Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Palestinians demand justice for Israa Ghrayeb

By Patty Diphusa - September 04, 2019
Section: [Main News] [IN PICTURES]
Tags: [Human rights]

On September 2 a group of protesters gathered at the entrance of the Prime Minister’s office demanding investigation and justice for the alleged murder of 21-year-old Palestinian woman, Israa Ghareeb.

Women leading a group of all ages and genders chanted, “we want freedom and security” and “we want actions, not words” represented the anger and frustration at the current events. On the signs raised at the protest, statements such as “There is no honour in killing. 'Honor’ killings are murders and their perpetrators are murderers” could be read.

Although no autopsy has been yet conducted and without official statements confirming what happened, most news outlets and civil society organizations claim that Ghrayeb was in fact murdered in a form of 'honour-killing’.


As reported by The New Arab, Ghareeb was allegedly beaten to death by her brother after she posted a video on social media with her soon to be fiancé, which the family claimed had 'dishonoured’ them. 

The same news media stated that Ghrayeb had been checked into the hospital with severe spinal injuries after 'falling’ from the second story of her house in an attempt to escape attacks from male family members. Once in the hospital, a second assault allegedly by her brother ended up taking her life, with video footage emerging online of her screaming during the last attack.

Mariam, a young Palestinian present at the protest, stated that they are demanding for “a change in the law, investigation and justice for Ghareeb’s murder and for the Government to take actions against widespread gender-based violence”. 

Many at the protest demanded justice from the PA and a review of laws surrounding femicide and gender-based violence.

Amira Khader, lawyer and co-manager of feminist initiative BabyFist explained in a conversation with the Middle East Monitor that “the [Palestinian] parliament hasn’t been working since 2000 and the intifada”. 

She continued stating that “there hasn’t been any real discussion or any real voting since 2006”, year in which the PA was divided with Hamas controlling Gaza and Fatah ruling in the West Bank. 

Khader asserted that “without a functioning parliament, no article can be changed without a signature from the president Mahmoud Abbas”. 

A series of amendments have been made since 2011 to several articles pertaining to honour killing in the Palestinian penal system, the last of which happened in March 2018. However, that change only benefits women who were victims of femicide after the implementation of the amendment. 

Many believe these amendments do not go far enough in protecting women.


General Secretary of the Palestinian National Initiative, Dr Mustafa Barghouti spoke with Palestine Monitor at the protest about how Israa’s case has revealed the seriousness of gender-based violence. 

“The whole Palestinian civil society and all progressive political forces are determined to stop all forms of violence against women, and against girls.”


“Gender-based violence must be eliminated it is a very important factor in our success to achieve our freedom as people, as Palestinians,” Barghouti added.

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