Palestinian Islamic scholars have expressed opposition to a family protection bill on the pretext it “contradicts Islamic Sharia laws and the values of society.”The Palestinian Authority Ministry of Women’s Affairs is drafting the new law, which seeks to impose harsher penalties on abusers and provide protection systems for women from gender-based violence. The law also will require all PA ministries and institutions to participate in the effort to reduce domestic violence. Twenty-nine percent of Palestinian women, or nearly one in three, reported psychological, physical, sexual, social or economic violence by their husbands at least once during the preceding 12 months, according to a survey carried out by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics in the second quarter of 2019.Eleven Palestinian women have been killed as a result of domestic violence since the beginning of this year, the Palestinian feminist movement Tal’at reported.Palestinian Islamic scholars have rejected the proposed bill, claiming it would “destroy and weaken Palestinian families,” Hamas-affiliated websites reported Sunday.The new law would “destroy family relationships, which are based on compassion, affection and reform, and subject them to external and public court proceedings,” the scholars warned in a statement.“The law constitutes a violation of family privacy and the special relations between a husband and his wife and the father and his children,” they said.The Palestinian scholars said they were particularly worried that the new law would pave the way for interference by the courts and the police in family matters. Such a move, they cautioned, would have “devastating consequences, in addition to strengthening individual and personal values that are not bound by religious and societal restrictions.”The law would “eliminate any disciplinary, legal or religious authority of parents over their children or the husband over his wife and family,” the scholars warned, adding that they also were opposed to the law because it calls for the elimination of gender discrimination in workplaces. They urged Palestinians to reject it and prevent its enactment.Last year, Palestinian tribal leaders rejected a United Nations treaty to end discrimination against women. The leaders called on the PA to withdraw from the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). The PA acceded to CEDAW on April 1, 2014, without submitting reservations on its articles.By accepting the convention, the PA committed to undertake a series of measure to end discrimination against women in all fields, incorporate the principle of equality of men and women in its legal system, abolish all discriminatory laws and adopt appropriate ones prohibiting discrimination against women.In November 2019, the PA government passed a law setting the minimum age for matrimony at 18 for both genders, saying it wanted to protect families and ensure the advancement of women.