Jerusalem women call for protection against Israeli violence

A Palestinian woman and child pass through an Israeli checkpoint in Issawiyeh, a neighborhood in Jerusalem, on 15 October.

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Palestinian women in Jerusalem are under constant attack by both Israeli state forces and at the hands of vigilantes, a coalition of groups stated Saturday.

Speaking as “women, mothers, sisters, daughters and youth,” the Jerusalemite Women’s Coalition is calling “for the protection of our bodily safety and security when in our homes, walking in our neighborhood, reaching schools, clinics, work places and worship venues.”

More than 60 Palestinians have been killed so far this month. While the majority are young men, and at least 15 of those slain were under 18 years old, women have also been targeted by Israeli occupation forces.

Killed at checkpoints

On Sunday, Dania Irsheid, 17, was shot dead at an Israeli checkpoint in the West Bank city of Hebron, where eyewitnesses reported that soldiers searching her schoolbag demanded to know “where is the knife.” When she replied that there was no knife and raised her hands, she was shot seven or eight times, witnesses said.

Bayan Ayman Abd al-Hadi al-Esseili, 16, was shot dead by Israeli soldiers on 17 October. The soldiers claimed that she had tried to attack them with a knife near the Kiryat Arba settlement in Hebron.

In September, Hadil Saleh Hashlamoun, 18, was shot and left to bleed at an Israeli checkpoint in Hebron. Israeli soldiers claimed that she had tried to stab them, but like in the slayings of al-Esseili and Irsheid, no injuries were reported and eyewitnesses rejected this version of events.

Photographs of Hashlamoun after she was shot were circulated and mocked by Israelis on social media. The images showed the woman, who had in life had worn very modest Islamic dress, clad only in her underwear.

In the Jerusalem village of Issawiyeh, 65-year-old Huda Darwish died on 19 October after Israeli forces fired tear gas canisters in the area. The driver of a car carrying Darwish was delayed while attempting to exit the village through an Israeli checkpoint, and Darwish died shortly after reaching hospital.

And in Gaza City, 30-year-old Nour Rasmi Hassan was killed along with her two-year-old daughter Rahaf in an Israeli airstrike on their home. Hassan was five months pregnant at the time; three of her other children were also injured.

In Afula, a city in northern Israel, police officers shot a Palestinian woman, Israa Abed, multiple times while her hands were up on 9 October. Israeli media claimed that the woman was wielding a knife and attempted to stab a bus driver. But videos show that Abed posed no threat at the time that she was shot and seriously injured.

“Political orphans”

The Jerusalem coalition claims that women live in a “state of fear and horror” as Israel “regularly executes Palestinians in the streets.”

Palestinian women there are in a particularly precarious position in Jerusalem, abused by the Israeli state which rules their immediate environment but not falling under even the hypothetical protection of the Palestinian Authority.

“We, the women of occupied East Jerusalem, are politically orphaned,” the groups state. “We are victims without protection, as the Palestinian Authority has no right to protect us in our city, and the Israeli state treats us as terrorists that should be humiliated, attacked, violated and controlled.”

The extent of Israeli control goes well beyond the current violence, extending to the “water, cell phones, Internet, mobility, health [and] economy” of Palestinian women in Jerusalem.

The groups call on the international community to pressure Israel to observe UN Security Council Resolution 1325, which “reaffirms the important role of women in the prevention and resolution of conflicts, peace negotiations, peace-building, peacekeeping, humanitarian response and in post-conflict reconstruction and stresses the importance of their equal participation and full involvement in all efforts for the maintenance and promotion of peace and security.”

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Israele killer and other state...nothing.crime of war.killer ma ,woman andò CHILDREN palestinese.annienta israele

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I read everyday on Twitter and Facebook the horrific executions of the Palestinians by the Israeli soldiers and some settlers who are now executing Palestinians. The Palestinians are under occupation in their own country by settlers who were placed their by the British State and named Israel and now they fear even walking to their home or school. How can we help the women of Palestine I am absolutely sick of what is going on and yet our media is blanking it out from the newsrooms and newspapers. What can i do to help these people. I am sharing on Facebook and Twitter but want to do more. I am with the Palestinian Women I am a woman and I want to help my sisters in Palestine what can i do to help?

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Our group of Women in Black in the small American town of New Paltz, New York, will be holding a vigil on this Saturday, calling attention to the Call for Protection from Jerusalem women and the deaths which have made this call necessary.

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Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked has publicly called for the murder of Palestinian women because "they give birth to little snakes". When government figures and religious leaders deliver such pronouncements, and racist lynch mobs rampage through the streets under police protection, it hardly comes as a surprise that young soldiers of the Occupation- raised in a vicious, blood-thirsty culture- take their elders at their word and commit these atrocities against women and girls. Zionism's long-term obsession with Palestinian reproductivity is finding lethal expression in the murders of potential mothers for that very reason.

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"Palestinian women in Jerusalem are under constant attack by both Israeli state forces and at the hands of vigilantes"

Vigilantes? Don't you mean Jewish terrorists? Please don't whitewash these criminals.

Sarah Irving

Sarah is a freelance writer and editor, author of a biography of Leila Khaled and of the Bradt Guide to Palestine, co-editor of A Bird is Not a Stone (a volume of Palestinian poetry translated into the languages of Scotland), and a PhD candidate at the University of Edinburgh. She has worked and traveled in Palestine since 2001.