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Internal Palestinian issues
Women in PA society
Internal Palestinian issues
There are many internal issues concerning Palestinian society that are not related to Israel. This section will track these subjects and update them regularly.
Women in PA society
PA TV: Viewers who use "beatings and violence to solve their marital problems" to obey the Quran's "religious rules for beatings" 
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, Apr. 1, 2017

Official PA TV reporter on Talk of the Land:
“To those who use beatings and violence to solve their marital problems: Carefully read the Quranic verse again [Sura 4:34]. There are solutions before giving beatings. If you have to, there are religious rules for beatings that must be obeyed. Guys, the goal of the beatings is rebuke in a way that does not cause injury. You can even go ask someone about it.”
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The verse indicated is: “Men are in charge of women by [right of] what Allah has given one over the other and what they spend [for maintenance] from their wealth. So righteous women are devoutly obedient, guarding in [the husband's] absence what Allah would have them guard. But those [wives] from whom you fear arrogance - [first] advise them; [then if they persist], forsake them in bed; and [finally], strike them. But if they obey you [once more], seek no means against them. Indeed, Allah is ever Exalted and Grand” (Quran, Sura 4:34, Sahih International translation).
PA initiates campaign against erasing women’s names from the public space 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Mar. 13, 2017
Headline: "A meeting of the My Name is Not Shameful campaign at the [PA] government's General Secretariat"
      "The [PA] government’s General Secretariat yesterday [March 12, 2017] hosted the second meeting of the My Name is Not Shameful campaign, in which all of the employees of the gender units in the government ministries and government institutes participated…
District Deputy Governor of Jericho and the [Jordan] Valley Jamal Rajoub said: 'I personally initiated this campaign when I noticed that during the preparations for the municipal elections in 2016 (in the end, the elections did not take place –Ed.) the names of the women candidates were concealed, as were the names of women on invitations to social events, and primarily weddings.' He said that the concealment of women's names 'constitutes a continuation of the policy of violence towards them and a continuation of the outdated traditions and customs and of a misguided legacy that is as far as possible from religion.’"
Palestinian women's rights group outraged that rapists and murderers receive reduced sentences 
Source: Ma’an, independent Palestinian news agency, Mar. 7, 2017
Headline: "Article 99 murders women twice"
     "The [PA] Ramallah court on Oct. 19 [2016] convicted a man from Tulkarem of rape, in contradiction of the directives of clause 296 of [Palestinian] Penal Law No. 16 of 1960, and sentenced him to manual labor for three years. However, in light of 'the waiver of personal right' (i.e., a legal device by which the victim or the victim's family can waive the victim's rights), it was decided to reduce his sentence to a year and a half, from which the half year he had spent in detention until his trial was deducted. This is according to a press statement issued by the public prosecutor's office.
On the same subject, institutions involved in women's rights, led by Women Media and Development TAM, are preparing to submit a petition to [PA] Prime Minister [Rami Hamdallah] demanding that he revoke and suspend the use of Article 99 of Penal Law No. 16 of 1960 in cases of murder of women, which provides mitigating circumstances to crimes of murder and allows the use of 'the waiver of personal right' as one of the reasons for reducing the punishment, which is reduced up to half, and in this way the criminal is sentenced to [only] a few years, after which he goes free after he committed a terrible crime against his sister, mother, wife, or daughter.
Director of the Women's Courts Project in the TAM organization Victoria Shukri said to [Palestinian news agency] Ma'an that... 'A man who murdered his wife in one of the Palestinian cities is released after two and a half years? Why? Because his [the murderers] family waived the [wife's] personal right after he was sentenced to 15 years.' This is a living example presented by Shukri, who even added: 'The statistics show that in 95% of the murders of women in Palestine the personal right is waived.'
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Mufti on PA TV explains how to discipline a wife: “Rebuke her, forsake her in bed, beat her – [use] a small brush or a handkerchief, and the number of blows should not exceed 10” 
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, Nov. 24, 2016
 
Academic lecturer on Islam and Mufti Sheikh Samih Hajjaj: “A man wanted to take revenge on [his] wife so he locked her in the bathroom. She is from a respectable family and he locked her up for 25 days. In the morning he would give her pita bread, a plate of red pepper, and a beating with a rubber pipe. In the evening he would give her a plate of red pepper, pita bread, and a beating with a rubber pipe. For 25 days. On the 25th day he didn’t pay attention and left the bathroom door open, may Allah protect us all. She fled to her parents’ home. ‘Why did you do this, sir?’ He said: ‘Didn’t you read the Quran? Allah said: “But those [wives] from whom you fear arrogance - [first] advise them; [then if they persist], forsake them in bed; and [finally], strike them”’ ... Even if he had acted gradually, he did not have to beat her in this way. ‘[First] advise them.’ Let’s say that a husband senses that his wife is lying. First he needs to rebuke her and quote the Quran and Hadith on the ban on lying. If that does not work, he need to forsake her in bed... The [Muslim] scholars said that the beating can be with a small brush or a handkerchief, and the number of blows should not exceed 10.”
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Click "full article" for a longer excerpt
Official PA daily reports significant setback in number of women running for election 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Sept. 1, 2016
Headline: “The parties marginalize the role of women in political participation”
     “The millions of dollars that the women’s associations, centers for defending women’s rights, and party activists are transferring have not achieved advancement towards strengthening the role of women in political participation, as the presence of women on the lists of candidates for local elections has suffered a substantial setback compared to previous elections. If not for the law requiring the presence of women in one of [both] the first five and the first nine spots, it is possible that women would not appear on the lists at all. This matter raises a long list of speculations regarding this marginalization of women, even by the parties that pretend to protect women’s rights and wave the slogan of strengthening their political participation... Women appeared on most of the candidate lists only because it is required by law, and women do not appear in the first spot on any of the major cities’ lists, except for one list in Nablus. There is a woman in the second spot on another list in the same city, and in the first spot on one of the lists in Gaza City. In Ramallah there is a woman in the third spot on two lists, and in Tubas on one list out of eight. In Jericho there is a woman in the third position on only one list, and that is also how it is in Hebron. On the other lists, women are generally found in the fifth and ninth spots, as they are the positions guaranteed to them by law. Likewise, the rate of women contending in the elections is lower than the previous time, when it reached 25%.

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Palestinian university expels student for hugging his fiancé publicly 
Source: Donia Al-Watan (independent Palestinian news agency), Mar. 21, 2016
Headline: “Video: A hug at Kadoorie University in the West Bank leads to a student being expelled”
      “The administration of Palestine Technical University – Kadoorie (a PA government university –Ed.) decided to expel one of its students from the university due to conduct contradicting campus regulations, but allowed him the right to appeal. The expulsion decision was made against a student who hugged his fiancé on campus after putting an engagement ring on her finger, and the disciplinary committee that met about his case saw this as ‘something that offends the public sensibilities.’ Dean of Student Affairs Jamal Bishara told the Dooz website: ‘According to university regulations – whether the student meant to or not – he violated the university’s regulations, and did something that offended public sensibilities and the university’s good name. Therefore, the natural inclination [in response] to this transgression is expulsion.’ Bishara added that the university administration believes that Palestinian society is a conservative society, and ‘since the student admitted that he made the mistake, the only option is expulsion, but the student has the right to appeal, and the university’s president has not yet approved the expulsion decision.’”
Palestinian attorney: The Israeli labor law is very good but Palestinian middlemen steal half or two thirds of women’s salaries 
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, Mar. 16, 2016


Attorney Khaled Dukhi of Worker’s Hotline:
"Israeli labor law is a very good law regarding workers' rights, for both men and women. Israeli law does not differentiate between a worker who has entered Israel illegally or legally... Unfortunately, even though it is very good, in practice, the law has become very bad for female Palestinian workers. For instance, the Palestinian female workers in the agricultural sector enjoy many rights, like any Israeli worker in the agricultural sector: The salary is higher than the minimum wage, 14 vacation days a year in the first four years, 2,000 shekels convalescence pay [yearly] in the first year and 2,200 shekels in the second and third year for every worker in Israel, payment for holidays, whether Islamic or Jewish. It is a matter of choice."
TV host of 'Workers' Affairs': "But in practice, do they enjoy these rights provided by law?"
Attorney Khaled Dukhi of Worker’s Hotline: "In reality, Palestinian workers – and especially the female Palestinian workers – do not receive these things. Why? You said: “The Palestinian middleman deducts from her [salary].” No, he does not deduct, he shares her salary. In practice, he takes 50 percent, 60 percent, and even 70 percent of her salary. If her daily salary is 180 shekels, in the end she receives 60 shekels. The middleman steals two thirds of her salary. Excuse the word [“steals”], but that is the exact word."
TV host: "Yes, it reflects the reality."
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PA daily op-ed criticizes male Palestinians who murder their female relatives  
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Mar. 13, 2016
Headline: “I don’t like anything”
Excerpt of op-ed by Hanan Bakir
    “I don’t like it that men – without stereotyping – in one moment alienate themselves from the woman to an extent that they commit the crime (i.e., femicide).
When a recalcitrant man commits [a crime] and goes to prison for theft, fraud, or even murder, the women – the mother, sister, wife, and daughter – do not abandon him. They go to visit him with delicacies and beverages and everything his heart desires. But if the woman does something that the man considers offensive to him – oh dear! Within a few moments he forgets his sister, or his daughter, and draws his sharp knife. As if he was slaughtering a chicken, his heart is devoid of emotion and he does not even blink! And afterwards he becomes a hero! ...
I do not like the fierce attack of/against a few of the Arab countries, for their negative treatment of refugees, while rights are being violated… [of] these refugees in the countries of their brothers, the Arabs. The Palestinian refugees, nearly 70 years after their Nakba (i.e., "the catastrophe," Palestinian term for the establishment of the State of Israel), still suffer violations and humiliation in the homelands of the Arabs! I do not like the immigrants, who enjoy every kind of social security , allowing them to sleep soundly without worrying about tomorrow, and who are not concerned about the cost of medical treatments and the cost of medicine to treat chronic diseases… and then curse their new society, calling it ‘heretic’ and ‘lost.’”
PA Mufti of Gaza explains how to hit your wife: "Not hitting that will bring the police, and break her hand and cause bleeding" 
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, Feb. 8, 2016


Mufti of Gaza Hassan Al-Laham:
"Allah created a solution for this (i.e., marital strife)... Allah said: Warn them [the wives], and separate from them, and hit them, and bring an arbitrator from his family and an arbitrator from her family. [Only] after this comes divorce. The husband starts with a warning."
PA TV host: "Explain to our viewers the steps a husband should take."
Mufti: "The warning needs to be made politely by the husband to his wife, while he shows good relations, dialogue, respect and humanity. She who stands before you is a human being. She is an independent person and deserves respect."
TV host: "What is the stage after the warning?"
Mufti: "'[Quran:] Warn them [the wives] and separate from them.’... After the warning and separation, comes the hitting - hitting that does not make her ugly. The Prophet [Muhammad] said: 'Do not hit the face and do not make her ugly.' In other words, not hitting that will bring the police, and break her hand and cause bleeding, or hitting that makes the face ugly. No. As it is said [in a Hadith] 'If not for this (i.e., the fear of retaliation), I would give you painful blows with a small brush.’ ... The hitting is not meant to disfigure, harm, or degrade. The hitting will be like a joke... Not a blow that breaks a bone or makes the face ugly, and he will not curse and the like. This hitting is a kind of reminder that the love and friendship that Allah commanded, is still found between us (i.e., the couple)."
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Palestinian feminist leadership rejects violence, calls on Israeli and Palestinian leaders to work for peace 
Source: WAFA, official PA news agency, Oct. 6, 2015
Headline: “Women Wage Peace calls on the Israeli and Palestinian leaderships to sit together”
     “The Women Wage Peace organization and Palestinian feminist leadership supporters called on Israeli and Palestinian leaders to sit together and work seriously to achieve a just peace for everyone.
The organization noted in a statement it published that the moral responsibility of the leaders and top officials requires action to stop the current cycle of violence, in order to create true peace that will bring peace and justice.
Likewise, it emphasized that it will stand against any violent action from any side and will continue the struggle for the security and wellbeing of the Palestinian and Israeli children.”
PA daily article opposes violence against women and the cultural norms that encourage it 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Mar. 29, 2015
     “According to statistics recorded by the Center of Women’s Affairs in Gaza about the cases of violence reaching the center, 63% of women suffer from marital violence, 63 % believe that the violence has increased following the recent aggression against the Gaza Strip (i.e., Israel’s Operation Protective Edge which aimed at destroying Hamas' terror infrastructure and ability to launch rockets at Israel), 73 % suffer from verbal abuse, 24 % from physical abuse, 29.5 % from mental abuse, 9.4 % from financial abuse and 4.5 % from sexual abuse. Regarding the justifications for violence: 41 % of the women agreed that violence was justified if the woman leaves home without notifying her husband, while 74 % agreed that violence was justified if she neglected her children... In this context, Zainab Al-Ghneimi, head of the Women’s Legal Counseling Center, said: ‘Married women are not forthcoming with these details about violence at the beginning, probably out of shame, and because the prevailing culture forbids discussing such secrets. This stems from the lack of a proper sexual ethics in our society...’ When asked for the reasons that may bring a man to act violently towards his wife, Al-Ghneimi responded that, in her opinion, there were many reasons, but that the main reason is probably that the man believes he has bought the woman and paid for her, and therefore she has become his property and must obey his orders. She clarified that unfortunately, this is the culture of the entire society, and that [Palestinian] laws give him the right of ownership, based on the man being the guardian, and he is the one who commands and prohibits..."
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Fatah official's FB post glorifies "heroic female Martyr" who murdered 37 
Source: Facebook page of Fatah Central Committee member Mahmoud Al-Aloul, Mar. 8, 2015
Image and text on the Facebook page of Fatah Central Committee member Hussein Al-Sheikh


Posted text:
“In the Palestinian memory there are women before whom it is impossible not to stand in honor and admiration
For March 8 (i.e., International Women’s Day), thousands of blessings for the soul of heroic female Martyr (Shahida) Dalal Mughrabi (i.e., terrorist who led murder of 37, 12 of them children), and to all of the Palestinian female Martyrs, as well as the female prisoners, the mothers of the prisoners and Martyrs, the wounded women, the working women, and all women of Palestine who stand firm and deal with the hardships and difficulties of life alongside the men.”

The image shows an elderly Palestinian woman with a rock in her hand poised to throw it, and in the background a man with a video camera and a Palestinian boy.

Dalal Mughrabi led the most lethal terror attack in Israel’s history, known as the Coastal Road massacre, in 1978, when she and other Fatah terrorists hijacked a bus on Israel's Coastal Highway, killing 37 civilians, 12 of them children, and wounding over 70.
Abbas makes punishment for honor killings identical to other forms of murder 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Feb. 23, 2015
Op-ed by attorney Dr. Ihab Amr of the PA Justice Ministry
     “In order to diminish the number of murders for motives of honor, his Excellency the President [Mahmoud Abbas] published a resolution on May 11, 2014 to amend Article 98 of Penal Law 16 of 1960, which is in force in the West Bank… abolishing the pretext (i.e., mitigating circumstance) that reduces the penalty for femicide for so-called ‘motives of honor’ – a pretext used regularly [by defendants] in the past before the above-mentioned abolition. The amendment classifies murders for motives of honor as identical to any other [form of] murder in terms of the penalty. The decree to institute the amendment of the law reads as follows: ‘The mitigating circumstance shall apply to a person who has committed a crime in a state of rage resulting from an act of injustice committed by the victim against the perpetrator, posing a threat to the latter. The mitigating circumstance shall not apply in the event that the act was committed against a woman on the pretext of honor.’”
PA daily columnist condemns violence carried out against Muslim women in the name of Islam 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Jan. 25, 2015
Op-ed by Hanan Bakir, regular columnist for Al-Hayat Al-Jadida
     “The Charlie Hebdo commotion has subsided, and the discussion over free speech, its borders and criteria has been ignited… France has recognized its responsibility for marginalizing the refugees and failing to implement a wise policy for their integration into society. Will we [too] admit that we are responsible, to a certain degree, for the negative way in which we portray our Arab culture, without this being construed as self-flagellation?... We are living in the West, and we are witnessing sickening behavior, whether on the part of individuals or some of the clergy, and the host countries are not blind to what is happening and being said in Friday sermons and Islamist circles. Furthermore, their eyes look around, and there are many who volunteer to spy on their coreligionists – for money, not out of loyalty to those who satisfy their hunger and provide them a safe haven…"

Click "Full article" for a longer excerpt from the op-ed
PA daily reports on study: 53% of Palestinian women have suffered from violence 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 28, 2014
     “A specialized study has confirmed that 53% of [Palestinian] women have been exposed to violence – 63.3% of them once – and that 18% of non-married young women have been exposed to physical, psychological and sexual violence. In 45.9% of the cases, the violence was perpetrated by the [victim’s] father, while in 25.5% of the cases – by her brother. These findings were presented at a conference organized by the Women’s Affairs Team yesterday [Nov. 27, 2014], with the aim of presenting the results of the study which examined the services offered to victims of violence… In addition, the evaluation of the functioning of the governmental health institutions revealed that the medical insurance [offered by the government] does not cover the costs of the treatment [necessary as a result of] the violence…”
PA daily article: Honor killings used as an excuse to kill women for other reasons; honor killings should be made a crime  
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 27, 2014
     “Despite the efforts of the women’s organizations participating in the Forum to Combat Violence Against Women and the human rights organizations, the murders for [family] ‘honor’ continue to occur – [in fact,] their number is on the rise...  In most cases, the motive is inheritance. Additional motives may include the victim’s discovery of a family member’s secret – for example, that they had collaborated [with Israel]. Why is it nonetheless claimed that the murder was committed in defense of ‘honor’? Because this is the legally accepted claim to alleviate the verdict. The murderer uses the motive of family ‘honor’ as a sure way of shirking [the penalty for] his crime, by exploiting the mediating circumstances prescribed by the current penal code... The murder of even one woman is too much. What will happen if that number reaches 30 – not including the cases that go unreported, and which do not appear in the statistics. Until laws [are passed] that define the murder of women for motives of ‘honor’ as a crime punishable by law, women will continue to be murdered using the claim of ‘honor.’”

Click "Full article" for more excerpts from the article
PA daily reports on women’s study: 62% of Palestinian women are denied their inheritance 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 17, 2014
     “Sixty-two percent of the families refused to grant women their right to inheritance when they demanded it, while 25% repeatedly postponed [the issue]. This data appeared in a study carried out by the Women’s Center for Legal and Social Advising, together with the Young Christians’ Association at the Gaza Women’s Center and the Church Aid Institution. The study was financed by the European Union, as part of the Right of Inheritance project … Nasreen Qawas, the project coordinator, told Al-Hayat Al-Jadida that… women in Palestine are among the groups that are most marginalized and discriminated against in all spheres of life – economically, socially, culturally and politically. In addition, she noted that despite the rise in the number of women in the work force over the past decade, their number was still small, amounting to 17.4% of all women of working age in 2012, as opposed to 10.3% in 2001.”
PA Minister of Women’s Affairs pushes ‎Penal Law that will protect women from ‎violence 
Source: Al-Ayyam, May 21, 2014
     ‎“[PA] Minister of Women's Affairs Rabiha ‎Dhiab said yesterday [May 20, 2014] that ‎the finishing touches are currently being ‎put on the proposed Penal Law, and ‎spoke of the law’s importance in stopping ‎crimes of femicide. Dhiab spoke during ‎the sit-down strike held in front of Prime ‎Minister [Rami Hamdallah]’s Headquarters ‎in Ramallah, at the request of Tawasul ‎‎(contact) centers, the ministry, and ‎women’s groups such as the Palestinian ‎Non-Governmental Organization Against ‎Domestic Violence Against Women (Al Muntada),‎to demand the bill’s ratification. ‎In addition, she praised [PA] President ‎Mahmoud Abbas’ decision to cancel ‎mitigating circumstances in [cases] of ‎femicide… ‎
In a position paper published on its ‎behalf, the Palestinian Non-‎Governmental Organization Against ‎Domestic Violence Against Women (Al Muntada)… ‎expressed its concern about the increase ‎in the rate of femicide cases, which ‎necessitates the publication of a ‎presidential decree ratifying the proposed ‎penal law submitted to the Legislative ‎Council (PA Parliament), the government ‎and the President by the civil social ‎institutions and the National Group for the ‎‎[formulation of the] Bill. In addition, he ‎noted that an honorary convention, [which ‎is to serve] until the [bill’s] ratification, was ‎recently published with the common ‎consent of all PLO factions.”‎
Abbas amends law on honor killings 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, May 20, 2014
     “[PA] Chairman Mahmoud Abbas published a legally binding decree amending Article 98 of the [Palestinian] Penal Law No. 12 of 1960.
Hassan Al-Ouri, legal advisor to PA President Mahmoud Abbas, said the significance of this amendment was its abrogation of mitigating circumstances in cases in which the act is committed against a woman for motives of what is referred to as ‘family honor.’ According to Al-Ouri, this means that the court has no authority to invoke mitigating circumstances [in the defendant’s favor] when the victim is revealed to it [the court] to be a woman, and when the crime was committed for motives of what is referred to as ‘family honor.’ …
Article 98 of the [Palestinian] Penal Law No. 12 of 1960 will read as follows: ‘Mitigating circumstances shall apply in cases in which the crime was carried out in a state of extreme anger, as a result of a serious and unjust act…’ The amendment adds: ‘Mitigating circumstances shall not be granted to the perpetrator if the crime was committed against a woman for motives of honor.’
The UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) welcomed this decision. Baha Al-Saadi, the [UN] HRC representative in the Palestinian territories, told Reuters: ‘We welcome this move, which we consider a great step forward…’ He added that the council had conducted a study of cases of murder committed under the pretext of honor, and had concluded that an amendment of the law was necessary...
This decision came in the wake of a steep rise in cases of murder of women – most recently, the murder of a woman by her husband in a Shari’ah law court in Birzeit, north of Ramallah, and the strangling to death of another woman by her husband in one of the refugee camps.”
 
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Abbas publishes legal amendment ‎against perpetrators of hate crimes ‎against women 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, May 20, 2014
     ‎“[PA] Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has ‎published a legally binding decree ‎amending Article 98 of the [Palestinian] ‎Penal Law No. 12 of 1960. ‎Hassan ‎ Al-Ouri, legal advisor to PA ‎President Mahmoud Abbas, said the ‎significance of this amendment was its ‎abrogation of mitigating circumstances in ‎cases in which the act is committed ‎against a woman for motives of what is ‎referred to as ‘family honor.’ According to ‎Al-Ouri, this means that the court has no ‎authority to invoke mitigating ‎circumstances [in the defendant’s favor] ‎when the victim is revealed to it [the court] ‎to be a woman, and when the crime was ‎committed for motives of what is referred to ‎as ‘family honor.’ … ‎
The UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) ‎welcomed this decision. Baha Al-Saadi, ‎the [UN] HRC representative in the ‎Palestinian territories, told Reuters: ‘We ‎welcome this move, which we consider a ‎great step forward…’ He added that the ‎council had conducted a study of cases of ‎murder committed under the pretext of ‎honor, and had concluded that an ‎amendment of the law was necessary.‎..
This decision came in the wake of a steep ‎rise in cases of femicide – most recently, ‎the murder of a woman by her husband in ‎a Shari’ah law court in Birzeit, north of ‎Ramallah, and the strangling to death of ‎another woman by her husband in one of ‎the refugee camps.”‎
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