The precise statistics on honor killings of women in Palestinian society are not known, because not all incidents are reported to the authorities. According to Lamiya Shalalda, representative of the Forum of Palestinian Non-Governmental Organizations, 11 women died in 2009 in honor killings in the West Bank and Gaza. However, according to the Independent Authority for Human Rights, that number was 13.Jurists such as Zayyad Thabet, president of a Gaza court, said that since Hamas took charge of the Gaza judiciary system after its June 2007 coup, many cases of honor killing have never even made it to the courts.(so the number is actually much higher….).
….In most cases, there was no proof that the murder victims had violated any moral code of Arab society – only that their families thought that their behavior was incompatible with the moral code and with accepted custom. Sometimes a mere rumor that a woman had spoken with a man was enough to seal her fate. In other cases, “honor killing” served as a pretext for murder for other reasons, such as a dispute, rivalry, or personal vendetta.
Samia Habib, a psychologist at the Palestinian Center for Democracy and Conflict Resolution, explained: “Sometimes it is a matter of inheritance… sometimes the father has committed deviant acts against his daughter and then murders her in a so-called ‘honor killing’ to cover up his crime… The woman is the weakest link. She is always guilty, even when she is a rape victim […] The issue of honor is a very sensitive one. The families do not call for help; you can’t reach them…”
And the worst thing (for me at least):
It is noteworthy that honor killings are condoned by many women. In one of a series of workshops held in Khan Yunis on the role of the media in covering honor killings, in which 60 women participated, it became clear that all the women present believed that a sinning woman should be punished with death.
When women consider that honor killing is good, that women who “sin deserve to die”, I ask myself where their humanity can be. How on earth anyone can consider that a father, a brother, a son should kill his relative, that she deserves to die, just because she hasn’t fulfilled their honor code, or what’s even worse, because they think that the woman has not fulfilled that honor code?