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Woman, 46, stabbed and seriously wounded in north; husband arrested

Nahariya hospital says victim is stable, will undergo surgery; lawmaker, women’s right’s group slam government for failure to fund national plan to fight domestic violence

Israeli police at the site where a brawl broke out between local Muslim and Druze residents in the Abu Snan village in northern Israel, November 15, 2014. (Flash90)
Illustrative: Israeli police in Abu Snan on November 15, 2014. (Flash90)

A 46-year-old woman from northern Israel was stabbed and seriously injured Sunday in a suspected case of domestic violence, with her 54-year-old husband arrested hours later.

The attack occurred days after a pair of murders suspected to be cases of domestic violence brought the issue back to the spotlight, energizing a push for more government action against the phenomenon, which has claimed at least 19 lives so far this year.

The woman, from the Arab town of Abu Snan in the Western Galilee, was taken to the Galilee Medical Center in Nahariya, suffering from multiple stab wounds in her upper body, sedated and on a respirator.

An official at the hospital told the Ynet news site that her condition was stable and that she will undergo surgery and then be sent to the intensive care ward.

Police said officers arrived at the scene of the stabbing and launched an investigation. Following extensive searches, the husband was located and arrested for questioning.

There have been 19 known cases this year of women being murdered in domestic violence cases, according to tallies by the Ynet news site. Thirteen Israeli women were murdered in 2019 in such incidents. In 2018, 25 women were murdered by someone known to them, the highest number in years.

Many of those women had filed police complaints prior to their deaths out of concern for their safety.

Police and social services organizations have reported a major rise in domestic violence complaints since the start of the coronavirus crisis.

Activists protest against recent cases of violence against women outside the Knesset in Jerusalem, October 21, 2020. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Protests on the matter were reignited last week, with demonstrators highlighting the fact that a national plan to fight domestic violence was approved in 2017 by the Knesset and has since been abandoned, waiting for funding. Activists say most of the approved NIS 250 million ($71 million) has not yet been transferred to relevant authorities.

Joint List MK Sundus Saleh condemned the apparent attempted murder Sunday and put the blame on the government.

“We are hearing about another man who attacked and tried to murder a woman, who is fighting for her life,” she said in a statement. “I hope she survives and doesn’t join those who have been murdered. The blame for neglecting her personal safety and her life is on the government, which regularly neglects the life of women here.”

The chairwoman of the Na’amat women’s rights group, Hagit Pe’er, echoed that sentiment.

“Anti-women terrorism is running wild, the prime minister [Benjamin Netanyahu] and the alternate prime minister [Benny Gantz] are competing who condemns it in stronger terms — with zero action,” she said. “The funds for fighting domestic violence, which the government itself approved, remain in deep-freeze.”

Referring to a ministerial meeting being held Sunday afternoon, Pe’er added: “The coronavirus cabinet will convene today and likely not even discuss the matter, let alone release the necessary funds. These are transparent women as far as the government is concerned.”

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