Gaza war prompts spike in domestic violence, murdered women

In their homes, while traveling in cars, or simply walking down the street, 7 women have been killed in Israel since the beginning of the year, with two of them killed on Sunday alone; Incidents of domestic violence are increasing, while the measures taken to address these threats are decreasing
Hadar Gil-Ad|
Since the Gaza war began, 14 women have been murdered in Israel, with seven of those killings occurring since the start of this year. Tal Hochman, deputy director of the Israel Women's Network, revealed that "based on 2024 statistics in Israel, a woman is murdered every two weeks." This represents a 75% increase compared to the same period last year. On Sunday, two more women were murdered in northern Israel.
<< Follow Ynetnews on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | TikTok >>
Read more:
Hochman emphasized that "from the onset of the war, we have repeatedly warned that violence against women not only persists during times of conflict and emergencies, but it also intensifies and becomes more severe."
Lili Ben Ami, founder of the Michal Sela Forum which fights against domestic violence in Israel, and the sister of Michal - who was killed by her husband, shares a similar perspective. "The challenging days of war are also characterized by national anxiety, stress and seclusion, which can create immense pressure within certain households," she said.
A 60-year-old woman found murdered
(Video: Gil Nechushtan)
Ben Ami further explains that "in violent households, the level of violence has escalated and, since October 7, referrals to the Michal Sela Forum have increased by 20%. We are receiving referrals that were previously unknown, indicating that the new weapons policy has heightened the risk for women in threatening situations." In recent months, professional organizations have expressed concerns about the distribution of firearms promoted by the Minister of National Security Itamar Ben-Gvir, as it relates to such domestic murders.
"The manner in which licenses are being issued is negligent, with minimal oversight over the weapons," Hochman asserted. "Currently, the Welfare Ministry, the governmental body responsible for addressing domestic violence, does not share information about violent and dangerous individuals with the firearms unit. This has created a situation where women fear for their lives, especially when their former partners are granted firearm licenses, leaving them with nowhere to turn," she added.
1 View gallery
אשה מפחדת פחד אימה
אשה מפחדת פחד אימה
A time where women are under threat
(Photo: Getty Images)
Almost simultaneously with the weapons distribution plan, about six months ago the collaboration between the Michal Sela Forum's defense program for women under threat and the Ministry of National Security was suspended. It recently became public that the Ben-Gvir has decided not to continue this unique program.
"The State of Israel provides protection for women through traditional means such as shelters and restraining orders, but these solutions are neither suitable nor sufficient for approximately half of the women trapped in violent situations," Ben Ami explained.
In July 2023, the law for electronic monitoring to prevent family violence was approved with changes made at Ben-Gvir's request, which have impacted its ability to assist all women in need. Although the law was intended to take effect within a year, it appears that this will not happen in practice. During a recent discussion in the Knesset's National Security Committee, officials acknowledged that the deadlines would not be met, and no further discussion date has been set.
טל הוכמן משדולת הנשיםTal HochmanPhoto: Ravit Kachlon
In addition, the government has prevented Israel from joining the Istanbul Convention, an international treaty aimed at combating violence against women and domestic violence. The government argues that internal legislation is sufficient, rendering the convention unnecessary. However, in practice, very little progress has been made. "Unfortunately, the reason we believed that Israel should join the convention is more relevant than ever," said attorney Keren Horowitz, CEO of the Rackman Center for the Advancement of Women. "Since the current government was established, there has been no organized action to combat domestic violence."
According to Horowitz, the inter-ministerial committee responsible for addressing violence against women rarely convenes. "Our observations mainly indicate initiatives within the Welfare Ministry, with little action beyond that. Worldwide studies unequivocally demonstrate that crises, wars and the post-trauma experienced by men who served on the front lines contribute to an increase in domestic violence. We anticipate a similar situation in Israel. However, it is unclear what assumptions, if any, are being made within the various government ministries regarding this matter," she concluded.
The commenter agrees to the privacy policy of Ynet News and agrees not to submit comments that violate the terms of use, including incitement, libel and expressions that exceed the accepted norms of freedom of speech.