Israa Ghrayeb's family deny 'honour killing', claim demonic possession
Israa Ghrayeb, 21, died last week after being hospitalised with severe injuries after being allegedly beaten by her male relatives after she posted a video on social media with her fiancé.
Her brother Ihab, a Canadian resident, was reportedly angered by the video, claiming it dishonoured the family by showing her together with her fiancé before the official wedding ceremony.
He was reportedly called on by their father to beat Israa after cousins of the family saw the footage online, according to social media reports.
Whilst attempting to escape her family's violence, she fell from the second floor of their house, causing serious spinal injuries, according to media reports.
Read also: Palestinian women demand legal protection after suspected 'honour killing' of Israa Ghrayeb
The makeup artist's death shocked Palestinians, with people protesting in solidarity and calling on the Palestinian Authority to change legislation around honour killing and femicide.
Amid the widespread attention on Israa's tragic death, her family took to social media to deny any role in her killing, even claiming she was possessed by a jinn - a malicious supernatural spirit in Islamic belief.
The family published a statement claiming that Israa' suffered from psychological disorders and threw herself from the second floor, which led to her hospitalisation and death.
"Due to the turbulent behavior by Israa', it was necessary to get her out of the hospital on family responsibility and complete her treatment at home, but it didn't take her much time until she died from a stroke. Her body has been transferred to the Institute of Forensic Medicine in Abu Dis for autopsy, and we're waiting for the medical report to be issued by the official authorities," the statement said.
Her family presented conflicting accounts of her cause of death, with her brother-in-law saying she died of a heart attack.
Read also: #WeAreIsraa: Outrage as Palestinian woman 'tortured to death' in honour killing
Her brother-in-law also claimed the video of her screaming was not because she was being tortured, but because she was possessed by a jinn.
A Muslim cleric had even made a statement to Palestinian newspaper Donia al-Watan claiming Israa was in fact possessed, and even said he worked to remove the jinn from her body.
"She was possessed – when I entered her house I found her in a room acting abnormal. She was wandering around violently and was trembling, so I recited Quran on her for three hours before she was fine again," Sheikh Abdul Karim Hassan said.
His statement came after Israa's brother denied that the video recording of a woman screaming was his sister.
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