.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Arab women protest brutal murder of wife in Bethlehem

From AP:
The brutal killing of a battered wife in front of horrified witnesses in an open-air Bethlehem market prompted angry accusations Wednesday that Palestinian police and courts ignore violence against women.

Nancy Zaboun, a 27-year-old mother of three, had her throat slashed Monday after seeking a divorce from her abusive husband of 10 years. The husband was arrested at the scene and is the prime suspect, West Bank officials said.

The case reverberated across Palestinian society because of the brutality of the attack. However, violence against women continues to be tolerated—similar to attitudes in other parts of the Arab world—and women's rights activists say abusive husbands are rarely punished.

Zaboun was regularly beaten by her husband, 32-year-old Shadi Abedallah, at times so severely that she had to be hospitalized, said Khaula al-Azraq, who runs a West Bank counseling center where Zaboun sought help.

Even so, Abedallah was never arrested. Police only made him sign pledges he would stop hitting his wife, said al-Azraq, adding that Abedallah himself is a former police officer.

Zaboun was killed after attending a hearing in her divorce case. She was walking on the steep paths of an open-air market—not far from the Church of the Nativity, marking the traditional birthplace of Jesus—when she was fatally slashed.

On Wednesday, several dozen women staged a memorial for Zaboun in the Bethlehem market alley where she was killed, holding signs and chanting, "No to violence against women." One sign read, "Shame on us Palestinians for killing our women."

Women have scored some breakthroughs in traditional Palestinian society in recent years, including gaining a greater role in public life. However, tribal laws still remain strong, and violence against women is generally viewed by police as an internal family matter.
Honest Reporting notes that this came only a day after The Guardian published an absurd piece where Israel was blamed for Palestinian men beating their wives.

By the way, Arab media disgustingly published graphic photos of the murdered woman. (And in the first link, the moral editor tastefully edited out the inch of exposed skin between her shirt and jeans, while allowing his readers to see her slashed throat.)