Protests against “Honor Killings” in Lod; Arab Dispossession in Jaffa

A demonstration was held in Lod on Monday, September 26, to protest the phenomenon of femicide in the Arab community after the apparent “honor killing” of Dua’a Abu Sharkh, 32, who was shot at close range by masked gunmen in front of her four children last Friday, September 23.

On Sunday, after protests from the Abu Sharkh family and the blocking of streets by numerous Arab residents, three brothers of Dua’a who are suspects in her murder, were allowed to attend their sister’s funeral. Earlier in the day, hundreds of persons, including the murdered woman’s relatives, demonstrated outside of the Lod police station and refused to start the funeral procession until the victim’s brothers were temporarily released from custody and permitted to attend the burial. After the funeral, the brothers were returned to jail.

Joint List chairman MK Ayman Odeh during the demonstration in Lod against “honor killings,” September 26; the placard held aloft reads: “Violence tears apart society.”

Joint List chairman MK Ayman Odeh during the demonstration in Lod against “honor killings,” September 26; the placard held aloft reads: “Violence tears apart society.” (Photo: Al Ittihad)

On Monday, hundreds demonstrated against the deadly phenomena of the femicide on the background of “family honor” in the Arab community. Among the demonstrators were Joint List chairman, MK Ayman Odeh (Hadash), the former Hadash MK Muhammad Barakeh, head of the Higher Arab Monitoring Committee in Israel, and several Hadash and Communist Party activists.

Protest in Jaffa against Hostile Colonial Takeover

On Monday evening, September 26, residents of Jaffa gathered to protest the planned expansion of a far-right Orthodox Jewish yeshiva. Arabs and Jews alike demonstrated against what they say is a move that will upset a delicate balance of coexistence in Jaffa. Joint List MK Odeh and Dov Khenin (Hadash) and Meretz MK Tamar Zandberg lent their voices to the protest. “We want to coexist. Culturally, more than one is better than one,” Odeh said. “However we wish diversity to be part of a larger framework of equality. But what’s taking place here is a colonial takeover, the opposite of a natural process.”

“Those [yeshiva students] who come here are motivated by nationalism,” the parliamentarian charged. “In addition, there’s the issue of capital — the rich taking from the poor. It’s a marriage between nationalism and capital that’s designed to drive out the poor.” Odeh added: “This struggle should a mutual Arab-Jewish undertaking.”

This past July, residents of Siona Tagger Street in the Ajami neighborhood of Jaffa noticed that hundreds of mattresses were being brought into a house that had been renovated. Later it was learned that lodging quarters had been built, suggesting a significant increase in the neighborhood’s Orthodox Jewish presence. Jews and Arabs live side by side in Jaffa, and commentators have given this phenomenon varying interpretation, depicting it as representing everything from peaceful coexistence to encroaching gentrification.

However now, in light of the ideological motivation and scale of the influx of yeshiva students into Jaffa, Arabs and progressive Jews are launching a joint effort against what they describe as a hostile takeover that will wreak havoc on the fragile status quo in Jaffa.