No punishment for Palestinian honor killings

Except for the US, Panama, Czechoslovakia and some pinpoint Pacific islands, the world, as reflected in the United Nations, approves of "honor" killings of women. Yep. A month ago most of the countries in the UN approved changing the status of a group of Arabs calling themselves Palestinians. Retaining an important aspect of the culture, the leader of said Palestinians recently announced he will continue the laws that allow males to kill their wives, sisters, (grand)mothers, daughters, nieces, aunts who "dishonor" or shame them or the family with virtually no punishment. Shame is self defined; any excuse will do.

The Arab news agency Ma'an reported

President Mahmoud Abbas has no plans to amend laws that reduce sentences for suspects who claim an "honor" defense for murdering women, his legal adviser says.

"Why change it? This would cause serious problems," Hassan al-Ouri told Ma'an, adding that such a reform would "not benefit women."

Yep again. Laws protecting women, allowing them to live "would 'not benefit women.' " Amazingly, some Arab women have a different opinion.

Lax laws encourage murder suspects to claim "honor" in their defense, officials and women's rights activists say.

"Because the penalty is one or two months, they consider killing her and dress it up as honor," Minister of Women's Affairs Rahiba Diab told Ma'an.

Khawla al-Azraq, who runs a women's counseling center in Bethlehem, (yes, that Bethlehem, ECF) notes that femicide is a global issue but "now in Palestine, they call this honor killing."

"Sometimes these girls are abused by someone in the family and they need to cover this (up) and they kill her; sometimes because they need her money," she says. "These are the real reasons for killing."

"In Palestine, this is the gap, that until now we don't have our own legislation that really can protect women."

The Independent Commission of Human Rights says 13 women have been killed this year, but the real figure is likely to be higher.

"There has been historically a problem of documentation," says Hussein, the women's rights expert. The cause of suspicious deaths of women was often recorded as "fate," which could refer to forced "suicides" or being pushed from a building, she explained.

Men killing women is not confined to the Arab/Muslim world. But validating it as a necessary honor killing not worthy of punishment, is unique to that culture.

Hat tip: Honest Reporting