Mervat Sadeq-Ramallah

An official Palestinian investigation revealed that the girl Israa Ghraib, whose death three weeks ago echoed local, Arab and international wide - died as a result of beatings and domestic violence, as well as subjected to psychological abuse and witchcraft, denying previous accounts of her fall in her home.

Palestinian Attorney General Akram al-Khatib said that the late Ghraib was subjected to a series of physical violence and subjected to witchcraft from her family, which exacerbated her psychological and health condition.

The autopsy doctor and author of the report, Ashraf al-Qadhi, explained the death of Gharib "as a result of severe respiratory failure due to the multiple complications of her injuries."

The report recounted Gharib's admission to the hospital in Beit Jala at dawn on August 10, hours after she fell from a height of about 1.5 meters.It was found that she had a broken back with recent wounds and old bruises on her upper limbs, leading to her death at her home 12 Days.

Israa lost her life due to violence and torture (websites)

Results and actions
As a result of the forensic report, al-Khatib said that it was caused by multiple injuries, which corresponds to a version of beatings and torture; resulting in her death, which "constitutes elements of the murder."

At a press conference in Ramallah, attended by a crowd of women and human rights defenders in general, the Attorney General stressed that Israa Ghraib was not killed on the basis of honor, but because of beatings and torture.

The Public Prosecutor announced the transfer of the three defendants (M), (BG) and (AG) to the court on charges of killing the girl Ghraib. Observers estimated the three defendants were from her family.

Regarding the investigation and autopsy procedures, Al-Khatib said that the investigation started after Gharib's body arrived at Beit Jala Governmental Hospital on August 22, due to the apparent injuries on her body and the presence of a criminal suspicion. The judge supervised the autopsy.

The prosecutor revealed that the evidence proved the claim of the girl falling from the balcony of the house. He said it was an allegation made and circulated to mislead the investigation, with the aim of concealing the crime and justifying bodily injury before entering the hospital.

The investigation proved that her first admission was due to domestic violence, but "she was discharged from the hospital because the deceased was not allowed to fall into the house without mentioning any assault."

Issue and demands
During the press conference, Palestinian activists carried banners calling for the enactment of the Family Violence Protection Law and demanded justice for Israa Ghraib and for women subjected to violence.

Activists from the Women's Committee said 18 Palestinian girls had been killed in connection with family honor or other circumstances since the beginning of 2019.

Gharib's death turned into a case of local and Arab public opinion, amid a rejection of family accounts that she had "touched the jinn" or a mental illness. Feminist organizations and Palestinian activists at various stops called on the Palestinian government to uncover "Israa killers" and pass the Family Protection Law.

The Palestinian Attorney General revealed the arrest of one of the persons accused of sorcery in the case, and denied that the investigative authorities were subjected to any pressure or interference from any party.

Responses and invitations
The announcement of the reasons for the death of Esraa Gharib witnessed Palestinian reactions condemning everything surrounding her case. "Justice has not triumphed, but has fallen victim to Israa. If there was justice, Israa would not have been left to her fate alone, when she could have been saved," said journalist Ahmed Melhem on his Facebook page.

Palestinian writer and novelist Anwar Hamed wrote on his page: "So Esraa Gharib was killed, as the Attorney General confirmed, and many accepted it ... Do not be silent about murder anymore. It is clear that your voice in this space has power and influence."

The blogger and journalist Tahrir Bani Sakhr questioned whether the killers would benefit from the mitigating excuse in the case of honor killings, as stipulated by Palestinian law, despite the fact that she was not killed on this basis.

In light of the findings of the investigation, the Independent Commission for Human Rights called for lessons learned from the death of the deceased to ensure that mistakes made with other women are not repeated, by expediting the adoption and implementation of the Family Violence Protection Act.

It called for the correction and restructuring of the forensic department to become an independent body and subject to censorship, and to open a criminal investigation into the allegations contained in the press reports about the existence of manipulation in the work of forensic medical reports previously.

It called for prosecuting the plaintiffs with treatment of jinn, witchcraft, witchcraft practitioners and promoters.