A Romeo-and-Juliet style feud is believed to be behind the honor killing of a 38-year-old Arab woman from Jisser a-Zarka, a fishing village near Zichron Ya'akov, the Haifa Coast police said.
Awatif Khalaed Ammash was on her way to work on Wednesday morning when she was shot dead, and police said the chief suspects were members of the rival Najrah clan. The cause of the dispute was believed to be the relationship between a Najrah and the victim's 18-year old daughter, who was with her mother at the time of the attack but wasn't wounded.
By press time the police had made no arrests in the village, which is plagued by poverty and crime, a police spokesman said.
Reem Hazzan, a spokeswoman for the Haifa-based organization Women Against Violence, said the government should do more to stop honor killings.
"Every month we have at least one honor killing and we cannot keep just releasing press statements condemning them," she said. "We want the government to stop treating this as a problem particular to Arab society but as something that violates the human rights of women," she said.
"In addition, we want more efforts to stop the phenomenon, such as raising awareness and a tighter implementation of the laws," Hazzan added.
Next week up to nine Arab human rights and feminist non-government organizations will meet to discuss ways to stop violence against women, with participants including Women Against Violence, Kayan (an Arab Feminist Organization) and Assiwar - the Arab Feminist Movement in Support of Victims of Sexual Abuse.
"We're not watchers who just count murders when all of Arab society is silent," Hazzan said.
An average of 10 Israeli Arab women a year become victims of family honor killings, Aida Toama-Sliman, head of Women Against Violence, said recently. Of about 1,000 Israeli Arab women who've passed through the organization's state-funded shelter for women fleeing violent homes, 200 to 300 were in danger of being murdered for "violating" their family's honor.
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