Intimate femicide in Israel; temporal, social, and motivational patterns

  • Simha F. Landau
  • Susan Hattis Rolef


This study investigated all (76) cases of intimate femicide (the killing of women by their intimate male partners) in Israel during the years 1990–1995. The analysis focused on temporal patterns, the representation of various population groups, and given motives. The findings show a relationship between the incidence of intimate femicide and a number of major events/processes experienced by Israeli society during the period investigated. Following the Persian Gulf War (in 1991), during which families were enclosed for lengthy periods in sealed rooms, there was a sharp increase in intimate femicide. On the other hand, the enactment of the Law for the Prevention of Family Violence in 1991 was followed by a sharp (though temporary) decrease in intimate femicide in 1992. New immigrants from the former Soviet Union and even more so, from Ethiopia were over-represented among intimate femicide offenders. In most cases, more than one motive is given for the intimate femicide, with 'possessiveness' being mentioned in the majority of cases usually in conjunction with other motives (such as argument/conflict between the parties, mental, drinking or drug problems of the offender). Here too, differences were found between the various population groups. The findings are discussed within the framework of a stress-support theoretical model which postulates that violence in society will be positively related to stress factors and negatively related to support systems.

female victims Gulf war immigrants legislation offender motivation spouse killings 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Simha F. Landau
    • 1
  • Susan Hattis Rolef
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of CriminologyHebrew UniversityJerusalemIsrael

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