Most safe-houses in the Gaza Strip are meant to provide protection for armed militants on Israel's target list. Now Gaza is offering protected shelter to battered Palestinian women.And of course Reuters believes her.
Its lone women's safe-house, opened two months ago, has had eight clients, all guarded by police from the Islamist Hamas movement that runs the enclave and enforces a conservative though not radical Muslim religious code.
So-called 'honour killings' are rare but not unknown among religious Palestinians of Gaza and the West Bank, and like every society it is not immune to wife-beating.
"In 2010 there was no record of killing under the motive of family honor and this is a positive development," said Huda Naeem, a Hamas lawmaker who backed the safe house as a way station for women at risk within their own families.
Assuming she is only referring to Gaza "honor killings," I know of specific cases in April and July in Gaza. (There were many more in the West Bank.) And, as Reuters goes on to say later:
Sobheya Joma, a woman lawyer at the Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR), said there was no way to know for sure if honor killings were really eradicated.Reuters being Reuters, of course, they need to blame Israel for some of the women being beaten by their husbands in Gaza:
"The ICHR is worried because it has recently noticed that some deaths were listed as unexplained or accidental," Joma told Reuters in her Gaza city office.
At one stage, women under risk were transferred to the other Palestinian Territory - the West Bank - where they could be kept safe from angry relatives.That awful Israeli policy allows Gaza husbands to beat their wives!
But it is now virtually impossible for Gazans to get to the West Bank because of an Israeli blockade, which is vigorously imposed following repeated Hamas attacks on the Jewish state.