OOPS! ‘Honor’ killing of 16-year-old Palestinian girl not so honorable after all

A Palestinian mother waited for her 16-year-old daughter to go to bed, then tied a rope around her neck and strangled her to death. The woman murdered her own daughter after neighbors lied to her that the girl had an affair with their son.

Emirates 24/7 (H/T Gail LR)  The crime had remained underground for a while before it was revealed by police and a Palestinian female activist, who described it as “one of the most heinous criminal acts” in Palestine.

Just before the girl was buried, her aging grandmother (father’s mother), swayed slowly towards the coffin with tears rolling on her wrinkled skin, pulled out the girl’s hair and tied a white tape around it. “This is more than a symbol of her chastity and purity…it is a proof,” the grandmother said to the mourners.

The crime took place in Bait Oula, a tiny village in the West Bank town of Hebron and it was publicized several weeks after it was perpetrated by the mother. Residents, who spoke to the Palestinian Arabic language daily Donia Al Watan, said the mother had already been cruel to her daughter as she used to force her to do all household work because she does not like female offspring.

It was this cruelty that made her rush and murder the girl without bothering to check if what neighbours said about her daughter was true. “Just go and see your daughter’s pictures on my son’s mobile phone,” the neighbouring woman told the mother after an argument, according to the paper.

“The mother then started her plan to kill her daughter…residents said she had made her daughter clean the house for two days so the family will be prepared to receive would-be mourners on their daughter’s death.” After the murder, the family left the girl in her bed all the night. In the morning, they went straight to hospital and said their daughter had died of heart attack.

“But doctors noticed the swelling in her neck and that her body was bluish….they informed the authorities, who later wrested a confession about the murder…the mother said she killed her to wash off shame and clean the family’s honour….a day later, hospital tests showed the girl was still virgin and pure….it was a hasty crime of honour, which has never been marred or even touched.”

So-called “honor killings” are committed regularly in traditional Arab societies that enforce strict separation between the sexes and view an unmarried woman’s unsupervised contact with a man, even by telephone, as a stain on the family’s reputation. There were nine such killings in the West Bank last year, and Jordan reports about 20 every year.