West Bank woman tells Tel Aviv court she will be murdered for ‘disgracing’ her family after refusing to marry her cousin at young age
A 23-year-old Palestinian woman who was arrested more than a week ago for residing in Israel illegally said she would be killed if sent back to the Palestinian Authority for “disgracing” her family.
“I’m originally from the West Bank, but I’ve been living in Israel for the past three years,” she told the Tel Aviv Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday. “I refused to wed, and I tarnished the family’s honor by running away. They’ve been trying to track me down ever since.
“I moved from place to place, slept in cemeteries. I’ve been through some tough times,” she told the court. “All I ask is for is an opportunity to turn a new page and be allowed to live here in Israel and work.”
The court ruled that the woman must remain under house arrest for an additional eight days. She will be staying with friends in Tel Aviv.
The woman told the court she had refused to marry her cousin at a very young age because she wanted to study and “get ahead in life.” She claimed that in light of her decision, her father and cousin began to physically abuse her and denied her of basic living conditions.
The Palestinian woman said that after another attempt to get her married at an early age, she fled to Israel with the help of a police officer. Shortly after entering Israel she was deported and was once again subjected to abuse in her family home. The woman claimed that her father had even turned to assassins and asked that they bring her body back to him.
The woman’s attorney, Kfir Daniel, said “it was made clear to me that if she is expelled to the territories – it would mean a death sentence for her.”
Following the court hearing, the attorney filed an urgent petition with the High Court asking that it issue an injunction that would prevent the woman’s expulsion and allow her to reside in Israel legally.
Illegal residents are routinely returned to the Palestinian territories.
By Gilad Morag