Honor Related Violence (Palestinian Authority area)

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Statistics on Honor Related Violence and Killings

More than two-thirds of all murders in Gaza Strip and West Bank are honor killings.
In the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, it is believed that three-four women are killed every month in the name of saving honour. The Palestinian Authority follows the Jordanian law, which gives men reduced punishment for killing wives or female relatives if they have brought dishonour to the family.
'Honour' killing: It's a global phenomenon
The Times of India, July 11, 2010

Palestinian Penal Code

In Palestinian territories, a murder is regarded as less serious if it is an honor killing, and thus honor killers receive from six to twelve months' jail. This stems from Jordanian legislation from 1960.
Mutilation And Killing For Muslim "Honor": Religious Or Tribal Custom?
Adrian Morgan, The Family Security Foundation, Inc., June 26, 2007

Rofayda Qaoud, smothered with a plastic bag, slashed wrists and hit with a wooden stick, January 27, 2003

Raped by her brothers and impregnated, Rofayda Qaoud refused to commit suicide, her mother recalls, even after she bought the 17-year-old a razor with which to slit her wrists.

So Amira Abu Hanhan Qaoud says she did what she believes any good Palestinian parent would: restored her family's "honor" through murder.

Armed with a plastic bag, razor and wooden stick, Qaoud entered her sleeping daughter's room last Jan. 27. "Tonight you die, Rofayda," she told the girl, before wrapping the bag tightly around her head.

Next, Qaoud sliced Rofayda's wrists, ignoring her muffled pleas of "No, mother, no!" After her daughter went limp, Qaoud struck her in the head with the stick.

Killing her sixth-born child took 20 minutes, Qaoud tells a visitor through a stream of tears and cigarettes that she smokes in rapid succession. "She killed me before I killed her," says the 43-year-old mother of nine. "I had to protect my children. This is the only way I could protect my family's honor."

The guilty brothers are in jail.

Qaoud's confessed crime, for which she must appear before a three-judge panel Dec. 3, is one repeated almost weekly among Palestinians living in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Israel.
. . .
No trace of Rofayda or her brothers remains in the family home. Qaoud says she ripped up all of their photographs and burned their clothes. The bedroom in which she killed her daughter is now a storeroom.

Erasing the memories is harder, she admits. She eases her pain by doting on her three children still living at home, especially the youngest, Fatima, 9, whom she lavishes with kisses. The children say they've forgiven Qaoud and return her affection.

"My mother did this because she does not want us to be punished by people," Fatima explains with a shy smile. "I love my mother much more now than before."
Mother kills raped daughter to restore 'honor'
Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson, The Seattle Times, November 17, 2003

Maha Akram El-Hamayda, beaten and strangled to death, June 30, 2006

At approximately 14:00 on Friday, 30 June 2006, the Criminal Investigations Department of the Rafah Police learned of the burial of Maha Akram El-Hamayda (18), after she had been killed in an 'honor killing' crime. The police were able to determine the burial place in the eastern cemetery in Rafah. The father was summoned by the police and the body was removed and submitted to the pathology department of Naser Hospital in Khan Yunis.

According to information from the police, the pathologist report indicates that the girl had suffered a beating with a sharp object to the head, causing extensive bleeding. There were strangulation marks on the neck. The girl was examined and found to be a virgin.

The police investigation revealed that relatives of the girl had buried her. The police arrested the suspected relatives, who are under questioning.

In the early morning hours of Sunday, 2 July 2006, and against the backdrop of the killing, relatives of the girl set fire to a car spare parts shop owned by one of the suspects in the killing.

Nisreen Abu Bureik, killed, July 28, 2007

Nisreen Mohammad Abu Bureik (26) from El-Bureij refugee camp, who was killed by her brother on 28 July 2007. The Palestinian National Authority bears the responsibility for this escalation due to the impunity and reduced sentences granted to the perpetrators of such crimes. This comes despite the fact that the Palestinian Penal Code for the Year 1936, effective in the Gaza Strip, does not differentiate between what is known as an “Honor Killing” and premeditated murder.

PCHR strongly condemns this crime, and:

Calls for a serious investigation into the murder of the young women, and for prosecuting the perpetrators.

Points to the recurrence of honor killings in the Gaza Strip due to the impunity granted to killers through reduced sentences, knowing that such crimes take honor killings as cover to get reduced sentences.

Calls for deterrent steps against honor killings, which must be treated as premeditated murder, taking into consideration international human rights standards.

En’am Jaber Dierallah, beaten to death with a sharp object, August 13, 2007

PCHR strongly condemns the murder of a woman in the northern Gaza Strip in what is termed as an “honor killing.” The Centre calls for prosecuting the perpetrators, and for taking effective legal action to prevent these crimes that have escalated over the past 2 years.

The Center’s preliminary investigation indicates that at approximately 18:00 on Monday, 13 August 2007, the body of En’am Jaber Deifallah (37) arrived at Shifa Hospital. The victim is from El-T’wam area in northern Gaza City, and was a mother of one child. Medical sources indicated that she was killed by beating with a sharp object on the head. The victim’s family informed PCHR’s fieldworker that one of the victim’s brothers killed her inside her house in a murder motivated by “honor.” Sources in the Executive Force indicated that an investigation in the crime is ongoing, and that the suspect is being pursued.

It is noted that “honor killings” have increased over the past few years in the Gaza Strip. Deirallah is the 11th victims of such crimes this year.

Khouloud al-najjar, beaten to death, June 3, 2008

The Palestinian Centre for Human (PCHR) condemns in the strongest possible terms the murder of a woman in Rafah on Tuesday 3 June, allegedly to maintain “the honor” of her family. PCHR calls for the perpetrators of all so called ‘Honour Crimes’ to be rigorously prosecuted, and for appropriate legal action to be taken in order to end such crimes.

According to investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately 23:50 on Tuesday, 3 June 2008, the body of Khouloud Mohammed al-Najjar, age 32, was brought to the Martyr Mohammed Yousef al-Najjar Hospital in Rafah. Her bruised and bloody corpse was transferred to the Forensic Medicine Department at Shifa Hospital in Gaza City.

According to police sources, a police patrol arrived at the house of Mohammed Hussein al-Najjar, in the al-Brazil neighborhood of southern Rafah late on the evening of 3 June, as the police had been informed of a murder at the house. A police officer discovered the body of Khouloud Mohammed al-Najjar, and the police immediately transported the body to the local hospital. Her father, Mohammed Hussein al-Najjar, was arrested, and during questioning he apparently confessed that his daughter having died as a result of having been severely beaten by members of her family for her “immoral behavior.”
Woman Murdered by Relatives to “Maintain Family Honor”
Palestinian Center for Human Rights, June 4, 2008

Asmaa Mahmoud, beaten to death, 2009

Khaled Mahmoud, 21, admits beating his sister to death last year in the West Bank.

"She has made very wrong decisions," he said.

"I started drinking then I got crazy. When I saw her I beat her. I smashed her head to the wall."

His sister Asmaa - not her real name - was 23, a university student, and engaged to be married to another Muslim.

As brother and sister they were close, yet Mahmoud says she made the unforgivable mistake of sleeping with another man, a Christian, and brought enormous shame on the family.

"I was telling her that she should stay away from him and she shouldn't talk to him because he was playing," Mahmoud said.

"He wasn't serious with her and he is bragging about what he was doing. I was so ashamed with my sister."

Mahmoud says it is hard to describe how he felt after killing his sister.

"I don't say that I wish I hadn't killed her, but I say I wish she hadn't done that," he said.

"I am really sorry for what happened, but I think even if I'm in the same situation now after this experience and she does the same thing, I would kill her again."

Mahmoud says he found a note belonging to his sister with several phone numbers and rang one to find it was a clinic that restores a woman's virginity through surgery.

He says that was the final straw.

"She was violating rules of the society. Why has she done that?

"She didn't have the right to do that. She shamed our family."
I'd do it again, says honour killer
Anne Barker, ABC News, September 20, 2010

Sufian, Miriam & Jawhar Olaiwa, shot to death, April 2009

Last Thursday, three members of the Olaiwa family were killed in Gaza City. Police found three bodies belonging to Sufian Arafat Olaiwa, 45, his wife, Miriam Al-Majdoub Olaiwa, 30, and their son, Jawhar Sufian Olaiwa, 5, in their houses in the Ash-Shuja'iyya neighborhood in the east of Gaza City. Each had been shot several times. Later, police arrested three members of the same family.

Yousef Abdul Wahab, Chief of the Police Criminal Investigation Bureau in Gaza, told PCHR that the crimes were related to so-called 'family honor'.

These killings, PCHR said, are a sign of a resurgence in so-called honor killings. The Center called for these killings to be prosecuted as murders, and for the Palestinian judicial system not to hand out reduced sentences to perpetrators who claim reasons of "family honor."

Rihab Al-Hazim, killed, April 13, 2009

Ma'an - A woman was killed on Monday morning in the Gaza Strip in the fourth killing related to so-called "family" honor in the last week.

According to information collected by the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), 28-year-old Rihab Al-Hazin, from An-Nusseirat Refugee Camp was killed by her 21-year-old brother, who told police he killed his sister to 'maintain family honor.'

Al-Hazin's body was brought to the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in the city of Deir Al-Balah at 3am on Monday, according to PCHR. The body was then referred to the forensic medicine department at Ash-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City.

Halimah Ahmad Ash-Sheikh, stabbed to death, May 12, 2009

Palestinian police said on Monday they arrested a 24-year-old who allegedly killed his aunt, whose body was found in the West Bank city of Ramallah six days ago.

According to Palestinian Authority security spokesperson Major Adnan Ad-Dimeiri, the alleged murderer of 30-year-old Halimah Ahmad Ash-Sheikh was arrested on evidence that he was responsible for the killing.

Ad-Dimeiri also said that the suspected confessed to the charges, and said that he killed her for reasons of so-called "family honor."

Ad-Dimeiri said that, according to his affidavit, the suspect rented a car, drove his aunt to the city of Nablus, stopping in the village of An-Nabi Saleh to buy food, and stopped again to get out of the car to eat. He said the suspect stabbed his aunt and left the body in Ramallah, before driving home to the West Bank city of Qalqiliya. The suspect then went the same day to the police station with the victim's husband to report her missing.

Fadia, tortured and bludgeoned to death with an iron chain, July 23, 2009

A 27-year-old mother of five was bludgeoned to death with an iron chain by her father last week in Gaza in what human rights groups report was an honor killing.

According to police in Gaza, the father, Jawdat al-Najar, heard his daughter Fadia, who had divorced in 2005, speaking on the phone with a man. He believed she was having a relationship with him. Police say al-Najar became enraged and beat her to death; her body was brought to a hospital where officials said she died of a skull fracture.

The woman was beaten to death in the northern Gaza neighborhood of Jebalya on Thursday night. The father called police and confessed to the murder.

According to investigators for the Gaza-based Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, the father and his three sons were taken into police custody. They said the killing "was carried out on grounds related to 'preserving' the honor of the family."

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights, another Gaza-based organization, said hospital forensic reports show the woman's body showed signs of torture and that she suffered a skull fracture from being hit by an iron chain.

Rifqa ghazi 'Abdullah, strangled to death with a wet towel, November 27, 2009

On Friday afternoon, 27 November 2009, Rifqa Ghazi 'Abdullah Salam, 29, from al-Shati refugee camp west of Gaza City, was killed allegedly "to maintain family honor." According to police sources in al-Shati, at approximately 13:30 on Friday, 27 November 2009, the woman's brother, two uncles and two cousin strangled her using a wet towel while she was sleeping at home near Hmaid intersection in al-Shati refugee camp.

The police initiated an investigation into the murder and arrested the 5 accused persons. Initial investigations indicate that the woman was killed allegedly to "maintain family honor."

Sources of the forensic medicine department at Shifa Hospital reported that the woman was strangled by a wet towel.
Palestine: Woman Killed in Gaza Refugee Camp to "Maintain Family Honor"
Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, December 2, 2009

21-year old female, beaten then hung to death, September 2013

A mother has admitted to beating her mentally challenged daughter before hanging her to death. The confession came after the mother turned herself in to the Palestinian Police.

It is alleged that the daughter was mentally challenged and was murdered after her mother found out that she was pregnant. This family honour crime occurred in the town of Yata, near Hebron, and the daughter has become the twentieth Palestinian woman murdered on the grounds of family honour since the beginning of the year.

Sources in Hebron said the body of the 21-year-old woman was taken to Abu Al Hassan Al Qassem Hospital in Yata. The woman’s remains were referred to Abu Dees Forensic Centre for autopsy.

The Palestinian Police and Public Prosecution claim that an investigation has been launched and that its outcome will be announced shortly.

Sources in Yata and Hebron told Gulf News that the victim’s father and brother have disappeared since the crime was committed and that the Palestinian Police has been searching for them though the mother has turned herself in...