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Woman found dead in Ashdod, ex-husband arrested

Forensic experts at scene as investigation launched; Na’amat chairwoman notes ‘bleak picture’ of violence against women in Israel

Police officers at the scene of a suspected murder in Ashdod, May 16, 2022. (Israel Police)
Police officers at the scene of a suspected murder in Ashdod, May 16, 2022. (Israel Police)

A woman in her 50s was found dead Monday afternoon in an apartment in the coastal city of Ashdod, police said, noting that there were signs of violence on the body.

First responders found the woman unconscious and pronounced her dead at the scene. Police were alerted after signs of violence were found on the woman’s body.

The prime suspect is the woman’s ex-husband, 54, who police said tried to escape the scene.

Officers searched the area and apprehended the suspect shortly thereafter, taking him in for questioning.

Forensic experts were at the scene and collecting evidence, police said.

The chairwoman of the Na’amat women’s rights group, Hagit Pe’er, said, “It’s a terrible day when another woman is murdered in Israel.”

Alon Kastiel at the Tel Aviv District Court on July 23, 2018. (Flash90)

Pe’er noted the case of convicted sex offender Alon Kastiel, whose request for an early release was approved by the parole board on Monday. She also cited Yosef Ohayon, head of a pre-military program that prepares teenagers for the army, who was arrested Monday morning on suspicion he took advantage of his position to sexually exploit underage students enrolled in the program.

While acknowledging that there was no direct connection between the three cases, Pe’er said “they all paint a very bleak picture of the condition of women in Israel and the inadequate manner with which all state agencies deal with the phenomenon of violence in all its forms.”

According to a report published by researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in January, there were 16 cases of women murdered in Israel by a relative or a partner throughout 2021, and 21 cases in 2020.

Recent cases include a 62-year-old woman who was stabbed to death in the northern city of Kiryat Ata earlier this month, with her son arrested as the primary suspect; a 30-year-old man from Lod who last month confessed to killing his 60-year-old mother; and a 26-year-old woman who was found dead in an apartment in Ramat Gan in January, with her 32-year-old partner arrested by police on suspicion of her murder.

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