women in Gaza

Under Siege, Palestinian Women Call for Human Rights on International Women’s Day

Growing old in Jabaliya refugee camp in Gaza. Credit: Emad Badwan/IPS.Growing old in Jabaliya refugee camp in Gaza. Credit: Emad Badwan/IPS.

*First Published at Inter Press Services (IPS) -By Eva Bartlett

*[blog post longer than original]

“In Gaza we don’t lead normal lives, we just cope, and adapt to our abnormal lives under siege and occupation,” says Dr. Mona El-Farra, a physician and a long-time human rights and women’s rights activist in the Gaza Strip. On International Women’s Day, when many of the world’s women are fighting for workplace equality and an end to domestic violence, Farra and the majority of Gaza’s women fight for the most basic of rights.

“It is difficult to live in this small piece of land, where basic needs like clean water, regular electricity, proper sanitation and means of recreation are not met. Women in Gaza are particularly traumatised by the continuous Israeli military attacks,” says Farra.

Palestinian blogger attacked for speaking truth

Rana Baker, a Palestinian blogger from the Gaza Strip–and a very articulate, politically-astute woman–posts about threats and bigoted insults she received for blogging and tweeting Gaza’s reality:

“You’re a lowlife. And will always be a lowlife. Palestinian trash” Twitter user says to me during “Pillar of Cloud.”

December 12, 2012

Throughout the so-called “Operation Pillar of Cloud” that began on November 14th 2012 and lasted until November 21st 2012, pro-Israel apologists launched another wave of hatred in the cyberspace.

Here are screenshots of some of what I received on my personal Twitter account, timed and dated. I tried to link the screenshots to their users but it seems to me that those apologists either disappeared from Twitter or deleted their posts.

I leave it for you to decide.

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Former Palestinian Political Prisoner and Hunger-Striker Victor Hana Shalabi Urges More International Solidarity

Transcript of interview conducted by Adie Mormech with Palestinian former political prisoner and hunger-striker Hana al-Shalabi:

My condolences to the family of the West Bank martyr, Arafat Jaradet, killed in Megido prison.

Sadly I’m not surprised by Jaradet’s killing. This is nothing new for Palestinian prisoners. At least 210 prisoners have been killed in the Occupation’s prisons. CONTINUE READING

‘Eid in Gaza

Sunday, the first day of ‘Eid following a month of Ramadan fasting, the older sons of the house go out visiting their married sisters, and the wives of the house stay at home, offering mahmoul (date-stuffed round or crescent shaped cookies), chocolates, and bitter Arabic coffee (a lighter brown and more bitter coffee than the everyday strong qahua [cardamom-infused Arabic coffee] served in cafes) to their siblings and other guests.

Children are coerced into their best—ideally new—clothes, their hair groomed perfectly. Within an hour, the younger children regain their usual play-mussed appearances as they play in the streets (where else to play?). If lucky, they collect a sparse amount of shekels from their older relatives and siblings for ‘Eid, to spend on toys or clothes or treats.

I visit with the women in our house, stopping by each family’s apartment to wish them a happy ‘Eid, passing along the familiar greetings of “kul saena w inti taibe, wa sahtek tamam” (which roughly translates to happy new year, may your health remain good). continue reading

some days you get shot at

In the “buffer zone”, created and expanded by Israel  [the now 1 or 2 km band of land running along on Gaza's side of the border, from south to north and northeast to northwest],  it is literally hit and miss whether farmers and civilians will be maimed or killed by the Israeli army on any given day. post continues