United Nations Special Rappoteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief Asma Jahangir has written a report criticizing both Israelis and Gaza Arabs based on a visit she made to the area last week. Jahangir criticized Israel for its use of Jewish law (halacha) to determine standards for conversion and marriage. She also expressed disappointment that women did not serve as judges in religious courts.
The Christian community in Gaza is facing increasing hostility, Jahangir said, and there has been an increase in religious violence and coercion against women. Many Gaza Muslim women feel that they have no choice but to cover their hair, and some have been murdered by family members in so-called “honor killings.” Those who carry out the “honor killing” murders are generally not punished, Jahangir said.