'Honor Killing': Galilee Arab Girl, 14, Murdered for Leaving House Without Chaperone

Fatma Hayb was shot eight times; brother and three cousins indicted.

Eli Ashkenazi
Eli Ashkenazi
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Scene of a ‘family honor' killing in Ramle, November 15, 2011.
Scene of a ‘family honor' killing in Ramle, November 15, 2011. Credit: Dan Keinan
Eli Ashkenazi
Eli Ashkenazi

Four men, including the victim’s brother, were indicted Thursday for murdering 14-year-old Fatma Hayb, allegedly because she had angered them by leaving her house without a chaperone.

Along with the brother, Mustafa Hayb, 24, the defendants are her cousins Majed Hayb, 20; Issa Hayb, 20; and Bashar Hayb, 19. All are residents of the village of Tuba Zangaria in the Upper Galilee.

Fatma was murdered on the night of June 12. According to the indictment filed in the Nazareth District Court, Mustafa and Majed had both threatened to hurt or even kill her several times before, saying she was leaving the house without their permission and wandering around without a chaperone. At some point, they decided to carry out their threat and enlisted Bashar and Issa to help.

At 10:20 P.M. on June 12, the indictment stated, Bashar and Issa came to Fatma’s house with a 9mm pistol by prearrangement with Mustafa and Majed. Fatma was sitting outside in the courtyard. Bashar and Issa shot her at least eight times, hitting her in both the upper and lower body, then fled the scene. Fatma was severely wounded and died soon after arriving at the hospital.

Mustafa is also charged with trying to harm another of his sisters just 11 days before Fatma’s murder. That sister, who is 20, enraged him by staying out one night until 9:30 P.M., the indictment said. When she returned, he grabbed her by the hair, but she managed to escape. He then chased after her with a knife.

All four men are charged with murder, conspiracy to commit a crime and weapons offenses. Mustafa and Majed are also charged with menacing. The prosecution asked that all four be remanded until the end of the trial.

Attorney Said Haddad, the public defender who is representing Mustafa Hayb, said his client denies “that he had any connection to the murder or desired his sister’s death.”

Mustafa did know there was a plan afoot to injure his sister, as a warning to her to mend her behavior, but nothing beyond that, Haddad added.

Moreover, any cooperation between Mustafa and the murderers stemmed from concrete threats that failure to cooperate would lead to him and other members of his family being killed, Haddad said. These threats precluded any possibility of complaining to the police or otherwise acting to prevent the attack on his sister, since “any attempt to change things would have brought his life to an end.”

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