Approximately 100 protesters attended a demonstration on Monday in front of the
state prosecution office in Upper Nazareth to draw the attention of authorities
to the issue of violence against women and the need for action against
A number of Arab-Israeli NGOs, many dealing specifically with
women’s issues, organized the protest.The Jerusalem Post
social worker Samah Salaime Egbariya, founder and director of AWC-Arab Women in
the Center and a research fellow at the Mandel Leadership Institute, who is
deeply involved in women’s issues and in aiding victims of violence, such as in
helping them deal with the courts.
She complained that police and the
state prosecution do not take strong-enough action in dealing with the
perpetrators of violence against women in the Arab sector.
mentioned that just last month, Kawtar Najar, a mother from the village of
Daburia near the northern Israeli town of Afula, had two of her three children
murdered by her ex-husband. He also murdered his second wife, who had divorced
him, along with their child.
Najar had been divorced for 15 years. She
was an independent woman who left an abusive husband, took her children and
worked to support herself. She arrived with her surviving daughter Majdolein to
It was very emotional to see her at the protest, said
Egbariya. Najar, according to Egbariya, said she could handle physical pain,
which eventually goes away, but the pain of losing two daughters will last for
The ex-husband thought he owned them, said Egbariya, pointing
out that he did not have a criminal record other than serving time in jail for
hitting his wife and kids. The story repeated itself with his second wife, and
she left him as well. He then lashed out by killing not only his second ex-wife
and children, but also his second ex-wife’s boss for allowing her to be
The number of complaints by Arab women increases each year,
according to Egbariya.
However, she notices some improvement in the way
police are handling this issue.
“I believe they are on the right track,”
she said, adding that the authorities must become more efficient in following up
Moreover, Arab society needs to examine itself and solve
the problem of domestic abuse against women, she stated. “It is not like 50
years ago. Today women are independent and have higher education.”
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