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High Court Annuls Marriage of Jewess to Arab; Recognizes Religious Marriage Laws

Recognition of religious laws affecting marriages, which may set an important precedent, was offered here in a verdict handed down by the High Court in the case of a young Jewess, whose marriage to an Arab it ordered annuled.

The court further ordered her returned to the home of her Jewish parents.

The case involved a Jewess, who three years ago, at the age of seventeen, secretly married an Arab without the consent of her parents. She was converted to the Islamic religion by her husband.

Later, she sought to leave her husband on the grounds of cruelty. Whereupon her husband locked her up and it was not until last September that she was able to escape.

She returned to the home of her parents and to the Jewish religion. Her husband, backed by Moslem law, obtained a court order, calling for her return to her husband’s home or imprisonment. She chose arrest.

The girl’s parents brought the case to court, contending that under the religious laws of Palestine, girls under eighteen may not marry without the approval of their parents, nor can they change their religions without parental approval. They asked the court to annul the marriage and declare the change of religion null and void. It was in this sense that the High Court ruled.

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