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December 13, 2018 11:18 am

MKs Back Mandatory Life Sentence for Convicted Wife Murderers

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The Israeli Knesset building. Photo: Wikimedia Commons. – The Knesset’s Constitution, Law and Justice ‎Committee on Wednesday voted in favor of imposing a ‎life sentence on men convicted of murdering their ‎wives.‎

The decision was made during a discussion on an ‎amendment to the Israeli penal code, stating that the ‎murder of a woman by her spouse would be considered ‎a crime to which aggravating circumstance apply and ‎which carries an automatic life sentence. ‎

The amendment is slated to be presented for a ‎Knesset vote in the next few days.‎

The session was called against the backdrop of ‎growing protests by women over authorities’ ‎incompetence in dealing with domestic violence ‎cases.‎

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Twenty-five women have been murdered by their ‎spouses or relatives so far in 2018. ‎

Last week, tens of thousands of women took to the ‎streets demanding the government allocate ‎250 ‎million shekels ($67 million) to an emergency ‎‎program to combat violence against women.‎

‎”Violence is cross-sectoral. There is no doubt that ‎the murder of women reflects a distorted worldview ‎that we must act against by means of tougher ‎punishment. Allowing the law to stand as-is would be ‎an unacceptable miscarriage of justice,” Yesh Atid ‎MK Yael German said.‎

Habayit Hayehudi MK Shuli Mualem-Rafaeli said, “If ‎an Arab murdered his sister in a so-called ‘honor ‎killing,’ he gets a life sentence, but if a Jew kills ‎his wife, he doesn’t? We have to apply aggravating ‎circumstance ‎to this issue [spousal murder].”‎

Justice Ministry attorney Tamar ‎Bornstein expressed reservation about the move, ‎saying, “None of the women murdered could have been ‎saved by this amendment. What we need are ‎preventative programs that focus on education and ‎creating women’s shelters.”

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