Activists across the world are calling for action after a 21-year-old Palestinian woman from Bethlehem, Israa Ghrayeb, was allegedly murdered by her brother for going out with a man she was soon to be engaged to.
Israa succumbed to stroke that medics suspect was as a result of torture and beating she received from her brother, Ihab, in their family home in Bethlehem after she posted a video on social media with a man.
A day before her engagement to the man who had asked for her hand in marriage was officiated, Israa went out with her fiancé and his sister with her parents' knowledge and approval. She posted a video on snapchat of them smiling and having a good time, that's when all hell broke loose at home after her cousins saw the video and started accusing Israa of going out with a man before marriage, claiming that she was ruining the family's reputation.
Israa's father saw the video thanks to his nephew's pressure and he allegedly ordered his son Ilhab to punish Israa.
Ilhab who also holds a Canadian citizenship, started beating her sister and Israa fell from the second floor of their house when she attempted to escape the beating. As a result, she broke her spinal cord.
The family allegedly kept on threatening her throughout her stay at the hospital in attempt to shut her up from disclosing the ordeal.
Without alluding to exactly what happened, Israa posted on her Instagram account that she would be unable to work for the next two months as she waited for a spinal cord operation.
"I'm strong and I have the will to live – if I didn't have this willpower, I would have died yesterday," Israa said.
"Don't send me messages telling me to be strong, I am strong. May God be the judge of those who oppressed me and hurt me."
A footage appeared on social media of her allegedly screaming and begging for her life during a second assault at the hospital where she was being treated.
Israa's family have since denied the accusations, claiming the 21-year-old died from a heart attack. The Palestinian Authority is yet to make an official statement on the matter.
"Israa was murdered by members of her family after she posted a selfie video of an outing with her fiancé. The crime is being called an 'honour' killing, but this is misleading and false. There is no honour in murder," Palestinian NGO Adalah Justice Project said in an official statement.
Friends and supporters claim that she was beaten to death by her relatives – some social media accounts claim that she died at home after being assaulted in the hospital.
Activists across the world joined other social media users and Arab celebrities in condemning Israa's death under the hashtag #WeAreAllIsraa, which emerged five days ago and continues to trend online. Many also called on the Canadian government to arrest the brother.
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