Friday, September 05, 2008

The bizarre case of Hala Kaware

Last week, a woman was discovered to have been killed by her father and four brothers in an "honor killing":
At approximately 09:00 on Saturday, 30 August 2008, Hussein Mustafa Kaware’, 67, from Jourat al-Lout area in the southern Gaza Strip town of Khan Yunis, went to a police station in the town and confessed murdering his 24-year-old daughter, Hala, and burying her in land belonging to the family. Immediately, the police moved to the area and took the body out. The girl’s hands and feet were tied and her mouth was muzzled. The body was evacuated to Nasser Hospital in the town and from their to the forensic medicine department at Shifa Hospital in Gaza City. According to police sources, the father confessed murdering his daughter “to maintain the honor of his family.” The police also arrested 4 of his sons.
This is not a very atypical story in the Palestinian Arab territories - 28 PalArab women were killed in "honor killings" last year - but a strange detail just emerged.

According to the UN, Halas had been caught with a suicide bomb belt two weeks earlier.

Hamas caught her and jailed her until August 30th, and when they released her she was murdered immediately by her family.

Why would a young woman in today's Gaza want to become a suicide bomber? There are no Jews around to blow up, and if her target was Hamas then you can be sure that they would not have let her go after only two weeks.

It would appear that Hala must have done something to disgrace her family earlier, and the family must have decided that the best way to deal with it would be to force her to blow herself up - perhaps at a checkpoint - as a pretense of martyrdom and to regain some family honor. Possibly Fatah or Islamic Jihad provided the belt.

Hala reluctantly agreed, knowing she was going to die no matter what happens, but she got caught by Hamas, which is trying to maintain the "calm" with Israel and knows that an attack at a checkpoint - even a halfhearted one - would cause Israel to close the Gaza crossings for a few days and increase pressure on Hamas.

Once Hamas was convinced that they were not her intended target, they had no reason to keep holding onto her.

The UN report says she was released on August 30th. The PCHR says that her father turned himself in at 9:00 AM on the same day - indicating (if the UN report is correct) that Hala was murdered immediately after her release.

We have seen before where disgraced girls were encouraged to become "martyrs" and this seems to fit the pattern. Just the double disgrace of not only being a "tainted" woman plus failing at becoming a shahada is way too much to even consider leaving her alive an hour more than necessary.