Trending Topics:

‘You can’t liberate land but not women’: Thousands of Palestinians protest violence against women

News
on 4 Comments

On Thursday, thousands of Palestinians protested for women’s rights in twelve locations across Palestine/Israel and the diaspora following recent high profile cases of gender-based violence against women in Palestinian society.

Protests took place in Ramallah, Jerusalem, Haifa, Jaffa, Gaza, Beirut, and Berlin, among other locations. The protesters, who were overwhelmingly women, chanted against honor killing, patriarchy, Israeli colonization, and held photographs of victims of violence and female prisoners in Israeli jails.

The actions were organized by a Palestinian feminist campaign called “Tal’at” (“coming out” in Arabic) and held under the slogan: “you can’t liberate land but not women”.

Ramallah city center, Sep 26, 2019. Photo by Ahmad Al-Bazz / Activestills.org

Ramallah city center, Sep 26, 2019. Photo by Ahmad Al-Bazz / Activestills.org

Ramallah city center, Sep 26, 2019. Photo by Ahmad Al-Bazz / Activestills.org

Ramallah city center, Sep 26, 2019. Photo by Ahmad Al-Bazz / Activestills.org

“You can’t divide the concept of freedom. Fighting for women’s rights stems from the same concept as fighting Israeli colonization”, Lema Nazeeh, one of the organizers in Ramallah, told Mondoweiss. She said the goal of the action is “a homeland empty of all kinds of oppression”.

All actions ended peacefully except for one in Jerusalem which met Israeli forces at the Damascus Gate, one of the main entrances to the old city where Israeli forces are always present. Policemen suppressed the protest and tried to take down a Palestinian flag held by the protesters.

Jaffa city, Sep 26, 2019. Photo by Keren Manor/ Activestills.org

Jaffa city, Sep 26, 2019. The sign on the left reads: “revolution against patriarchy and colonization” Photo by Keren Manor/ Activestills.org

Anas Hamdallah, one of the male participants in Ramallah, told Mondoweiss that “members of the Palestinian society have to reconcile themselves to be more powerful for the stage of liberation from the colonial system”.

On the other side of the green line, protests took place in the heart of some of the mixed cities, including Jaffa and Haifa. In a press statement, organizers shared their political positions towards Israeli feminist activists by saying they refused for their struggle to be “used to legitimize the colonizer’s violence”. The organizers also refused “to interact or engage with any Israeli platform or entity”, including Israeli mainstream media.

Jaffa city, Sep 26, 2019. Photo by Keren Manor/ Activestills.org

Jaffa city, Sep 26, 2019. Photo by Keren Manor/ Activestills.org

Jaffa city, Sep 26, 2019. Photo by Keren Manor/ Activestills.org

Jaffa city, Sep 26, 2019. Photo by Keren Manor/ Activestills.org

One of the organizers in Jaffa told Mondoweiss that the campaign started in Haifa and aimed to reach out to Palestinian communities all over the country. She said two protests also took place in Beirut and Berlin on the same day as well.

“We joined to overcome the dictates of geographic separation and isolation imposed on us by settler colonialism and its various manifestations”, said Maya Zebdawi, a Palestinian refugee protester in Beirut.

She said the participation of Palestinian refugees in Beirut highlighted the importance of “re-building the Palestinian collective awareness despite the geographical fragmentation”.

Haifa city, Sep 26, 2019. Photo by Maria Zreik/ Activestills.org

Haifa city, Sep 26, 2019. Photo by Maria Zreik/ Activestills.org

The protest wave comes following the suspected “honor killing” of Israa Ghrayeb, 21, by male family members in a village outside Bethlehem in August. According to reports, Ghrayeb, 21, was killed after a posting a video on social media of herself and her soon-to-be fiancé.  The case has dominated Palestinian public opinion for the past month.

The Palestinian Women’s Center for Legal Aid documented at least 23 cases of women’s deaths due to gender-based violence in Palestinian society in 2018.

Haifa city, Sep 26, 2019. Photo by Maria Zreik/ Activestills.org

Haifa city, Sep 26, 2019. Photo by Maria Zreik/ Activestills.org

Ahmad Al-Bazz

Ahmad Al-Bazz, born in 1993, is a multi-award winning journalist, photographer and documentary filmmaker based in the West Bank city of Nablus. Ahmad holds an MA degree in Television Studies from the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom, and a BA degree in Media and Mass Communication from An-Najah National University in Palestine. Since 2012, Ahmad has been a member of the Activestills documentary photography collective that operates in Palestine/Israel region.

Other posts by .


Posted In:

4 Responses

  1. JaapBo on September 28, 2019, 2:33 am

    Thanks for this article.
    One thing that impresses me is the unity of the Palestinian people across 1948 Palestine, the occupied territories and the Diaspora

  2. Misterioso on September 28, 2019, 11:05 am

    As with their sisters around the world, Palestinian women are the backbone of their people. To do them harm is not only criminal, but destructive to the struggle against Zionism and STUPID!!

  3. chocopie on September 28, 2019, 1:54 pm

    Thank you for covering this topic on Mondoweiss.

  4. Rob Roy on September 29, 2019, 7:00 pm

    As Palestinian men face struggle every day against occupiers, it’s difficult to believe some would treat their wives, daughters, nieces, aunts, mothers with cruelty. How on earth do they justify that?

Leave a Reply