Israel has appointed a female judge to a Sharia court for the first time, breaking with the country’s Jewish ultra-Orthodox ideology that forbids women from serving as jurists in religious courts.

The Judicial Appointments Committee voted unanimously for the appointment of Hana Mansour-Khatib to a Muslim court, of which there are nine in Israel.

Jewish women are forbidden by Israeli law from sitting in Rabbinical courts, which-like their Sharia counterparts-decide on matters related to family, marriage, divorce and custody of children. While no similar rule exists for Sharia courts, ultra-Orthodox politicians had blocked the appointment of female judges to avoid creating a precedent.

Mansour-Khatib is a family lawyer from Tamra, a predominantly Arab city in northern Israel. Her appointment represents a victory for Shaked, who had already backed a bill allowing for female Muslim judges to serve in Sharia courts in December 2015. (


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