Last Saturday 16 May 2009, Halimeh Ahmad Al-Sheikh from Qalqilyah was found dead near the Atara checkpoint north of Ramallah. She was the mother of 7 children, aged 30. Medical sources said that the Palestinian Red Crescent found the body after they received information. They found the corpse of Halimeh with many stab wounds in the back and dumped about 400 meters from the Atara checkpoint on the road to the Nabi Musa village. The body had been dumped 4 years before, it had been partially eaten by wild animal.
Two months ago the body of another woman was found in Ramallah. In March 2009 three women were found killed in Gaza. There is an increasing number of murders of women in Palestine. In 2009, so far 11 women have been killed, but this is not the real number of “honor killings”, because many women are murdered and the families declare their death as a “normal” after they invent cover stories to simulate or justify a normal death. They are all victims of the weak laws inherited from Jordan and implemented in Palestine, which guarantee impunity to men who murder their female relatives. Last year women organizations held a meeting with President Abbas about this horrific situation, and they asked him to declare a strong law against the criminal “honor killing”. Apparently, nothing has happened since.
What the Palestinian Attorney General say about the increase number of honor killings and the murders of women in Palestine? Is this the right time to deal with this issue as a crime with premeditation and declare powerful laws which deter the perpetrators of these crimes?
Palestinian Attorney General Ahmad Mghanni: I can’t describe the honor killing as an organized crime. The prosecutors are dealing with this crime as a premeditation crime, but the punishment laws related to this crime and still implemented in Palestine are the Jordanian laws, which give lenient sentences to the criminals. In the new Penal Code which the Palestinian Legislative Council is supposed to adopt, and which was drawn up by the Palestinian Authority, there is severe punishment for honor killers, and we hope that this law applies.
When, perhaps in the year 5000?