Police urge action on 'honor killings'

Community leaders in Lod, Ramle called on to tackle abuse of women.

gaza woman 298 (photo credit: AP)
gaza woman 298
(photo credit: AP)
Police officers called on Arab community leaders in Ramle and Lod on Tuesday to take a stronger stand in condemning family "honor killings" after Lod police saved a teenage girl who had been severely abused for a perceived affront to her family's honor. The 18-year-old victim of the latest in a series of such attacks managed to alert police, who arrived at the teenager's apartment and were greeted by silence after knocking on the door. Fearing the worst, police broke down the apartment door and discovered the young women imprisoned in the bathroom. She had been chained to the bars on the window and had been badly beaten. After she was rescued by police from the improvised prison, the young woman received medical treatment at nearby Assaf Harofeh Medical Center. The victim's 19-year-old brother was arrested and confessed to beating his sister and chaining her to the window. He told police that the family had been unhappy with the teen because she had spoken on the phone to people who were deemed unacceptable by the family. The young woman's father and mother were also questioned by police. Police called on community leaders in the Arab sector to condemn such actions carried out in the name of family honor and to change the social conditions that allow the community to remain silent when they occur. Only last week, a 24-year-old woman from nearby Ramle was stabbed to death by her brother, who admitted to killing her in order to maintain family honor. In April, five brothers from Lod were indicted for the March murder of their younger sister, 19-year-old Rim Abu Ganem, in what also appeared to be an "honor killing." Police said that while women like Tuesday's victim are eligible for assistance from social welfare authorities and have shelters at their disposal, some choose not to accept police assistance and return to their families. Senior officers in the Shfela Subdistrict, in which both Ramle and Lod are located, said that while police take such murders very seriously, the community needs to also take steps to end the phenomenon.