Arab woman (illustration)
Arab woman (illustration)Thinkstock

Police lifted a gag order and announced on Tuesday they have solved the murder of Bisana Abu Ganam (31), the Arab mother of six who was shot to death in Ramle in September.

The murder was an "honor killing," the Islamic phenomenon of murdering a woman to defend "familial honor".- Abu Ganam is reportedly one of ten women of the same Abu Ganam family who were murdered or disappeared in the last 14 years, with most of the solved cases being classified as honor killings, reports Walla!.

Abu Ganam was shot to death on September 25 as she returned from a wedding, and was on her way to pick up her son from family members in Ramle.

Two witnesses who are members of the family told police they recognized the car which trailed Abu Ganam and from which gunfire emanated, and likewise were able to point out the suspects who were in the car at the time. To defend them, the two were put into a witness protection program and given a police security detail.

Dozens of other witnesses provided testimony in the case as well, and six suspects were arrested for being involved in the murder, many of them on the very night it occurred.

The suspects include Abu Ganam's husband Niaz Abu Razak (35), her former husband Salah Abu Ganam (35), as well as a cousin. Police are searching for Abu Ganam's half-brother Ismael (29) on suspicions of being involved as well.

On Tuesday police launched a suit in the Rishon Lezion Magistrates Court, in which they noted the prosecutor intends to file indictments against the suspects, all of whom deny involvement.

"The motive of the murder is three-fold," explained a senior police captain. "The first husband murdered the woman over an argument on visiting arrangements with their son."

"The brother and the second husband committed the murder on the background of harming familial honor," added the captain. "She was an independent and very dominant woman in the family, and her husband and brother didn't like that."

Describing the proceedings, he noted "during the investigation there were many attempts by the Abu Ganam family to disrupt the investigation, but the investigators decided that this time they won't let things remain open and undeciphered, and invested the best efforts and resources of the police."

While the case occurred in the Israeli city of Ramle, honor killings are rampant in areas under Palestinian Authority (PA) control, with reports showing a 100% increase in honor killings under the PA in 2013. Victims of the practice include women who were raped, or refused arranged marriages.

As of May that high rate of killing was set to continue in 2014, with PA journalists complaining over the phenomenon and calling for a change.

Surprisingly, in contrast to PA ambivalence on the issue, a member of the Hamas "parliament," Dr. Yunis Al-Astal, spoke out strongly against "honor killings" in February, saying the killing is worse than the affront to the "family honor" that sparked the murder.