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Bethlehem, West Bank - Palestinian Women Outraged By Marketplace Killing

Published on: August 1, 2012 12:59 PM
By: AP
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Palestinian women hold signs in Arabic that read, "protecting women from violence is an official (authorities) and social responsibility," right, and "shame on us. We Palestinians for killing our women," left, during a demonstration protesting violence against women held at the spot where a woman's throat was allegedly slashed by her husband on Monday, in the West Bank town of Bethlehem, Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2012. Dozens of activists called on police and courts to do more to protect women against abusive husbands. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has promised to end a long-standing practice of treating killings in the family 'with leniency. However, violence against women continues to be tolerated in Palestinian society and abusive husbands are rarely punished. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)Palestinian women hold signs in Arabic that read, "protecting women from violence is an official (authorities) and social responsibility," right, and "shame on us. We Palestinians for killing our women," left, during a demonstration protesting violence against women held at the spot where a woman's throat was allegedly slashed by her husband on Monday, in the West Bank town of Bethlehem, Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2012. Dozens of activists called on police and courts to do more to protect women against abusive husbands. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has promised to end a long-standing practice of treating killings in the family 'with leniency. However, violence against women continues to be tolerated in Palestinian society and abusive husbands are rarely punished. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

Bethlehem, West Bank - 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.

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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 Haula 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.

Al-Azraq said violence against women appears to be on the rise because of a deteriorating economic situation and because abusers don’t fear punishment.

Last year, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas signed a decree that ended a long-standing practice of treating killings within a family with leniency. Justice Minister Ali Mohanna said such killings are now treated as any other slaying, and claims of assailants that they were protecting “family honor” are no longer taken into account.

Zaboun’s husband could face life in prison if convicted, the minister said.

Thirteen women were killed by family members or in suspicious circumstances blamed on relatives in 2011, said Farid al-Attrash of the Palestinian Independent Commission for Human Rights. In 2012, 12 women were killed by relatives, including three in so-called “family honor” cases, he said. Those include suspected adultery and similar cases.

Zaboun was married at age 17, and the couple has three children, ages eight, six and three. Al-Azraq said the beatings began immediately after the wedding.

Abdel Fattah Hemayel, the district governor of Bethlehem, said the authorities stepped in at some point, attempting to solve what he described as a family dispute. He confirmed that the husband was asked to sign pledges to stop beating his wife.

Rabiha Diab, the women’s affairs minister in the Palestinian self-rule government, said the killing of Zaboun, and the failure to prevent, it were troubling.

“Every once in a while, there is a case that makes us feel worried and afraid that we are going back to square one (as women),” she said, noting that law enforcement agencies need to look at what they can do to protect women.

She called for harsh punishment of Zaboun’s killer. “We should set an example because ... he slaughtered her like a sheep,” she said.


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Read Comments (30)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Aug 01, 2012 at 01:07 PM Avi Says:

Muslim men don't value their own lives. Why do these women think they would value women's lives?

2

 Aug 01, 2012 at 01:07 PM Anon Ibid Opcit Says:

They deserve a lot of praise for what they're doing. They're risking violence at the hands of their husbands, brothers and fathers to save the lives of women and give voice to the voiceless. This is the real face of feminism.

3

 Aug 01, 2012 at 01:20 PM Chuna Says:

Religion of peace.

4

 Aug 01, 2012 at 01:23 PM yaakov doe Says:

Please show a little cultural sensitivity. In their culture they don't look at wife beating the same way was westernized people.

5

 Aug 01, 2012 at 01:26 PM Anonymous Says:

And if romney said something about the Arab culture, wowo! He had to pull back his words! Animals don't such stuff! Peace partners! 2 state solution, side by side in PEACE & HARMONY! Do they even know how to spell PEACE!?!?!

6

 Aug 01, 2012 at 01:34 PM chamor hador Says:

Why do we need to know this? Who cares? Let 'em continue to kill each other and rid us of their existance....

7

 Aug 01, 2012 at 01:39 PM MTL Says:

Reply to #5  
Anonymous Says:

And if romney said something about the Arab culture, wowo! He had to pull back his words! Animals don't such stuff! Peace partners! 2 state solution, side by side in PEACE & HARMONY! Do they even know how to spell PEACE!?!?!

Yes, they do know how to spell it, only by them it's "P-I-E-C-E" usually with an "s" at the end.

8

 Aug 01, 2012 at 01:48 PM Liepa Says:

'he slaughtered her like a sheep', she said.
They murder their own wives like sheep yet the world expects Israel to lay down and play nice with these vermin. These are our peace partners, lest you forget.

9

 Aug 01, 2012 at 02:25 PM common-sense Says:

Reply to #4  
yaakov doe Says:

Please show a little cultural sensitivity. In their culture they don't look at wife beating the same way was westernized people.

And while we're at it, how about a little cultural sensitivity to cannibals. After all, they don't look at murdering people and eating them "the same way as westernized people." I could go on, but you get my drift.

10

 Aug 01, 2012 at 02:28 PM Benabenja Says:

Para' adam, we know that's what their mankind is. In a sense it's sad for their women but you know they mostly hate Jews, therefore if Amalek has troubles we can't feel neither bad nor good for them.

11

 Aug 01, 2012 at 03:04 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #7  
MTL Says:

Yes, they do know how to spell it, only by them it's "P-I-E-C-E" usually with an "s" at the end.

You nailed it, tzadik!

12

 Aug 01, 2012 at 03:46 PM Anonymous Says:

Hey! Did our Sec of State Clinton say anything yet?
She did have a problem with the seperation of gender on Eged bus.

13

 Aug 01, 2012 at 03:43 PM blahblah Says:

This is exactly the kind of thing Romney was referring to...

14

 Aug 01, 2012 at 03:35 PM Anon Says:

Yes, the open minded readers have once again showed their understanding and kindness towards all human kind. All 1.5 billion Muslims are killers who hate women, as are all Arabs. I'm so glad you have taken the time to meet each and everyone of these people so you can provide us with this helpful information. BTW, thank goodness it's wrong to blame all Jews for the bad actions of another, only non-Jews, as I sure wouldn't want to be blamed for what Levi Aron is about to plead to.

15

 Aug 01, 2012 at 03:25 PM Mayer Says:

Reply to #6  
chamor hador Says:

Why do we need to know this? Who cares? Let 'em continue to kill each other and rid us of their existance....

We need to know about it for the same reason we need to know about the Syrians slaughtering each other: so we can wish both sides hatzlocha.

16

 Aug 01, 2012 at 05:09 PM Aronowitz Says:

There is an old saying that people in glass houses, can't throw stones. Until we rid our own community of sexual perverts and child molesters, as well as husbands who beat their wives and children, then we should not be criticizing the Muslims for their domestic violence.

17

 Aug 01, 2012 at 04:17 PM sane Says:

This underscores the hypocrisy of the left. It champion's Palestinian statehood, condemns Israel, but yet, is absolutely reticent as to the Arab record no woman;s rights - a prominent leftist cause.

18

 Aug 01, 2012 at 07:23 PM LoveHashem Says:

I'm surprised they're not blaming the Jews as usual, by saying the so-called occupation is causing the men to be frustrated into resorting to violence against their wives!

19

 Aug 01, 2012 at 07:00 PM yaakov doe Says:

Reply to #9  
common-sense Says:

And while we're at it, how about a little cultural sensitivity to cannibals. After all, they don't look at murdering people and eating them "the same way as westernized people." I could go on, but you get my drift.

Yes, there are similarities and neither canibals or followers of this "religion of peace" place value on human life. This incident, honor killings and suicide bombings indicate the value that followes of Islam place on human life.

20

 Aug 01, 2012 at 09:10 PM Pereles Says:

Reply to #6  
chamor hador Says:

Why do we need to know this? Who cares? Let 'em continue to kill each other and rid us of their existance....

You just don't get it. The world at large takes a great in gender issues and anything that makes the status quo in the Palestinian community look bad is good for Israel

21

 Aug 01, 2012 at 09:22 PM esther Says:

Reply to #6  
chamor hador Says:

Why do we need to know this? Who cares? Let 'em continue to kill each other and rid us of their existance....

are you jewish? tath's your reaction when you read about the mother of 3 children havin gher throat slit?

22

 Aug 01, 2012 at 09:26 PM esther Says:

Reply to #14  
Anon Says:

Yes, the open minded readers have once again showed their understanding and kindness towards all human kind. All 1.5 billion Muslims are killers who hate women, as are all Arabs. I'm so glad you have taken the time to meet each and everyone of these people so you can provide us with this helpful information. BTW, thank goodness it's wrong to blame all Jews for the bad actions of another, only non-Jews, as I sure wouldn't want to be blamed for what Levi Aron is about to plead to.

your comparison to one deranged jew is utterly rediculous. honor killings are a deep rooted aspect of arab culture and exactly how much beating is allowed by a husband toward a wife has been debated by muslim religious leaders.this has been profiled in national geogrphic,60 minutes and many other sources.

23

 Aug 01, 2012 at 09:27 PM esther Says:

Reply to #15  
Mayer Says:

We need to know about it for the same reason we need to know about the Syrians slaughtering each other: so we can wish both sides hatzlocha.

nuch a barbarian.

24

 Aug 01, 2012 at 10:03 PM Anthony Says:

Reply to #5  
Anonymous Says:

And if romney said something about the Arab culture, wowo! He had to pull back his words! Animals don't such stuff! Peace partners! 2 state solution, side by side in PEACE & HARMONY! Do they even know how to spell PEACE!?!?!

No. They spell it piece.

25

 Aug 02, 2012 at 01:19 AM TzviB Says:

Eerily reminds me of the cold blooded murder of the Fogel family. A society whose beliefs can justify the killing of a sleeping infant can certainly support the violence against women and spouses.

26

 Aug 02, 2012 at 07:45 AM Benny Says:

She should've called Sholom Task Force hot line

27

 Aug 02, 2012 at 12:07 PM 5TResident Says:

Reply to #5  
Anonymous Says:

And if romney said something about the Arab culture, wowo! He had to pull back his words! Animals don't such stuff! Peace partners! 2 state solution, side by side in PEACE & HARMONY! Do they even know how to spell PEACE!?!?!

Yes, they do - the peace of the grave.

28

 Aug 02, 2012 at 01:21 PM eliezer318 Says:

Seven mitzvot were commanded to the descendants of Noach. Not to murder is one of them. Enforcing just Courts of Law is another. We should be supportive when we see our fellow creatures protesting an extra-judicial killing, thereby following their cheilek in the Torah.

29

 Aug 03, 2012 at 02:58 AM yoheved Says:

it seems that every culture seems to abuse their women in some way. i give these women credit that they have come out and publicly identified the abuse they have experienced and continue to experience by the men in their culture. Jewish culture also has many abuses against women. we do not publicly protest domestic violence in the frum community as a group, although it absolutely exists, possibly larger than we know. the aguna issue is a huge abuse against women that seems to have no solution. i know a woman who was an aguna for 17 years after her husband ran off with a gentile. he called to cops on anyone who came to his house to ask him to give his wife a get. she died homeless after a series of nervous breakdowns and complications of diabetes. that is nothing short of abuse against women in the frum community, and there is nothing we can do about it, which might even be more pathetic than what is happening to these Palestinian women. at least, they will eventually have the courts and public pressure on their side to bring these men to justice. nothing in modern society can ever bring a Jewish man to justice if he refuses to give his wife a get.

30

 Aug 05, 2012 at 01:58 AM palmtights Says:

Reply to #16  
Aronowitz Says:

There is an old saying that people in glass houses, can't throw stones. Until we rid our own community of sexual perverts and child molesters, as well as husbands who beat their wives and children, then we should not be criticizing the Muslims for their domestic violence.

instead of putting up stupid posters in williamsburg that women should move to a side when they see a male (I'm not using the term man cause some of them are ignorant babies) and telling us not to wear two peice dusters or knit or this or that they should hang up posters telling all men to treat woman like they are people. Maybe then Hashem will have a little nachas from us.

31

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