76-year-old woman found dead in Rehovot home, husband arrested

Police question 86-year-old partner on suspicion of murder; woman’s body said to show signs of violence

Illustrative: A police car at the scene of a crime. (Israel Police)
Illustrative: A police car at the scene of a crime. (Israel Police)

A 76-year-old woman was found dead at her Rehovot home Tuesday night, with her husband arrested on suspicion of murder.

Police said the husband was at the scene when officers arrived.

The woman has not been publicly named.

According to the Ynet news site, the 86-year-old man had called the police to tell them that his wife was suffering from shortness of breath.

The report said the emergency teams who arrived on the scene were therefore surprised when they found that the woman had signs of violence to her body and was surrounded by bloodstains.

After the man is questioned, police will decide whether to seek to keep him under arrest.

The case was suspected to be the 9th domestic violence killing since the start of the year.

A protest against domestic violence as part of a nationwide strike, in Tel Aviv, December 4, 2018. The sign reads: ‘Electronic tracking [of offenders] saves lives.’ (Miriam Alster/Flash90)
According to the Israel Observatory on Femicide, in 2022, 24 women were “murdered because they were women,” a 50 percent rise over the 16 such murders recorded in 2021. Half of those murders were in the Arab community, which makes up just 21% of the population.

However, since the start of 2023, the vast majority of women murdered have not been in the Arab community.

A report released in November by the Welfare and Social Affairs Ministry showed that between January and October of 2022, the ministry received 5,712 complaints of domestic violence — a 3.6% increase over the previous year.

Last month, coalition lawmakers narrowly voted down the bill that would have mandated an electronic monitoring system to track domestic abusers, drawing furious outrage from opposition members and others who say the system could help save lives.

The legislation, which would have helped enforce restraining orders against abusers, fell 54-53 on its preliminary reading in the Knesset, as lawmakers brawled verbally, leading to several being removed from the plenum.

Ahead of the vote, National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir was met with cries of “shame” from opposition members, as he concluded a speech urging lawmakers to reject the measure.

Ben Gvir has promised to advance his own version of the legislation, which he claims will go further to balance men’s rights against the needs of women in potential danger.

Activists have long complained that not enough is done to prevent violence against women in Israel, particularly in cases known to the authorities.

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