Woman found stabbed to death in year’s 8th domestic violence fatality

Partner of Edisi Elbena, 29, said to not have domestic violence history, turns himself in to police; incident comes days after coalition blocks bill mandating tracking of abusers

Edisi Elbena. (Courtesy)
Edisi Elbena. (Courtesy)

A 29-year-old woman was found stabbed to death in an apartment in the northern town of Kiryat Ata on Friday evening in what appeared to be the year’s 8th fatal incident of domestic violence.

The police launched a manhunt for Edisi Elbena’s partner, the suspect in the killing, but the 39-year-old man turned himself in to a police station in the town shortly after. He was placed under arrest and police began questioning him.

According to the Ynet news site, the woman had a 16-year-old son who lives in Ethiopia.

Elbena had only moved to Israel a year ago.

Police said they were called to the scene after receiving a complaint from neighbors.

They broke down the door to find the woman laying unconscious and with stab wounds throughout her body. Emergency medics were also dispatched to the scene but were forced to pronounce her death upon arrival.

A source in the Israel Police told Haaretz that authorities were not aware of any prior domestic violence complaints against the suspect.

The incident came just three days after a 61-year-old woman from Tel Aviv died of head injuries she sustained after being beaten by her partner last week.

The woman was identified as Vera Palacinta, and her partner has been placed under arrest as the suspect.

Vera Palacinta (Courtesy)

In another incident, 31-year-old Darya Leitel was found dead in her Haifa apartment last week.

The woman’s husband, 35, called police to report that he had murdered his wife, and was placed under arrest.

The killings come amid controversy over a bill that would track domestic abusers.

Darya Leitel, allegedly murdered by her husband on March 17, 2023. (Courtesy)

On Wednesday, 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.

Ben Gvir, who later returned to the podium, had accused the opposition of trying to push the issue by capitalizing on Leitel’s suspected murder.
“You are dancing on the blood of a murdered woman,” he said.

Itamar Ben Gvir speaking from the Knesset podium on March 22, 2023. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Hebrew-language media reports indicated that the issue had created a rift within the hard-right religious coalition, with more moderate lawmakers attempting to rein in Ben Gvir on the issue.

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.

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.

While data is scarce on false domestic violence accusations, researchers around the world agree that the number of actual assaults far outweighs the number of false claims.

Most Popular
read more: