Woman stabbed to death at home in northern town; husband arrested

Aisha Abadi, 55, killed in Jadeidi-Makr; 21 women murdered in Israel this year, 14 of them Arab; brawl breaks out at hospital between relatives

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent

Aisha Abadi (Courtesy).
Aisha Abadi (Courtesy).

A woman was stabbed to death in her home in the northern Arab town of Jadeidi-Makr on Sunday evening, officials said.

The 55-year-old woman — identified as Aisha Abadi — was found unconscious by medics, the Magen David Adom ambulance service said.

Medics pronounced her dead at the scene.

Police detained the late woman’s husband in connection with her murder.

In the statement, police said that they will decide whether the 57-year-old man is to be brought before a court on Monday for a hearing to extend his remand.

Shortly after her body was brought to the Galilee Medical Center in Nahariya, a brawl erupted between Abadi’s relatives on the hospital grounds.

Two security guards were lightly hurt while attempting to prevent the crowd from entering the hospital building, the hospital said in a statement.

“This is an unbearable situation. It is no longer possible to remain silent in the face of severe cases of violence, which occur frequently at various hospitals,” Dr. Masad Barhoum, the director of the medical center said.

Barhoum thanked the cooperation between the hospital’s security team and police, “because this case could have ended much worse.”

Recently police have been sending officers to hospitals following cases of violence in the Arab community, to prevent such brawls.

The incident followed a massive armed brawl between a pair of families outside of Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba last week, and a number of other minor brawls at other hospitals during the past week.

The woman’s death came hours after the government announced the allocation of NIS 155 million (approximately $50 million) for a national plan to combat violence against women.

Activists protest against recent cases of violence against women in Tel Aviv, on March 7, 2021. (Tomer Neuberg/ Flash90)

According to a report published by the Women’s International Zionist Organization last week, 26 women in Israel were murdered in 2020, with 13 of them killed by their partners. That is an increase from 17 women murdered in 2019, five of whom were killed by their partners.

So far in 2021, 21 women have been murdered in Israel, according to WIZO.

The Abraham Initiatives nonprofit says 14 of those women were Arab.

Arab communities have seen a surge in violence in recent years, driven mainly but not only, by organized crime.

Since the beginning of 2021, at least 111 Arabs were killed in suspected homicides, according to the Abraham Initiatives. Of them, 93 were Arab citizens of Israel, and another 18 were Palestinians, either from East Jerusalem or with Israeli residency.

Arab Israelis blame police, who they say have failed to crack down on powerful criminal organizations and largely ignore the violence, which includes family feuds, mafia turf wars and violence against women. The community has also suffered from decades of neglect.

In August, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said that violence and crime in Arab Israeli communities was a “national calamity.”

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