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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Tel Aviv - Police: Man, two young kids die in apparent murder-suicide

Magen David Adom paramedics pronounced on Wednesday the death of a Eli Gur, 52, and his children, 4-year-old girl – Eden – and 5-year-old boy – Yahav – who fell from the 11th floor of a Tel Aviv building.

Upon arrival, the paramedics attempted to perform CPR on the victims, but soon pronounced their deaths.

According to preliminary investigation, the children's parents were undergoing a divorce process and the father was issued a restraining order for alleged violent offenses. "We knew it would get to this," the mother's attorney said. "We notified the authorities. Police, social workers – everyone was notified. It shouldn't have ended this way."

"I had a feeling he would seek revenge," the mother, Ronit, said Wednesday. 

At approximately 3 pm Wednesday, the father had arrived at the Sharon town where the mother resides and took the couple's children, presumably forcibly, and drove away. When he forced the children into the car he told their mother: "I'm going to kill them."

The mother reported the incident to the Tayibe police department, which launched a helicopter-assisted search after the father, but when he was located it was already too late.
The father drove the kids to a Tel Aviv building that has an elevator to which one can enter from outside of the building without entering through the front door. The three reportedly climbed to the eleventh floor, from which they eventually plunged to their deaths.

Eli Gur indicted for threats in 2012

According to police, two complaints against the father were filed in the past, one of which for property damage and the other for threatening his wife. As a result of the latter complaint, a restraining order was issued against the father and an indictment was filed against him.

According to the indictment, filed in December 2012, following a dispute, Eli threatened Ronit, telling her "I'll break your bones," and "if someone touches the kids I'll kill you."

Following the violent incidents, Eli was sent to psychiatric evaluation, which determined he was mentally stable and was not in need of psychiatric or psychological care.

Ronit, however, has informed those around her that she was still afraid. One of her neighbors revealed that Eli had vandalized her car and ensured she had no access to their bank account. According to her manager at work, she has been taking her children to work with her for the past two weeks, fearing for their safety.

The court was scheduled to review the Gurs' case last week, but the hearing was postponed as Eli's mother has passed away shortly before that.

According to social services, the father was not allowed to enter the town where the mother resides, and was meeting the children at a social services center under supervision.

'He pushed them and then jumped'

Eye witnesses reported to seeing the children fall before the father.

Leah Kadosh who lives at the building from which the father allegedly pushed his children and jumped, said the man had been working in the building, thereby knowing the outside elevator.

"I was at home when it happened," Kadosh, who lives in the seventh floor of the building in Tel Aviv's Berlin Street, told Ynet. "I heard yelling and sirens. I rushed downstairs and someone told me that there was a struggle – that children were resisting and arguing with the father up on the roof, but he pushed them and then jumped."

The mother was at her house during the incident and was later taken to questioning at a Tel Aviv police station.

According to Magen David Adom Spokesman Zachy Heller: "When we arrived at the scene, the man and two children were lying on the ground… it was evident they had fallen from a great height and when we started tending to them they were already unconscious, not breathing and had no pulse.

The couple had moved to the Sharon some four years ago.

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