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Violence against women rises in Gaza

Women are being killed at an alarming rate in the Gaza Strip, where a traditional political system still prioritizes political issues over justice and the protection of women’s lives.
MAHMUD HAMS/AFP via Getty Images

“I have been crying for so long, feeling alone and hopeless, wondering why I do not have a brother who would hold me in his arms and make me feel safe; a brother to whom I recount the injustice, oppression and prolonged beatings with batons and sticks I have endured, as if I were not a human being. I would tell him how I have become an old soul in a young body,” wrote Istabrak Baraka, 17, her last words before she was beaten to death by her husband on June 16 in the Gaza Strip.

Baraka, who was three months pregnant, was preparing to take her high school graduation exams when her husband killed her.

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