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How activists are confronting contract killings of Israeli Arab women

Activists within the Israeli Arab sector warn of growing violence and the murder of women, with five Israeli Arab women killed so far in 2016.
RAMALLAH, -:  Palestinian women hold up banners reading "No to killing, yes to life" as they demonstrate against the "crimes of honor" in some traditional and rural Palestinian communities in which female vitue and virginity still defines a family's reputation, 10 September 2005 in Ramallah. Honor killing in some Arab societies occurrs when women accused in sexual misconduct are murdered by close relatives who are encourged by their families to "cleanse" the honor of the family that has been "disgraced." AF

Another Israeli Arab woman was murdered in Israel Sept. 23. A total of 13 women have been murdered in Israel since the beginning of 2016. Five of those women are Arabs. All five are suspected of being murdered by a relative or a contract killer hired by a family member.

This time, a masked gunman shot Dua'a Abu Sharkh in the head in front of her four children (ages 4-12). Abu Sharkh, a 32-year-old woman separated from her violent husband, saw her children for the first time after many months of struggling with her estranged husband; this time, he allowed her to see her children. The murderer arrived around evening, just when Abu Sharkh was about to part from her children near her husband’s home in Lod. He pushed the children aside and shot Abu Sharkh at close range, despite her pleas for mercy. After the murder, the police detained Abu Sharkh’s three brothers, who were later released on house arrest. Later on, Abu Sharkh’s estranged husband was also detained, as was his son from a former marriage.

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