Nine months after a mother of three was shot 15 times and survived against the odds, the state has closed the attempted murder case citing lack of evidence, according to Hebrew media reports.
Lamis Abu Laban, a 27-year-old mother of three who had divorced her abusive husband, was shot repeatedly by masked assailants as she was driving to her parents’ home in Lod in February. She was hit by 15 of the 18 fired bullets.
After multiple surgeries and a months-long recovery, Abu Laban was put in protective custody, and said she moved apartments every few months as a safety measure.
Police detained and questioned Abu Laban’s ex-husband as well as her brother in the weeks following the shooting, but they were ultimately both released without being charged.
The Kan public broadcaster said that Abu Laban was not informed by prosecutors that the case was being closed.
The network also reported that the young mother has since left Israel, leaving her children with family members in Lod, over fears for her safety.
In August, Abu Laban told Channel 12 news in an interview that she does not believe police or the government are doing enough to protect her.
“My case is a painful one. Eighteen bullets and I’m still alive,” she said at the time. “I always felt like something would happen to me one day,” she said. “I had a feeling, but never expected this.”
She said that she is unable to work due to her physical and mental health, as well as safety concerns.
“They should call and come visit me, but they don’t,” she said, referring to authorities. “They don’t ask about me, they don’t pick up the phone.”
“I haven’t received anything from the National Insurance Institute. They don’t understand what I’m going through. I’m living my life in fear. I’ve been through something pretty difficult and I want the state to notice me. I don’t feel safe,” Abu Laban said.
Activists have long complained that not enough is done to prevent violence against women in Israel, particularly in cases known to the authorities.
Domestic violence in Israel is on the rise, according to figures released last week by the Welfare and Social Affairs Ministry.
Data released earlier this month by the Knesset’s Information and Research Center, based on police data, showed that despite a rise in reports of domestic violence, there were fewer indictments. The data was based on police reports.
The report pointed to a gap in the number of indictments and convictions in cases involving Jewish versus Arab women.
Out of 35 murder cases of Arab women between 2020 and 2022, 16 indictments were served. In comparison, 25 Jewish women were murdered during the same time, resulting in 18 indictments.