In photos: Gaza International Women’s Day rally for Palestinian detainees

8549231353 07819409b4 zGAZA, PALESTINE, March 11 – Demonstrators followed a weekly sit-in for Palestinian detainees in the International Committee of the Red Cross’ Gaza Strip headquaters with an International Women’s Day/Mother’s Day rally for prisoners. (Photo: Joe Catron)

After a weekly sit-in by families of Palestinian detainees in the courtyard of the International Committee of the Red Cross’ Gaza Strip headquarters Monday morning, demonstrators rallied on the street outside to mark International Women’s Day and Mother’s Day.

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GAZA, PALESTINE, March 11 – Demonstrators followed a weekly sit-in for Palestinian detainees in the International Committee of the Red Cross’ Gaza Strip headquaters with an International Women’s Day/Mother’s Day rally for prisoners. (Photo: Joe Catron)

Israel currently holds twelve Palestinian women as political prisoners and has detained 15,000 since its 1967 occupation of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. A further 4,800 male Palestinian detainees are separated from thousands of mothers, wives, and daughters.

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GAZA, PALESTINE, March 11 – Demonstrators followed a weekly sit-in for Palestinian detainees in the International Committee of the Red Cross’ Gaza Strip headquaters with an International Women’s Day/Mother’s Day rally for prisoners. (Photo: Joe Catron)

Last week Shireen Issawi, a Jerusalem attorney and the sister of Palestinian detainee and long-term hunger striker Samer Issawi, wrote:

On March 8 every year, thousands of events are held throughout the world to inspire women and celebrate their achievements for International Women’s Day. Today I would like to take the opportunity to celebrate my mother, Laila Issawi, and share her story.
I was raised by a very empowered, inspiring mother, who endured not only her own suffering but the suffering of her children, in the struggle for our freedom and dignity as a people. From as far back as I can remember I have always been in awe of my mother, her passion, dignity and resilience. She was raised on the love of Palestine, and has raised us with those same values; to love our country, defend our rights and fight for them until they are achieved …
We suffer an ugly military occupation of our land, our lives and our very existence in Palestine. But like my mother, I shall endure the pain and agony for the liberation of my motherland. On this day, when we celebrate women’s achievements worldwide, I ask you to join me in celebrating the incredible pillar of strength that is my mother, Laila Issawi. She continues to give me the hope that, one day, we will live in dignity and in freedom. My only wish is that my brother Samer will live to see that day.

 
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GAZA, PALESTINE, March 11 – Demonstrators followed a weekly sit-in for Palestinian detainees in the International Committee of the Red Cross’ Gaza Strip headquaters with an International Women’s Day/Mother’s Day rally for prisoners. (Photo: Joe Catron)
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GAZA, PALESTINE, March 11 – Demonstrators followed a weekly sit-in for Palestinian detainees in the International Committee of the Red Cross’ Gaza Strip headquaters with an International Women’s Day/Mother’s Day rally for prisoners. (Photo: Joe Catron)
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GAZA, PALESTINE, March 11 – Demonstrators followed a weekly sit-in for Palestinian detainees in the International Committee of the Red Cross’ Gaza Strip headquaters with an International Women’s Day/Mother’s Day rally for prisoners. (Photo: Joe Catron)
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GAZA, PALESTINE, March 11 – Demonstrators followed a weekly sit-in for Palestinian detainees in the International Committee of the Red Cross’ Gaza Strip headquaters with an International Women’s Day/Mother’s Day rally for prisoners. (Photo: Joe Catron)
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GAZA, PALESTINE, March 11 – Demonstrators followed a weekly sit-in for Palestinian detainees in the International Committee of the Red Cross’ Gaza Strip headquaters with an International Women’s Day/Mother’s Day rally for prisoners. (Photo: Joe Catron)
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GAZA, PALESTINE, March 11 – Demonstrators followed a weekly sit-in for Palestinian detainees in the International Committee of the Red Cross’ Gaza Strip headquaters with an International Women’s Day/Mother’s Day rally for prisoners. (Photo: Joe Catron)
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GAZA, PALESTINE, March 11 – Demonstrators followed a weekly sit-in for Palestinian detainees in the International Committee of the Red Cross’ Gaza Strip headquaters with an International Women’s Day/Mother’s Day rally for prisoners. (Photo: Joe Catron)
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GAZA, PALESTINE, March 11 – Demonstrators followed a weekly sit-in for Palestinian detainees in the International Committee of the Red Cross’ Gaza Strip headquaters with an International Women’s Day/Mother’s Day rally for prisoners. (Photo: Joe Catron)
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GAZA, PALESTINE, March 11 – Demonstrators followed a weekly sit-in for Palestinian detainees in the International Committee of the Red Cross’ Gaza Strip headquaters with an International Women’s Day/Mother’s Day rally for prisoners. (Photo: Joe Catron)
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GAZA, PALESTINE, March 11 – Demonstrators followed a weekly sit-in for Palestinian detainees in the International Committee of the Red Cross’ Gaza Strip headquaters with an International Women’s Day/Mother’s Day rally for prisoners. (Photo: Joe Catron)
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GAZA, PALESTINE, March 11 – Demonstrators followed a weekly sit-in for Palestinian detainees in the International Committee of the Red Cross’ Gaza Strip headquaters with an International Women’s Day/Mother’s Day rally for prisoners. (Photo: Joe Catron)
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GAZA, PALESTINE, March 11 – Demonstrators followed a weekly sit-in for Palestinian detainees in the International Committee of the Red Cross’ Gaza Strip headquaters with an International Women’s Day/Mother’s Day rally for prisoners. (Photo: Joe Catron)
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GAZA, PALESTINE, March 11 – Demonstrators followed a weekly sit-in for Palestinian detainees in the International Committee of the Red Cross’ Gaza Strip headquaters with an International Women’s Day/Mother’s Day rally for prisoners. (Photo: Joe Catron)

About Joe Catron

Joe Catron is a US activist in Gaza, Palestine, where he works with Palestinian groups and international solidarity networks, particularly in support of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) and prisoners' movements. He co-edited The Prisoners' Diaries: Palestinian Voices from the Israeli Gulag, an anthology of accounts by detainees freed in the 2011 prisoner exchange, blogs at joecatron.wordpress.com and tweets at @jncatron.
Posted in Activism, Gaza, Israel/Palestine, Israeli Government, Occupation

{ 7 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. Avi_G. says:

    “No to Administrative Detention”

    “No to Solitary Confinement.”

  2. Woody Tanaka says:

    Clearly, as these pictures indicate, the biggest problem facing women in Gaza is an inability to participate in the Gaza Marathon.
    Hat Tip: Beinart!!

  3. RE: “In photos: Gaza International Women’s Day rally for Palestinian detainees”

    MY COMMENT: Thanks, Mr. Catron. Your photos are really gorgeous!

  4. just says:

    Thanks for the translations, Avi.

    Thank you for the pictures and the post, Joe. They are beautiful, and the children’s eyes especially are haunting and quite simply, wise– old and young at the same time. I know I am not expressing myself very well, but you have touched much more than my brain, you touched my heart.

    You’ve managed to capture the hope and spirit of a united people seeking justice. Some smiles, some solemnity, all with their eyes wide open with nothing to ‘hide’.

    Shireen’s message is beautiful as well.

    “I ask you to join me in celebrating the incredible pillar of strength that is my mother, Laila Issawi. She continues to give me the hope that, one day, we will live in dignity and in freedom. My only wish is that my brother Samer will live to see that day.”

    I surely shall celebrate the courage of these women and men and children, and also pray that Samer will live in free Palestine one day soon.

    • yes, the children’s eyes. they have seen so much. more than i can imagine. reminds me of rawan yaghi’s ‘she dropped it’, which i cannot find at the moment.

  5. rensanceman says:

    It is pathetic to look at the expectant children’s faces wondering what kind of violence they have experienced or witnessed. also sad is the thought that as millions took the streets to protest the Iraq war and Occupy Wall Street, it did not deter Bush/Cheney and Blair nor the likes of Goldman Sachs from pursuing their evil ends. As to the war reference, I note a pattern of decisions by our foreign policy elites to have involved us in conflicts pre-ordained by the Project for a New American Century (cf. A Clean Break)–Libya, Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, and Somalia and Iran. Examine the list which is relevant to understand that our foreign policy which should advance our interest, actually benefits Israel in its desire to shape a New World Order– with our resources.

  6. ritzl says:

    Thanks Joe. Reminiscent of the Asociación Madres de Plaza de Mayo / “Women in White” in Argentina.

    Also, I was just watching a PBS program on the anti-Apartheid struggle in the US. It was very moving – from dismissed out of hand to victory.

    All this has precedent. Good precedent, through perseverance/sumud.