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Domestic violence marches sweep across the West Bank

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Rachel Salmon
WVoN co-editor

Demonstrations took place in the West Bank this week to demand tougher sanctions for men who kill their wives and daughters.

Yesterday several women marched through Bethlehem carrying placards saying ‘No to Murder Yes to Life’ and ‘Shame on us Palestinians who kill our women.’

The silent protest was organised by the National Union of Palestinian Women, after a man stabbed his wife several times in the chest and slashed her throat in broad daylight in a busy street in the town in front of horrified onlookers.

Police said the woman, 28-year-old Nancy Zeboun had filed for divorce.  The couple’s three children are now in foster care.

Khaula al-Azraq, a counsellor based in the West Bank, said Zeboun had been beaten and on several occasions hospitalised during her 10 year marriage.

Zeboun’s family initially refused to bury her unless her husband was put to death, but later agreed to the burial.  Her husband is now in police custody and is expected to be charged with murder.

This was the fourth murder of a woman in the West Bank this month.  Three other women were killed by their fathers in so-called honour killings.

A father allegedly killed his daughter, who was still in high school, in the West Bank town of Tulkarm, another  is accused of beating his daughter to death in the city of Hebron and a third allegedly killed a daughter in the Gaza Strip. All are in custody facing murder charges.

The demonstrators say the police are doing too little to protect women and call on President Mahmoud Abbas to order a full investigation into the killing in Bethlehem.

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