Archive for the 'Women' Category

Leila Khaled: The women of Palestine are stronger than the conspiracy of normalization

Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine

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“The march of normalization organized by Zionist forces and joined by the so-called ‘Committee on Communication with the Israeli Society’ is in fundamental contradiction with the position and struggle of the Palestinian people and their national rights. This event is intended to distort and mystify the objectives of the Palestinian liberation struggle, and the struggle of Palestinian and Arab women in particular,” said Comrade Leila Khaled, member of the Political Bureau of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. “This is another fraudulent and repetitive attempt to hide behind slogans of ‘peace,’ which will not fool the Palestinian and Arab people or the free people of the world,” she said.

The Popular Front “will stand with our people and nation and all the movements and committees for the boycott of occupation around the world to confront all forms of political, cultural and economic normalization with the Zionist state regardless of the banner, slogan or phrase chosen,” she said. “This event in Jericho only reveals the incompetence and inability of these Israeli and Palestinian pro-normalization forced alike to impose the path of concessions on the Palestinian people.” Read more »

UPWC: Palestinian women confront normalization and the so-called “peace” deception

PRESS STATEMENT
Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees

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The Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees has issued a new statement in response to the so-called “Women Wage Peace” normalization rally scheduled in Jericho for October 8:

Normalization is treason – we will confront all plots under the name of the Palestinian woman and the “peace” deception

As the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees, we categorically reject what the so-called “Palestinian Committee on Communication with the Israeli Society” has done in promoting the organization of a women’s march in October near the Jordan river in Jericho, promoted as a march of Israeli and Palestinian women for “peace.” This is a blatant call for popular normalization of the Zionist occupation through the instrumentalization of women. This activity is a shameless fraud that seeks to forcibly impose normalization with the occupier upon Palestinian women, in clear violation of the sacrifices of our women martyrs, prisoners, wounded and strugglers to liberate our people from that occupier. Our position as a Palestinian women’s movement in occupied Palestine against normalization is very clear, as is our demand for the boycott of occupation in all forms, including economic, cultural, academic and all other forms of boycott.

On behalf of all of the struggling Palestinian women, we call upon our brothers and sisters, comrades, strugglers and all honest forces of the Palestinian people, men and women, to stop the “Women Wage Peace” march, and we call for the investigation and national prosecution of those responsible. Those who seek to force Palestinian women to normalize relations with the enemy seek to break our national consensus precisely at a moment of struggle for unity and national reconciliation.

As the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees, we affirm that we will stand strong and confront this rhetoric and these malicious conspiracies in the name of Palestinian women and the so-called “peace” deception, which in reality only reflects the will of a monopolistic sector that wants to impose its interests and decision by force against the Palestinian national consensus of women and men.

Joint report estimates that 880 Palestinians arrested in July 2017

PRESS RELEASE
ADDAMEER

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Palestinian prisoners’ affairs institutions – the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club, Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs and Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights – issued the following report on 8 July 2017, which indicates that, during the month of July 2017, Israeli authorities arrested 880 individuals from the occupied Palestinian territories, including 144 children, and 18 women. Read more »

Pregnant women, newborns contaminated with heavy metals linked to Israeli attacks

Julie Webb-Pullman

Remnants of Israeli attacks....

Remnants of war….

Newborn babies and their mothers exposed to Israeli attacks in 2014 have a high level of heavy metal contamination in their hair, reports a study published in the latest British Medical Journal (BMJ Open). The research was carried out in Gaza on 502 women who were pregnant at the time of the 2014 Israeli offensive.

Italian, Finnish and Gazan researchers analyzed the quantities of 23 kinds of metal in the hair of the women and the children they subsequently gave birth to, and compared them with the metal content in women’s hair outside of war zones. They also studied in utero transmission of heavy metals, as well as the hypothesis of contamination unrelated to war.

“Heavy metals used during wars are toxic, teratogenic and carcinogenic, and this study has shown they pose a health risk to pregnant women and their children, now and in the long-term” said lead researcher, Paola Manduca.

Teratogens disrupt the development of the embryo and can cause birth defects, while carcinogens can cause cancer.

“They are known as endocrine disruptors. They remain in the environment, remain in bodies and accumulate due to chronic exposure if their sources are not eliminated from the environment,” said Manduca.

Such sources include weapon remnants themselves, substances released during the explosion of missiles and shells, and contaminated ruins.

Using Plasma-Mass-coupled spectrometry (ICP-MS), the researchers made comparisons with groups exposed to domestic and agricultural chemicals.

Although women’s heavy metal load was higher than that of the newborns, it was not enough of a difference to protect the babies from harm: the study found an increase in birth defects and preterm births from 2011 data.

The rate of birth defects reported in the Gaza study was 4.5%, compared for example to the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) figure of 3% for the United States – the Gaza rate is 50% higher.

Equally worrying, the study documented that the frequency of exposure to military attacks was about 70% in the random sample of 502 mothers, suggesting overall contamination of the entire population.

“Surveillance, bio-monitoring and further research on this subject is essential,” said Paola Manduca. “The risk of transgenerational genetic mutations can not be ruled out.”

Remembering Comrade Shadia Abu Ghazaleh, struggler for Palestine

Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine
Press Release

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The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine remembers the passing of the first woman martyr of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Comrade Shadia Abu Ghazaleh, whose life was lost on November 28, 1968, as she prepared a bomb in her home for a military operation against the occupation.

Comrade Abu Ghazaleh was born in Nablus on January 8, 1949. She graduated from the Fatimid School for Girls and then studied sociology for one year at Ein Shams University in Cairo, before deciding to complete her education at An-Najah National University in Nablus in psychology and social sciences. Her family attempted to convince her to stay in Cairo, but she responded, “What good is a university degree if I have no wall to attach it to” in her homeland, and was determined to return to Palestine especially after the 1967 occupation.

She began her political activity as a youth and became involved with the Arab Nationalist Movement, founded by George Habash, in 1964. She was one of the original members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine upon its founding on December 11, 1967.

She organized and led Palestinian women’s military organizations and was one of the first Palestinian women to be involved in military resistance in the post-1967 era. She was also deeply dedicated to education and political struggle as part of one comprehensive struggle with military resistance. Abu Ghazaleh emphasized the integration of struggle and that there is no separation between national and social liberation. She believed strongly in collective and organized work, rather than individualism, and emphasized the role of culture, politics, and strategy in directing armed struggle, adhering firmly to the slogan, “No revolutionary movement without a revolutionary theory.” Read more »

PFLP condemns occupation piracy of Women’s Boat to Gaza

Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine
Press Release

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The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine expressed its strongest condemnation of the Zionist occupation forces for their attack on the Women’s Boat to Gaza, the Zaytouna, blocking it from reaching the Gaza Strip on a journey of solidarity and to break the siege of occupation.

The Front denounced this Zionist piracy, reaffirming the Zionist regime’s disregard for international conventions and treaties, relying instead on tyranny, terror and the support and protection provided by US imperialism and its allies in international forums.

The Front expressed its salutes and appreciation to the women on board the hijacked ship, saluting their determination to break the siege on the Gaza Strip despite the risk, noting that this mission enjoys the strong support of the Palestinian people and is yet more motivation to continue to work to expand international solidarity campaigns and boycott the Zionist state.

Israeli women betray their sisters, intercept Women’s Boat to Gaza

Julie Webb-Pullman

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Israeli women soldiers led the attack in international waters on the Women’s Boat to Gaza, Zaytouna-Oliva, on Wednesday evening Gaza time, and kidnapped the 13 international women on board.

The 13 freedom sailors included New Zealand Member of Parliament Marama Davidson, 1976 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mairead Maguire from Ireland, and retired US army colonel Ann Wright.

There has been no communication from the women since their capture, but the Israeli media reported the following statement from the Israeli occupation forces:

“In accordance with government directives and after exhausting all diplomatic channels, the Israeli Navy redirected the vessel in order to prevent breach of the lawful maritime blockade.”

Two hours ago the Israeli Times said the Zaytouna-Oliva was intercepted 65 kilometres from the Gaza Coast, and was now heading slowly toward Ashdod.

In the Interim Oslo Agreement, signed by Israel and the PLO, boats from Gaza are permitted to go twenty nautical miles (about thirty-seven kilometers) from the coastline, meaning the Zaytoun-Oliva was clearly still in international waters when it was pirated.

Prior to this latest breach of international law by Israel on the high seas, Israeli airstrikes and tank fire pounded the Gaza Strip, from a training ground in Khan Yunis in southern Gaza to naval police headquarters in Beit Lahiya in the north, and several Gaza City suburbs in between.

It is precisely this sort of wanton destruction and the humanitarian catastrophe of an illegal siege that the women’s boat was seeking to highlight, and break.

Women around the world are watching and waiting to see whether the women are safe.

Israel issues orders to intercept all-women Gaza-bound flotilla

Palestine Information Centre

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The Israeli occupation navy has received instructions to intercept women’s boat to Gaza and arrest onboard activists, Israeli daily Maariv reported Sunday.

The Israeli naval forces have received orders to intercept al-Zaytouna ship and arrest activists as soon as they reach Gaza shores. The boat is reportedly to be towed to the Ashdod Harbor wile female activists will be deported to their mother countries after they sign pledges to never return.

Zaytouna ship is expected to reach Gaza shores in the next three days following a stopover in the Greek Island of Crete to fix a sudden breakdown.

Amal and Zaytouna, a flotilla of two boats with all-women crews and passengers, set sail from Barcelona en route to besieged Gaza in another maritime attempt to break Israel’s illegitimate blockade on the Palestinian coastal enclave.

There are 11 women in each boat, including Malin Bjork, a European Parliament member, Marama Davideon, a New ZEaland member of Parliament, Mairead Maguire, the Nobel peace laureate from Northern Ireland, Fouzia Hassan, a doctor from Malaysia, and retired US army colonel Ann Wright.

The Gaza Strip is a place where around two million Palestinians have been locked up for nearly a decade in what many describe as the “world’s largest open air prison.”

Gaza’s political parties welcome the Women’s Boats to Gaza

Women leaders from three of Gaza’s leading political parties welcome the women in the Women’s Boats to Gaza arriving shortly in an attempt to break the Israeli siege of Gaza. Rajaa Al Halabi from Hamas, Mariam Abu Dagga from PFLP and Amal Hamad from Fatah ask women all over the world to continue to stand in solidarity with Palestinian women – and to send more boats.

They emphasise the tragic consequences of the now ten-year Israeli siege on Gaza’s women, and demand that international law be respected, and the siege lifted.

No online shopping for Nur

Young women in many countries can just pop down to the nearest shoe store to buy a pair of trainers, or if there isn’t one nearby, just go online, choose what they want, and have them delivered. Not in Gaza – Israel has completely banned postal delivery services to Gaza for anything except letters and postcards – and even those are lucky to arrive. Nur hopes the Women’s Boats to Gaza will have better luck.

Even asthma is under siege in Gaza

Nadal’s mother can’t get her asthma medication – because of the Gaza siege only 30% of essential medications are available in the hospitals, and asthma medication is one of them. She thanks the Women’s Boat to Gaza for drawing attention to the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip.

Women’s flotilla leaves Sicily – heading for Gaza

Kia Ora Gaza
Press Release

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New Zealand’s representative, Green MP Marama Davidson proudly displays the Tino Rangatiratanga flag on board the first of the Women’s Boats to Gaza as it leaves the port of Messina, Sicily and heads out across the Mediterranean for the distant shores of Gaza.

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Final farewells from some of the all-women crew of the Zaytouna-Olivia

Women’s Boat to Gaza statement, Messina, Sicily

This morning at 9:50 am, women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here.

When asked why they are going, the women gave a variety of responses. Mairead Maguire, Nobel Peace Laureate from Ireland, notes that “they say that ‘silence is golden’, but regarding the plight of Palestinians in Gaza the silence of the world, especially concerning their little children, shows a lack of moral and ethical leadership from the international community. Why has it lasted so long?” Read more »

Israel / OPT: UN women’s rights expert calls for peace process with full participation of women

UN Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights
Press Release

International Women's Day, Gaza 2015 (Photo: Julie Webb-Pullman

International Women’s Day, Gaza 2015 (Photo: Julie Webb-Pullman

GENEVA (26 September 2016) – Reducing violence against women and promoting gender equality are two underused tools in bridging fragmented and divided communities and achieving peace, said United Nations human rights expert Dubravka Šimonović, at the end of her first official visit* to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory/State of Palestine.

“I would like to call both sides to start a new peace process in which women would fully participate and even take the lead and in which international human rights law and humanitarian law would be applied jointly,” the UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women said. Read more »

Palestinian resistance movements condemn Israeli assassination of Samir Kuntar

Samir Kuntar

Samir Kuntar

The Islamic Resistance Movement and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) have both released statements condemning the assassination of Lebanese resistance fighter and Palestine supporter Samir Kuntar, who was killed in an alleged Israeli airstrike on a residential building in Damascus, Syria on December 19,2015. The Israeli airstrike was both an extrajudicial killing, and a contravention of Syrian sovereignty.

Witnesses reported that the five-storey apartment building, which was completely destroyed, was hit by “four long-range missiles” and residents interviewed on Syrian state television said that they had seen the bodies of women and children in the rubble. Also killed was Farhan al-Sha’alan, a leader of the Hezbollah-affiliated Syrian Resistance in the Golan.

Rubble of residential building destroyed by Israeli missiles in Jaramana, Damascus which killed Kuntar and several others. Pic by Louai Beshara/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Rubble of residential building destroyed by Israeli missiles in Jaramana, Damascus which killed Kuntar and several others. Pic by Louai Beshara/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

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Escalating number of Palestinian women prisoners in Israeli jails: profiles and information

Source: Samidoun

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The largest number of Palestinian women political prisoners since the Wafa al-Ahrar prisoner exchange in 2011 is currently imprisoned in Israeli jails. They are from the West Bank, Jerusalem, and Palestinians from occupied Palestine ’48 (citizens of Israel).

Hasharon prison, which imprisons most women prisoners is now “overcrowded;” three Palestinian girls – Jihan Ereikat, Marah Bakri and Istabraq Nour – are now being held in Asqelan prison, which is primarily a men’s prison; some Palestinian boys are held there as well. They have demanded their immediate transfer to a women’s prison.

Six of the Palestinian women prisoners have injuries from Israeli soldier and settler bullets: Shurouq Dwayyat, Hilweh Darwish Hamamreh, Israa Ja’abis, Marah Bakri, Istabraq Nour and Amal Taqatqa. Read more »

Abbas’ silence on prisoners astounding, says UK’s Baroness Tonge

by Julie Webb-Pullman

Mohammed Al Ghoul, Ahmed Bahar, Jamil Mashdalawi and Mohammed Radwan at the seminar to highlight Israel's detention of Palestinian MPs

Mohammed Al Ghoul, Ahmed Bahar, Jamil Mashdalawi and Mohammed Radwan at the seminar to highlight Israel’s detention of Palestinian MPs

In a telephone link-up with Gaza today Baroness Jennifer Tonge told members of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) she was astounded at the silence of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and the PLC regarding the Israeli kidnapping of PFLP member of parliament Khalida Jarrar on April 02, 2015.

“I was horrified at her detention, especially considering her age and poor health,” said Baroness Tonge.

Noting that Abbas is responsible for security, she slammed him for also saying nothing about children taken from their beds in the middle of the night to be thrown into Israeli jails. Read more »

Danes demand release of Palestinian parliamentarian siezed by Israel

PRESS RELEASE
www.internationaltforum.dk – the Middle East Group

Immediate Release of Palestinian Freedom Fighter Khalida Jarrrar

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Today, April 2, in the morning, over 60 Israeli occupation soldiers raided the home in Ramallah of Palestinian parliamentarian Khalida Jarrar and arrested her.

Khalida Jarrar is a well known Palestinian human rights advocate and feminist and a leading member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. She has been a visible participant in the West Bank demonstrations last summer – in support of the Palestinians in Gaza, denouncing the Israeli killing of more than 2000 Palestinians. Read more »

UN Women’s Forum Supports Palestinians

PRENSA LATINA

Gaza woman injured in Israeli attack on civilian home, July 2014

Gaza woman injured in Israeli attack on civilian home, July 2014

The United Nations 59th Session of the Commission on Legal and Social Status of Women today adopted a resolution of support for Palestinian women, with Israel and the United States the only countries voting against it.

The document was approved at the closing the annual two-week forum which reviewed the progress and challenges of gender equality and empowerment of women 20 years after the Beijing Declaration and Plan of Action.

The initiative, supported by 27 countries, with 13 abstentions and above-mentioned two votes against, reasserts that the Israeli occupation remains the main obstacle to the advancement and self-reliance of Palestinian women as well as for integration in the development of their society. Read more »

Women’s Day in Gaza

by Julie Webb-Pullman

Palestinian women gathered Sunday outside the UN offices in Rimal.

The lingering loss, sadness and pain are all too obvious – despite their attempts at cheer there is little for women to celebrate in a Gaza still devastated by the Israeli offensive six months ago. Almost every one of these women and girls lost a mother, a sister, a daughter, a cousin, an aunt, a grandmother, a niece, a grandaughter, a friend – and almost every one of them is struggling to survive under a crippling – and illegal – blockade. But surviving they are.

Kia kaha!

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Crushing Flowers: A Report Documenting Human Rights Violations against Palestinian Women During Israel’s “Operation Protective Edge”

PRESS RELEASE
Euro-Mid Observer for Human Rights

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Geneva – Dozens of cases in which civilian women in the Gaza Strip were targeted during Israel’s 50-Day “Operation Protective Edge” are documented in a new report issued today by the nonprofit Euro-Mid Observer for Human Rights. Titled “Crushing Flowers,” the report revealed that 489 females were killed by Israeli forces – 23 percent of the total number of victims. Likewise, 3,537 females (31.5 percent of the number of wounded) were injured during the 8 July-26 August assault.

“It is clear from the evidence we collected, including numerous eyewitness accounts, that no effective method was used by Israeli troops to avoid civilian casualties, including women and girls, and that excessive force was rampant,” said Ramy Abdu, chair of Euro-Mid. “Meanwhile, many women are now dealing with the trauma of losing large numbers of their families.” Read more »

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