‘Ula Hassan Safi, 31, from al-Maghazi refugee camp in the central Gaza
Strip, was killed by her relatives to “maintain family honour”.
According to investigations conducted by the Palestinian Centre for
Human Rights (PCHR), at approximately 11:00pm on Tuesday, 24 March 2009,
‘Ula Hassan Safi, 31, from al-Maghazi refugee camp, was pronounced dead
on arrival at al-Aqsa Martyr’s Hospital in Deir al-Balah.
Medical sources told PCHR that Safi had been killed by several stabs to
the neck and different parts of the body. Police sources from the
General Intelligence services told the PCHR fieldworker that the victim
was murdered to “maintain family honor”. Police sources added that a
number of the victim’s relatives were arrested for questioning.
This is the second crime of this type in the Occupied Palestinian
Territories since the beginning of 2009. On 12 March 2009, Tahani ‘Afif
‘Uda, 18, from Habla village south of Qalqiliya, was strangled to death
by her brother also in the name of “maintaining family honour”.
PCHR strongly condemns this crime and:
1. Is gravely concerned about the reoccurrence of women
killed in the Palestinian territories in the name of “maintaining family
honour”. These crimes are committed repeatedly because of the immunity
granted to the perpetrators and the leniency of sentences. The maximum
penalty for such crimes never exceeds three years of imprisonment,
according to civilian courts, which is equal to around 24 months
2.Demands the implementation of deterrent penalties for
crimes committed in the name of “maintaining family honour”. PCHR calls
for dealing with honour crimes as willful killings, taking into account
the international provisions and standards of human rights. Many killers
claim their attacks are to maintain “family honour” in order to benefit
from the lenient sentences imposed on such crimes.