As women around the world prepare to celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD) on March 8 and continue the struggle against entrenched sexism, misogyny and gender-based violence, Palestinian women are doing all that with the added burden of living under Israeli occupation.
Palestinian artists, cultural groups and human rights supporters have welcomed the Australian-British singer Natalie Imbruglia’s cancellation of her planned March performance in Tel Aviv and thanked her for deciding to be “on the right side of history, on the side of the oppressed”.
In the first ever visit by a serving Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu is scheduled to arrive in Australia this month as part of an international tour aimed at shoring up Israel’s reputation abroad.
The visit has actually attracted attention — but not the kind Netanyahu would like.
Since the January 21 inauguration of US President Donald Trump, Israel has approved the construction of 8000 new homes for Jewish Israeli settlers in the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel in 1967. This represents a significant rise in the rate of illegal settlement building.
There has also been a rise in the rate of demolitions of Palestinian homes and land confiscations, both in the territories occupied in 1967 and in those that have been within the Israeli state since 1948.
As Facebook gives the Israeli government more access to posts deemed as “incitement”, Israeli forces have been raiding the homes of Palestinians children and detaining them for months over posts on the social media site, a report by the Defence for Children International-Palestine (DCIP) said on October 17.
The group spoke with several Palestinian minors who were arrested for their Facebook posts, interrogated for hours and held in jail for months without charges under the Israeli policy of “administrative detention”.
The Australian captain of a women-crewed boat, which tried to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza last month, firmly believes the mission was worthwhile.
“The Women’s Boat to Gaza managed to reignite the spotlight on Gaza and on the terrible conditions that the Gazan people suffer”, Madeline Habib told Green Left Weekly.
A flotilla bound for Gaza carrying food, medicine and other humanitarian aid was intercepted and seized by the Israeli Navy on October 5. The Women’s Boat to Gaza had set sail from the Spanish port city of Barcelona in mid-September in an effort to break the ongoing Israeli blockade of Gaza, Democracy Now! said on October 12.