A 33-year-old woman died after she was taken to Beersheba’s Soroka Hospital late Monday night with signs of violence to her body.
According to Channel 13 news, the woman’s husband called emergency services and told them: “I strangled my wife.”
The woman was from a Bedouin community in the south of the country. She was taken to hospital in a serious condition, but doctors were unable to save her.
Police said they have opened an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the woman’s death.
Thirteen Israeli women were murdered in 2019 by someone known to them.
Violence against women occurs throughout Israeli society, but in traditionalist societies like Israel’s ultra-Orthodox and Arab communities there are often taboos in place against discussing it, experts say.
In 2018, 25 women were murdered in such incidents, the highest number in years, prompting a string of protests and urgent calls for authorities to take action against the increasing incidence of violence against women in Israel. Many of those women filed police complaints prior to their deaths out of concern for their safety.
Last October, the Welfare Ministry issued a report on intimate partner violence in 2018 that found a surge in the number of reported cases of domestic abuse.
According to the ministry, the number of women calling its abuse hotline rose 160 percent between 2014 and 2018, and more than 6,000 victims of domestic violence received treatment last year. In 2018, 1,219 women called the hotline to report spousal abuse.
According to the ministry report, 163 women have been murdered by their husbands since 2004, including seven in 2018, nine in 2017, 11 in 2016, 12 in 2015 and 10 in both 2013 and 2014. That figure only counts women murdered by their husbands, not women killed by other family members.
A quarter of those killed during that period were new immigrants from the former Soviet Union, 20% were immigrants from Ethiopia, 20% were Arabs and 34% were Jewish women born in Israel.
Agencies contributed to this report.