Caught on tape: How a 16-year-old girl was lynched in Gaza

September 29, 2007 21:54

Eyewitnesses tell Post that many of those who participated in the brutal murder were Hamas members and relatives of the girl.

2 minute read.

After more than 20 years in the business, and just when you think you've seen it all, there's always something that shocks you more than ever. This time it's the brutal murder of a 16-year-old girl in the Gaza Strip. Her crime: "dishonoring" her family. Of course, there is no way to verify the allegations against her and other females who have fallen victim to "honor killings." The gruesome murder occurred a few weeks ago, when the girl - who looks much younger than her age - was dragged into the street and handed to an mob of angry young men. Eyewitnesses told The Jerusalem Post that many of those who participated in the lynch were Hamas members and relatives of the girl. A five-minute video obtained by the Post over the weekend reveals the savagery and mercilessness of the killers. What's really disturbing is that none of those at the crime scene tried to intervene to save the girl's life. More than 20 young men are seen beating, stabbing and kicking the little girl before smashing her head with large stones. It's not easy to watch such a video. The scenes of the girl lying on the ground as frenzied men trample her are unimaginable. At one point, the girl tries to cover her head with her hands to avoid the kicking. She then tries to rise to her feet, only to be stabbed repeatedly by one of the men. As she collapses, one of the attackers pulls down her skirt so that the rest of his friends will not see her underwear. The girl is required to maintain her "modesty" even as she is being preyed upon. And just when you think the lynch is about to end, someone emerges from the crowd carrying a large white stone. He throws the stone at the girl's back as she lays face down, motionless. Seconds later, another man throws a large stone at the back of her head. The video ends with the girl laying in a pool of blood. Mission accomplished. Hours later, a few local reporters sent a terse statement to their news organizations informing them of another "honor killing" in the Gaza Strip. Not a word about the way the girl had been lynched. The story barely made it to the mainstream media. I asked a Hamas security official if he had been aware of the incident. "There have been a number of cases in the Gaza Strip in the past few months, but we didn't hear about this specific killing," he replied. "In any case, we are against these killings because we don't want anyone to take the law into his own hands." Needless to say, no one has been arrested, despite the public nature of the killing. According to the Gaza-based Palestinian Center for Human Rights, at least 11 women have been killed in the Strip since the beginning of the year in what are traditionally known as "honor killings." The most recent took place in late July, when three sisters were fatally stabbed by male relatives in Deir el-Balah in the central Gaza Strip. Sources in the Strip said many cases were never been reported, with the victims buried secretly.

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