Echoes of domestic silence: mechanisms of concealment in cases of ‘Family Honour Killings’ in Mandate Palestine

Badi Hasisi, Deborah Bernstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article deals with the manner in which family and community in Mandate Palestine attempted to keep the criminal justice system from intervening in cases defined as ‘Family Honour Killing’. Drawing on criminal court cases, we argue that the familial, domestic and communal features of this crime and its social, predominantly rural, context were critical for the attempts to keep it within the community and to prevent state intervention by obstructing, concealing and denying evidence. We focus on the mechanisms used by members of the family and community for that purpose. Our case study is in line with previous findings indicating the under-reporting of domestic violence, especially when witnesses were closely related to both the victim and the perpetrator. This domestic and communal alignment was most likely reinforced under colonial rule, though it was not necessarily caused predominantly in opposition to it.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)60-73
Number of pages14
JournalMiddle Eastern Studies
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2 Jan 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Court cases
  • Domesticity silences
  • Family honour killing
  • Mandate palestine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science


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