Background

Femicide is a cross-cultural problem that has not been adequately explored.  Several political, cultural, legal, economic and religious factors have affected and strengthened the prevalence of Famicide in the Arab world including Palestine.  The occurrence of such crimes exists but little evidence is available regarding its characteristics, nature and scope of its practice.  According to Kevorkian (2004: 9) in Palestine “data gathered from the Al-Aman hotline during a six-month period showed that 20 out of 187 clients who called the hotline were under threat of being killed.”  Moreover, seven cases of women murdered in the name of honor killing were committed within a three-month period in Gaza alone.  Stabbing, slaying, suffocating, burning, beating, electrocuting and forced suicide are the methods that were used to kill the victims. 

Palestine is a unique case where the country went through several ruling authorities including the British, Jordanian and Israeli where Palestinians had never been given the opportunity to govern themselves.  Therefore, family, civil and social disputes including femicide cases have been dealt with through tribal system even under the Palestinian National Authority PNA.  The PNA has been utilizing the tribal system as a result of having inexperienced police to deal with femicide cases, the ineffectiveness of the formal judicial system in cases related to women sexuality and the historical and cultural reasons that prevent various security apparatuses to intervene.  Depending on the tribal system to deal with femicide cases has deteriorated the suffering of women where various solutions to the problem were found.  These traditional methods that were used to prevent femicide include things like preventing the free mixing of sexes, preventing women to work outside their homes, marrying girls at an early age and encouraging polygamy.