Ref: 93/2007

Date: 15 August 2007

Time: 12:15 GMT


New Murder Crime in what is known as “Honor Killing” in the Northern Gaza Strip

PCHR strongly condemns the murder of a woman in the northern Gaza Strip in what is termed as an “honor killing.” The Centre calls for prosecuting the perpetrators, and for taking effective legal action to prevent these crimes that have escalated over the past 2 years.

The Center’s preliminary investigation indicates that at approximately 18:00 on Monday, 13 August 2007, the body of En’am Jaber Deifallah (37) arrived at Shifa Hospital. The victim is from El-T’wam area in northern Gaza City, and was a mother of one child. Medical sources indicated that she was killed by beating with a sharp object on the head. The victim’s family informed PCHR’s fieldworker that one of the victim’s brothers killed her inside her house in a murder motivated by “honor.” Sources in the Executive Force indicated that an investigation in the crime is ongoing, and that the suspect is being pursued.

It is noted that “honor killings” have increased over the past few years in the Gaza Strip. Deirallah is the 11th victims of such crimes this year. The last victim before Deifallah was Nisreen Mohammad Abu Bureik (26) from El-Bureij refugee camp, who was killed by her brother on 28 July 2007. The Palestinian National Authority bears the responsibility for this escalation due to the impunity and reduced sentences granted to the perpetrators of such crimes. This comes despite the fact that the Palestinian Penal Code for the Year 1936, effective in the Gaza Strip, does not differentiate between what is known as an “Honor Killing” and premeditated murder.

PCHR strongly condemns this crime, and:

  1. Calls for a serious investigation into the murder of the young women, and for prosecuting the perpetrators.

  2. Points to the recurrence of honor killings in the Gaza Strip due to the impunity granted to killers through reduced sentences, knowing that such crimes take honor killings as cover to get reduced sentences.

  3. Calls for deterrent steps against honor killings, which must be treated as premeditated murder, taking into consideration international human rights standards.