Archive for the 'Women' Category

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

Read more »

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 – 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


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!








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

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 »

Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees: Ban Ki-Moon must resign immediately

Press Statement
Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees
August 03, 2014

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United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon gave a green light to the Zionist occupation to continue its aggression and carry out more massacres against our people in the Gaza Strip using internationally prohibited weapons. Following his remarks about the need to “immediately and unconditionally release the soldier,” relying on the false claims by the occupation state to justify breaking the humanitarian ceasefire, the occupier has killed more than 200 children, women and men, wounding hundreds more and destroying more homes and displacing thousands more during what was alleged to be a United Nations-sponsored ceasefire! Read more »

UN Schools – No Shelter for Civilians

By Huda Droll

Beit Hanoun and Beit Lahiya, two different cities in Gaza, two different families in Gaza, both suffering from the same bombing that will change their lives forever.

Najah Mohammed Abel Dayem

Najah Mohammed Abel Dayem

War is a terrifying experience. It can and does cause serious injuries from high stress levels, high blood pressure, and heart attacks. All of this, and you are not actually being bombed. Just being in the war itself is quite a traumatic event.

Two stories of two Palestinian families who fled their homes with their families at the request of the Israelis. The Israelis even told the families where to go. These two families listened, to be safe they left their houses and all they knew about home for an UNWRA school in Jabaliya. Both families weighed the outcome of staying or going. They decided on family first. They both decided to evacuate due to the location instructed by the Israelis. Both families, like all of Gaza, felt the United Nations (UN) would protect them. Read more »

Islamic Women’s Council New Zealand Statement on Gaza

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Today is Mothers’ Day in Gaza

by Julie Webb-Pullman

What does this mother in Gaza do on Mothers’ Day?

Mother in Khan Younis

She wakes to pitch blackness, because there is no electricity to light the room.

She fumbles her way by torch or candlelight (if there is not too much wind to blow it out) to the bathroom.

Is she in luck this-morning? Did the electricity come on during the night and power the pump so that there is water in the roof-top tank to wash with? Even if it is so icy-cold and salty that it stings her eyes almost as much as the teargas that her sisters in the West Bank and Jerusalem must bear? Read more »