Ramle: Woman murdered to protect 'family honor'

The 24-year-old was killed by her older brother, who already had a criminal record.

crying woman battered 88 (photo credit: )
crying woman battered 88
(photo credit: )
Horrified eyewitnesses alerted Ramle police Tuesday evening to a stabbing underway in the parking lot behind the city's Bank Hapoalim branch. Within a minute of the report, a patrol car arrived on the scene to find a young woman covered in blood, an apparent victim of what is known as a 'family honor killing'. The two police officers called for reinforcements from both police and MDA, and while one set out in pursuit of a man seen fleeing the scene, the second police officer remained with the mortally wounded young woman, a 24-year-old resident of the city. Attempts to resuscitate the young woman failed, and she was later pronounced dead on the scene. Detectives continued the searches for the suspect in a nearby wooded area, where they saw and arrested a young man with blood-soaked clothing who had attempted to flee. During the initial questioning, the suspect acknowledged that the young woman was his sister, and admitting to committing the murder, Yifrach said. The 27-year-old suspect was already known to the police and has a criminal record. Police sources within the Shfela Subdistrict said that the murder was believed to be an 'honor killing,' a phenomenon in Arab communities in which women are murdered by their relatives because the family believes that the woman's actions have besmirched the family honor. In January, a 19-year-old woman was murdered outside her home in Ramle's Juarish neighborhood and in April, five Lod brothers including a pediatrician at Assaf Harofeh Hospital were arrested for murdering their 19-year-old sister Rim Abu Ganem a month earlier. In a 1997 Knesset Status of Women Committee, a record of eight unsolved murders of women in Ramle led then-MK Tamar Gozansky to call on the Internal Security Ministry to explain police investigations into such murders, claiming that police don't take women's complaints seriously. Five years later, in the central city, a 14-year-old girl named Nadine was shot in the head at point-blank range by a distant cousin because, it was rumored, she had been acting 'wantonly' and had even pierced her navel. Of the 15 'family honor' murders known to police committed in 2005, three occurred in Ramle. Representatives of al-Siwaar of The Bracelet Chain, an Israeli-Arab and Palestinian feminist organization dedicated to eradicating honor killings within Israel said in 2004 that in Ramle and Lod 'There's a well-known 'black list' of girls at risk." Yifrach said that local police are aware of problem of such murders in the city, as well as in neighboring Lod. "We do a lot to try to reduce the phenomenon," he said. "Many women who come to us or about whom we have information, we help them to find emergency shelters and put them in touch with social services," he said. Police knew, he said, that the woman murdered Tuesday had been receiving care from social services, but were unaware of any threats made against her or her life in the past.