When I asked him about the case of the Juha sisters, he grimaced and seemed almost as dismissive as his counterparts from Hamas. "Look, we have information from intelligence sources that they have been committing sins," the attorney general explained. He told me that he had taken a personal interest in the case, and ordered "forensic work" to be done on the bodies. "After the work was done, it was determined that they were not virgins," he continued. "We could detect that there were recent sexual relationships." He lifted his hands and cocked his head, as if to say: case closed. "Of course, this is not a pretext to kill them," he added. "Nobody is allowed to take the law into his own hands." The attorney general sounded very much like he was trying to convince himself.The article shows that both Fatah and Hamas members are equally blasé about the murders.
After two days of asking around about the case, I realized that I knew almost nothing solid about the lives of the three young women. I stopped by the apartment complex where they had lived, a split-level gray cinderblock structure in the heart of Gaza City. A neighbor who identified himself as Abu Ahmad said that the three had lived alone; their father had died years before of a heart attack, an older brother had been killed as an Israeli collaborator in the 1990s, and their mother had also been murdered. "They used to talk to boys in the street," the neighbor recalled. "They used to go without a headscarf. Now we're rid of them." Relatives I visited were no more helpful or sympathetic. Not a single family member was willing to talk about the girls. Mahmoud Juha, the family mukhtar—the head of the clan—explained that he would have nothing to say about the young women or their murders. When we stopped by his home, he told my translator firmly: "I advise you not to talk to anyone else."
If you are a non-virgin single girl in the Palestinian territories, you very well may get killed.
UPDATE: An-Najah student dies of wounds from intra-university fighting earlier this week. The PalArab self-death count for the year is at 492.