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August 16, 2012 12:14 am

Calls for Culture Change Follow Rise in Palestinian ‘Honor Killings’ of Women

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Israeli-Arab lecturer Yusuf Jabareen speaks out against Palestinian "honor killings" of women on Palestinian Authority TV. Photo: Palestinian Media Watch.

The recent rise in Palestinian “honor killings,” or the murder of women by male family members, has led to calls on Palestinian Authority (PA) leadership to enact tougher laws against that archaic practice, Palestinian Media Watch reported.

“The law reinforces violence against women, legalizes the murder of women, and protects the murderers,” said Palestinian activist Khawla Al-Azraq in Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, the PA daily publication.

PA President Mahmoud Abbas has sought to address this situation by instructing his legal advisor to amend the 1960 Jordanian law that allows perpetrators to escape justice.

However, despite efforts from Palestinian leaders and human rights groups, some feel that the murders won’t stop until there are broader changes in Arab-Muslim culture.

“Part of our identity is to attack women… Palestinian identity has its charms, but there are things that we have adopted from Arab culture for centuries that harm the individual and the woman,” said Israeli-Arab lecturer Yusuf Jabareen.

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