Sunday, September 01, 2019

  • Sunday, September 01, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon

From Egyptian Streets:
A 21-year-old Palestinian woman died on Thursday in suspicious circumstances that have caused massive outrage among activists and social media users across the Middle East and North Africa. Israa Gharib, a makeup artist from Bethlehem, died in a coma due to head trauma, in what activists and sources close to the victim are saying was a brutal honor killing. The culprits are believed to be her father, her brother-in-law, Sheikh Mohamed El Safy, and her two brothers, Bahaa and Ihab, a resident of Canada.

It all began when Gharib went to meet a potential suitor in a public place and posted a video of the outing on her Instagram page. According to a friend of the victim’s, Gharib’s mother was fully aware of the meeting and the suitor’s sister was also in attendance.

According to sources online, Gharib’s cousin then showed the video to the victim’s father and brothers, allegedly urging them to act to prevent scandal and accusing Israa of dishonoring herself and bringing shame to the family by being seen in the company of a man outside the bonds of marriage.

Gharib’s friend claims that upon seeing the video, her brothers and brother-in-law began beating and torturing her, and proceeded to terminate the engagement. Other sources claim she fell from the 2nd floor while attempting to flee the brutal assault. She was later hospitalized due to a fractured spine.

Gharib’s father, brothers, and brother-in-law followed her to the hospital, her friend alleges, and resumed the beating, telling hospital staff they were performing an exorcism on the victim whom they believed was possessed by a demon. A harrowing audio recording of the assault was leaked by one of the nurses at the hospital that purportedly features Gharib’s repeated horrified screams.

She was then released from the hospital, after which she returned home where she reportedly suffered a head injury at the hands of her brother, Ihab, whom eye witnesses say was seen threatening to kill her, prompting some on social media to call on the Canadian government to take legal action against him. Gharib went into a coma, before her heart stopped.

In a Facebook statement, the victim’s family denied any wrongdoing, claiming she suffered mental and psychological disorders that led to her fall from the 2nd floor of their Bethlehem house.

Here's the video where you can hear Israa's screams in the hospital as she was being beaten.

What kind of hospital allows a family to mercilessly beat a patient under the excuse of doing an "exorcism"?

And what kind of hospital would release her afterwards after seeing her family treat her this way?

The good news is that this story is all over Arabic social media since Friday, and in regular Arab news media as well. Years of feminists in the Arab world and coverage by Western media of "honor" crimes has shamed most Arabs into accepting that the old way of treating women is unacceptable and the outrage is a sign that things can change in the Arab world - but it requires the West to shame the Arabs into doing something to change.

The bad news is that there is still a long way to go. This interview with Palestinian human rights activist Dr. Omar Rahhal from late 2018 describes the issue:
The laws enacted in our country, by which I mean the Jordanian Penal Code No. 16 of 1960 deals with women as inferior whereby the perpetrator can marry his victim. What’s more, the perpetrator of crimes that fall under the category of “honor” can get a mitigated punishment. While it’s true that the President cancelled this article, in reality things are still the same. We have dozens of examples of this, the most recent one last night when a few brothers killed their sister and her husband in Ya’abad in the Jenin district even after the two families had reconciled. The reconciliation even happened under the supervision of the Palestinian intelligence services.

Palestinian laws are discriminatory in terms of gender-sensitivity. In addition, the laws enacted in Palestine are lacking in terms of respect for women; instead they treat them like second-class citizens. There is no equality. Socially, it is not such a big deal to kill a woman. Unfortunately, in some districts, the mourning for a women who is killed only lasts for one or two days instead of the traditional three days accorded to men.

We need amendments or a Palestinian penal code. The Ministry of Justice in addition to women’s institutions, civil society organizations and rights and academic institutions were able to draw up a draft law which is progressive and humane and that respects women’s dignity. Unfortunately, the President does not regard this as a priority and does not consider it a necessity. Hence, we have laws that not only do not respect women but almost encourage their punishment...
The entire interview is enlightening, showing how worthless the Palestinian justice system is as a whole. These are issues the media studiously avoids talking about out of some fear of looking "Islamophobic" or anti-Arab or racist. As a direct result of the media ignoring these issues, people like Israa Gharib will continue to die. Because reform is not going to come from inside; the PA has already had 25 years to do something and it hasn't.

Reform will only come when Westerners make a stink. Unfortunately, the very people who should be in the forefront of doing exactly that - the self-styled progressives and feminists - are the ones least likely to take a stand on this in public, because their solidarity with those that hate Israel is considered more important than the lives of actual Palestinian women.

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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