Honor killings on the rise in West Bank; Palestinian Authority calls for culture change

RAMALLAH — The Palestinian Authority has reported an increase
in the killing of Arab women by their relatives in the West Bank.

Officials have reported a campaign to influence Palestinians to oppose so-called honor killings, the targeting of women accused of sexual misbehavior, according to a special report released by Palestinian Media Watch.

The officials said investigations have shown that most of the women were killed for other motives, including inheritance, jealousy and lifestyle, Middle East Newsline reported.
“The frequency with which crimes against women are committed is rising constantly, and every day more than one crime is committed against more than one woman,” the PA daily Al Ayam said.

Over the last two months, the PA-controlled media ran reports and commentary on honor killings. The media examined the punishment for those convicted of killing their daughters or sisters on allegations of violating the Islamist norms on sexual behavior, including premarital sex. At least 12 women were reported to have been killed in 2012.

“A man who murders his daughter, wife or sister stays in prison only three months,” Palestinian attorney Salwa Banura said.
Senior PA officials have organized demonstrations against honor killings, still judged by the Jordanian penal code from the 1950s. Earlier this month, a PA minister led scores of women in a protest outside a PA court in Ramallah.

“Participants demanded legislation that would provide protection for women from violence aimed at them and to impose extremely heavy penalties on
murderers of women,” PA Woman Affairs Minister Rabiha Dhiab said.

In the summer of 2012, the PA-aligned media reported the killing of a girl in Tulkarm and a women in Bethlehem. The Bethlehem woman was killed on the street by her husband as passersby refused to intervene. Later, officials said the husband killed his wife because she wanted to go to work.

“Part of our identity is to kill women, for example, to kill women, to beat women,” Yusef Jabarin, an Israeli Arab university lecturer told PA television. “We must acknowledge it.”

World News Tribune


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