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PA official condemns honor killing; others call for harsher laws to punish murderers

"Bethlehem district governor, Abd Al-Fatah Hamail, denounced the crime [murder of Nancy Zaboun by her husband because she wanted to work] and said that this act contradicts the customs of the Palestinian people. He stressed that the accused man would be brought to justice, and he spoke about the amendments which President Mahmoud Abbas has introduced into the lenient sections of [law regarding] murder [of women]; these assure that every man found guilty will receive his punishment, with no other consideration...
Expert and activist Khawla Al-Azraq criticized the use of the present law of personal status, saying: 'It is a disgrace that we are still using the law of personal status that was legislated in the 1950's. This Jordanian law has already been amended a number of times in Jordan, but we are still using it. The law reinforces violence against women, legalizes the murder of women, and protects the murderers, in spite of the amendments that the President [Abbas] has introduced'...
Attorney Salwa Banura said that the law encourages murders, since arguments for leniency [mitigating circumstances] are accepted by the courts, and a man who murders his daughter, wife or sister stays in prison only three months, and is then released."
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