.

Police said the 72-year-old woman was hospitalized in a serious condition on Monday, and later died.

“A report from the hospital raised suspicions of criminality,” police said.

There were no details given about the nature of her injuries, and neither she nor her son were named.

The 47-year-man will appear in court on Wednesday, where police will request an extension of his remand.

According to a tally by the Haaretz daily, if the man is found to have killed his mother she would be the 13th woman in Israel murdered in 2020 by someone known to her — a tally equal to the total annual death toll for similar crimes in 2019.

Demonstrators protest against violence towards women at Habima Square in Tel Aviv, on May 18, 2020. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

Thirteen Israeli women were murdered in 2019 by someone known to them. In 2018, 25 women were murdered in such incidents, the highest number in years, prompting a string of protests and calls for authorities to take action against the increasing rates of violence against women. Many of those women had filed police complaints prior to their deaths out of concern for their safety.

Police and social service organizations have reported a major rise in domestic violence complaints since the start of the coronavirus crisis, as many families stayed at home for extended periods of time combined with high levels of stress.

On June 1, thousands of Israelis gathered at a demonstration in Tel Aviv to demand government action to end violence against women. It was the second such protest in less than a month.

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

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, which will sit under the Knesset Committee for the Advancement of Women (Last month, feminist groups expressed outrage after MK Oded Forer, the only man on the committee, was chosen as its new chair).

In June, the top level Ministerial Committee for Legislation voted to back a bill to impose electronic tracking on violent men who have restraining orders against them. The system would alert its carrier and police if the man approaches his victim or home in contravention of a court order.

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