Security Chaos and Proliferation of Weapons
02 December 2009
Woman Killed in al-Shati Refugee Camp to "Maintain Family Honor"
On Friday afternoon, 27 November 2009, Rifqa Ghazi
'Abdullah Salama, 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.
According to PCHR's documentation, the number of people
killed allegedly "to maintain family honor" since the beginning of 2009
has amounted to 10 (7 women, two men and a child) in 8 crimes. One of
these crimes was committed in the West Bank, whereas the rest of the
crimes were committed in the Gaza Strip.
PCHR strongly condemns this
latest crime, and:
Expresses concern over the
recurrence of murders against women in the Occupied Palestinian
Territory allegedly "to maintain family honor." Such recurrence may be
attributed to the relative impunity granted to murderers, who are often
sentenced to less than 3 civil years of imprisonment, equivalent to 24
months of effective imprisonment.
Calls for suitable
deterrent penalties to be applied to "family honor" murders. These
murders must be dealt with in the same manner as other crimes of willful
killing, taking into consideration international human rights standards.
Many murderers use the claim of maintaining family honor as a
justification for the crimes they commit in order to benefit from more