How Can Peace In The Middle East Ensue When Arabs "Honor Kill" Raped Daughters? Mother Kills Raped Daughter To Restore 'Honor' ABU QASH, West Bank — Raped by her brothers and impregnated, Rofayda Qaoud refused to commit suicide, her mother recalls, even after she bought the 17-year-old a razor with which to slit her wrists. So Amira Abu Hanhan Qaoud says she did what she believes any good Palestinian parent would: restored her family's "honor" through murder. Armed with a plastic bag, razor and wooden stick, Qaoud entered her sleeping daughter's room last Jan. 27. "Tonight you die, Rofayda," she told the girl, before wrapping the bag tightly around her head. Next, Qaoud sliced Rofayda's wrists, ignoring her muffled pleas of "No, mother, no!" After her daughter went limp, Qaoud struck her in the head with the stick. Killing her sixth-born child took 20 minutes, Qaoud tells a visitor through a stream of tears and cigarettes that she smokes in rapid succession. "She killed me before I killed her," says the 43-year-old mother of nine. "I had to protect my children. This is the only way I could protect my family's honor." Qaoud's confessed crime, for which she must appear before a three-judge panel Dec. 3, is one repeated almost weekly among Palestinians living in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Israel. Female virtue and virginity define a family's reputation in Arab cultures, so it's women who are punished if that reputation is perceived as sullied. Victims' rights groups say the number of "honor crimes" appears to be climbing, but at the same time, getting little attention. Israelis and Palestinians are too busy with political and military issues to notice what they dismiss as domestic disputes, says Suad Abu-Dayyeh, who works for the Women's Center for Legal Aid and Counseling in East Jerusalem. According to court records, Rofayda was raped by her brothers, Fahdi, 22, and Ali, 20, in a bedroom they shared in the family's three-room house. On Nov. 26, 2002, doctors at a nearby hospital who were treating Rofayda for an injured leg discovered she was eight months pregnant. While honor killings committed in the heat of the moment — for example, by a husband who catches his wife in bed with another man — generally carry a six-month to one-year jail term, Qaoud will likely be sentenced to three to five years in prison. The fact she is a mother who was trying to protect her family's honor mitigates the crime of premeditated murder, which is punishable by death under Palestinian law, he adds. The Seattle Times: Nation & World: Mother kills raped daughter to restore 'honor'