Palestinian Women Agony Under Israeli Occupation

Excerpt from the article by Jumana Al Tamimi

Palestinian women are increasingly suffering under the Israeli occupation, and until their anguish ends with the end of the occupation, Israel should be held responsible for Palestinian misery as an occupying power, activists and lawyers have said.

Women in occupied Palestine
Israeli occupation forces attack Palestinian homes in violent ways

Palestinian women find themselves shouldering two burdens: the social one and one emanating from the occupation.

In many cases, women suddenly became the sole breadwinners of their family, or a single parent because their fathers or husbands were killed or arrested by Israel. In other cases, women find themselves responsible for a family whose land has been confiscated or house demolished.

“From 1967 until this day, women are suffering as a result of the arrest of their male relatives, deportation, house demolitions, checkpoints, and the separation wall,” said Halimah Abu Soulb, a Palestinian lawyer and activist.

“All these measures are affecting women’s rights to education, health services, and free movement,” she added.

With the obstacles growing, the suffering is also increasing, she said.

“We didn’t have [as many] checkpoints before as we do now. We did not have a wall in the past, now we do. Today, they [Israelis] are confiscating more Palestinian land to open new roads,” Abu Soulb said.

Moreover, activists explained, Palestinian women in occupied East Jerusalem also suffer from the additional threat of having their identity cards confiscated, and also the impossibility of getting a clearance for their husbands to live in occupied Jerusalem, if they are from the West Bank.

Further, the night raids, which aim to intimidate civilians as part of a systematic strategy to maintain authority, leave long-lasting psychological impact on women and their children.

In short, Palestinians women face violence, threats, intimidation, restriction on movement, and discrimination from Israeli forces on a daily basis and Israel continues to impose policies which strictly violate international humanitarian and human rights law.

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