Honor killings of Palestinian women on the rise

Tuesday, November 20, 2007 |  by Staff Writer

Nearly 50 Palestinian Arab women have been murdered this year alone by male relatives looking to defend their family "honor."

That according to local Palestinian organizations that spoke to the Christian Science Monitor, which published a report on Tuesday about the recent killing of a young Palestinian mother of four by two of her male cousins over rumors that she was having an affair.

The extra-judicial killings are rarely accompanied by any actual evidence of sexual immorality, and often enough are committed over far less serious sins, such as immodest dress or overly independent behavior by Muslim women.

Palestinians attribute the rising number of honor killings to the Palestinian Authority's inability to enforce law and order in the areas it rules. Others, however, point out that Palestinian law itself is very forgiving of the perpetrators of honor killings. According to an old Jordanian law still in effect, a Muslim male who confesses to murdering a female relative in order to defend family honor will serve a mere six months in jail.

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