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Tribal courts rule Palestine with unforgiving traditions

Palestine's tribal court system may offer speedy justice, but it is also known for harsh penalties that amount to collective punishment and other human rights violations.
MOHAMMED ABED/AFP via Getty Images

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Many Palestinians take their conflicts and long-standing disputes to tribal courts, which are known for moving quickly to issue rulings. The official court system generally takes much longer, sometimes years, to decide on a case.

Community elders, dignitaries and the heads of families occupy an informal but prominent position in the tribal judiciary system, which settles disputes between individuals and families in cases and complaints ranging from verbal abuse to murder.

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