INTRODUCTION

The occupation affects women and girls differently, as in any other conflict, accentuating the vulnerabilities suffered by women and girls. Palestinian women suffer, in their case, a double discrimination: as women in a system of patriarchal domination and as Palestinians in a system of colonial domination, apartheid racial segregation and Israeli occupation. The occupation exacerbates the former and is also the main obstacle to women’s emancipation and the protection and promotion of their human rights.

While boys and men face higher levels of physical violence by Israel, girls and women face greater difficulty in accessing education and health services, as well as ongoing gender-based violence and other specific situations such as limitations on inheritance and property rights or forced marriage of girls.

Boys and men are often victims of humiliation, torture, loss of livelihoods as a result of Israeli occupation practices and other practices that result in a loss of control or prestige that translate into anger, aggression or anxiety, all of which contribute to increasing and fuelling the cycle of violence that women suffer in their homes at the hands of their partners or family members.

However, women have not only been the emotional and economic support of families, but have also led the resistance to the occupation with non-violent strategies, through the transmission of values, memory and traditional knowledge despite the onslaught of Judaisation and Palestinian ethnic and cultural cleansing promoted by the Zionist Israeli state.

The different strategies of resistance led by women show us innovative practices of nonviolent resistance that we have documented through these narratives that seek, above all, to break Islamophobic stereotypes about Arab women and to make visible the reality of those who are active agents of change in an effervescent society committed to its historical legacy and to a future in struggle for their freedom and their rights as Palestinians and as women.

Both in Area C and throughout East Jerusalem, house demolitions and the expulsion of the native population is a slow but steady ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. More than 173,000 Palestinian homes have been demolished in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) since 1947. In 2023 alone, more than 1,395 structures were demolished and 1,537 people were displaced in the West Bank, with another 66,136 people directly affected. In 2022, 2,845 structures were demolished in the Naqab, including 771 homes, mainly of Palestinian Bedouin population. In Jerusalem, between 1967 and 1996, the occupation authorities revoked the residency status of Jerusalem Palestinians living outside the borders of “Israel” (abroad or in the West Bank or Gaza Strip) for seven or more years, to maintain its so-called “demographic balance” (limiting the Palestinian residents to 30% or less of the city’s total population).5

In the West Bank, about 200 farming-shepherding communities throughout Area C of the West Bank 6 are deprived of quality infrastructure and public services, especially in the field of education. the weaponization of the right to education of Bedouin communities living in ‘Area C’, is another Zionist tool for forcible displacement. 7

In Gaza, 70% of the population are refugees from the 1948 Nakba and since the blockade imposed by Israel in 2007, they have suffered 5 massacres and an ongoing genocide with thousands of civilian infrastructure destroyed, including residences. From October 2023 to the present Israel is carrying out a genocide with more than 30,000 people killed and the displacement of more than 2 million people from their homes, with the destruction of all infrastructure, including roads, hospitals and schools displacing 1.5 million people south of the Strip.


La Administrative detention (AD) is a procedure that allows Israeli occupation forces to hold prisoners indefinitely on secret information without charging them or allowing them to stand trial. Currently, more than 9,000 Palestinians are in Israeli prisons, 200 of whom are minors. 70 are female prisoners, 18 are members of the Palestinian Legislative Council and 561 are serving life sentences 8. Palestinian human rights organisations have reported numerous cases of torture, solitary confinement and medical negligence. Recently, the United Nations 9 reported that Palestinian women and girls in detention have also been subjected to multiple forms of sexual assault, such as being stripped naked and searched by male Israeli army officers. At least two female Palestinian detainees were reportedly raped while others were reportedly threatened with rape and sexual violence.
As of 6 February 2024, and according to the documentation of JLAC, the Israeli occupying authorities are withholding the bodies of 205 Palestinian residents of the West Bank, including 26 children, two women and 17 prisoners or detainees; indefinitely depriving them of dignified burial.7


Despite the International Court of Justice’s interim measures order issued on 26 January 2024, Israel has persisted in a more than four-month campaign in Gaza, killing at least 30,000 Palestinians, mainly women and children, and injuring 66,630 others, as of 4 February 2024. Thousands of children are estimated to be alone in Gaza and the authorities have inaugurated an acronym: WCNSF: wounded child, no surviving family. Simultaneously, between 7 October 2023 and 4 February 2024, IOF and Israeli settlers killed 373 Palestinians, including 95 children and three women, in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

Military operations, the shelling of refugee camps in Jenin (West Bank), with dozens of civilians killed and more than 6,000 displaced in July 2023 alone, along with the ongoing genocide in Gaza and bombings in Lebanon and Syria, have led to an all-out Israeli offensive outside Gaza’s borders, with the consequent risk of regional contagion.

In the last 16 years, the Gaza Strip has suffered up to 5 major offensives with thousands of people killed and civilian infrastructure damaged causing an ongoing crisis under Israeli siege and blockade, increasing high levels of severe poverty (63% food insecurity), climate, electricity and water supply crisis (97% of water is contaminated) and chronic intergenerational trauma to children (95% of children in Gaza show symptoms of anxiety, depression and trauma) and adults in the Gaza Strip.11


8https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1ytRXCEiHPVOeWIZ2u3ZVkvNAeIBkRlQanKKXR0riu6c/edit#gid=1504056264

Peaceful protests and non-violent resistance to the Israeli occupation have existed since the beginning of the Zionist colonisation movement but have seen a new phase since the construction of the wall and the Israeli settlements in the occupied territory. We could consider the village of Bil’in as a paradigmatic example of these struggles against the wall. The lands of Bil’in village began to be annexed in the 1980s by a nearby illegal Jewish settlement. In 2005, the Wall began to be built directly through the lands of Bil’in’s Palestinian farmers. Since 2005, Bil’in has organised weekly direct actions and demonstrations, gaining the attention of the international community with its creativity and perseverance.Thanks to the popular mobilization and legal struggle undertaken by Bil’in inhabitants, in 2007, the Israeli High Court ruled that the route of the Wall be moved back.

A number of direct actions have been organized, including the blocking of Apartheid Road 443 and other roads, an action protest in Rami Levi supermarket in line with the call to Boycott products that support the Occupation, and cutting off apartheid separation fence in several locations. These actions aim to reclaim the right to use settler-only roads, challenge Occupation and segregation policies and disrupt the lives of settlers. In 2021, 45 cases of settler violence have been documented by B’Tselem, from vandalization of trees and other properties to physical assaults resulting in Palestinian casualties or farmers being driven out and barred from their lands. The Popular Struggle Coordination Committee (PSCC) was born from the anti-Wall and anti-Settlement popular movement that started in the early 2000’s in different villages throughout the West Bank as a common platform acting as a steering body for all the grassroots local popular committees 12.

But the Palestinians are also persecuted by their own authorities. The Palestinian authorities in the occupied West Bank have launched a chilling campaign of repression cracking down on peaceful protests with unlawful force, targeting journalists, civil society activists, and lawyers with arbitrary arrests and torturing detainees 13.


Israel imposed, especially after the second Intifada (2000), serious restrictions on the mobility of the Palestinian population with more than 550 checkpoints (earthmound, road gate, road block earthwall, road barrier and trenchs) as well as with the construction of the Apartheid Wall, which is more than 800 km long and declared illegal by the International Court of Justice in 2011, where 85% of its route goes into the West Bank territory, confining more than 10,000 Palestinian people in what is called the Seam Zone7 (Exclusion Zone). But also bureaucratic obstacles such as limitations on permits to move and access certain areas, the designation of restricted or closed areas, or family reunification.

In the case of the Gaza Strip, the blockade imposed by Israel since 2007 affects 2.5 million inhabitants, imposing serious restrictions not only on mobility, but also on access to food, household goods, construction materials and all types of medical treatment.

In March 2022, Israel passed a law denying naturalisation to Palestinians from the occupied territories who marry an Israeli citizen, formalising a decree that had been enacted in 2003 and renewed annually 14. Spouses from other ‘enemy states’, such as Lebanon, Syria and Iran, are also banned from family reunification with Israeli citizens and residents.

Israel is including its longstanding refusal to even contemplate the possibility of the right of return for Palestinian refugees who were forced to flee their homes in 1948, even for those with family members who stayed behind. However, what is often referred to as the ‘demographic threat’ is increasingly less about the plight of Palestinians abroad and more about the fate of those who remain in Israel and the occupied territories 15.

For East Jerusalem residents who marry West Bank residents, the barriers to family reunification are just as cumbersome, and the process takes an average of ten years, if the application is successful at all. Children born in East Jerusalem to West Bank parents, meanwhile, have been refused registration in East Jerusalem despite being born there. These children are thus forced to live in the city without legal status, a situation that limits their access to healthcare and education. Moreover, Israel has created an additional requirement, demanding East Jerusalem residents to prove that their ‘centre of life’ is in the city in order to keep residency. Despite this, thousands of ‘jerusalemites’ have had their residency revoked due to arbitrary “violations” of this provision, leaving many hesitant to leave the city, even to briefly visit relatives in other occupied territories, for fear of having their residency status revoked.

Gaza Strip residents face even more dire circumstances. They are essentially barred from leaving the territory at all, not even to visit family, tend to their land, work or study in the West Bank and abroad. The fact that Israel prevents Palestinians from entering or leaving the Palestinian territory demonstrates the level of control it exercises over this population.

The Palestinian authorities in the occupied West Bank have launched a chilling campaign of repression cracking down on peaceful protests with unlawful force, targeting journalists, civil society activists, and lawyers with arbitrary arrests and torturing detainees.


In 2021, in the occupied Palestinian territory, including east Jerusalem, coronavirus disease (COVID-19) was the main cause of death, followed by cardiovascular disease and cancer. The probability of dying between the ages of 30 and 70 from select noncommunicable diseases was 26.7% compared to 8.8% in Israel. The multiple indicator cluster survey for the occupied Palestinian territory in 2019/2020 revealed inequities in the infant mortality rate. For Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territory, it was 12 per 1000, higher for children born in refugee camps (17 per 1000), while the underfive mortality was 14 per 1000 and higher for boys (16 per 1000) than girls (12 per 1000). These figures compare to an infant mortality rate of 3 per 1000 and under-five mortality of 4 per 1000 in Israel in the same year.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, male violence increased by approximately 20% during the confinement, in line with the rest of the countries in the world where the pandemic is having negative consequences for Palestinian women socially, economically, health-wise… It is also weakening their participation in the labour market and in the political sector. Long confinement, restricted mobility, loss of the only source of income for hundreds of families and uncertainty about the future has put most Palestinian women at risk of isolation and domestic violence.

This is compounded by limited access to health care, inability to access psychosocial support, social and family protection services or justice as courts are closed as a result of the confinement. In addition, the closure of many businesses and small and medium-sized enterprises has had a direct impact on women and young people, which has led to an increase in unemployment, poverty and food insecurity.

Determinants of health continue to be profoundly affected by the ongoing occupation. The economic implications of occupation have contributed to high rates of unemployment (in the second quarter of 2022, 44% in the Gaza Strip; 14% in the West Bank), as well as to high rates of poverty and food insecurity (a third of the Palestinian population in the occupied Palestinian territory, including east Jerusalem, or 1.78 million people, experience severe food insecurity).

Access to water and sanitation is impeded, particularly for vulnerable communities in Area C of the West Bank, refugee communities, and the Gaza Strip, with 1.37 million Palestinians experiencing severe to catastrophic needs for humanitarian water and sanitation assistance in 2023. Meanwhile, discriminatory planning procedures, including practices of demolition and displacement, limit the development of infrastructure needed to promote health and well-being in these communities and create situations of precarity and insecurity that contribute to ill health and health inequities affecting Palestinian households 17.


17https://apps.who.int/gb/ebwha/pdf_files/WHA76/A76_15-en.pdf

In the West Bank, many rural communities located in ‘Area C’ are deprived of quality infrastructure and public services, especially in the field of education. While building sufficient educational facilities for all children is severely constrained by Israeli policies of denying building permits to Palestinians, the ability of the Palestinian public authorities to maintain the existing infrastructure is curtailed by the military occupation and its negative impact on freedom of movement and planning and zoning. The deprivation of public services is another tool of the Israeli settler colonial project to forcibly displace Palestinians from the rural areas where illegal settlements are spread 18.

Access to education for the Palestinian population is conditioned on a daily basis by Israeli occupation policies and violence which, in addition to directly affecting the student population, have resulted in the loss of many school days. Palestinian female students are often subjected to gender-specific intimidation or humiliation on their way to schools and universities, especially at Israeli checkpoints 19. Some reports have warned of the situation of vulnerability that particularly affects Palestinian girls and young women living in Area C of the West Bank due to their limited access to education and poor educational infrastructure.

In the Occupied Palestinian Territory, children and their parents have to brave their way to school, facing obstacles and violence few would know even exist. Since 2019 in the West Bank, over 50,000 Palestinian children have been affected by education-related incidents arising from the Israeli occupation 20. Of the 58 schools under threat of demolition, 50 are in Area C, and 8 are in East Jerusalem. These 58 schools serve around 6,550 children and 700 teachers. In 2022, the Israeli authorities ordered the demolition or stop work order of six schools in Area C, impacting over 206 students and 41 teachers.

The Israeli authorities carried out three demolitions of schools in 2022 incidents, targeting two schools. The Isfey Al Fauqa School in Masafer Yatta was demolished twice –– on 23 November and 6 December – impacting over 85 students and 18 teachers. In this area, as well as in the H2 area of Hebron, many girls drop out of school due to economic hardship in their families and/or to help with household chores or as a measure to avoid exposure to violence or bullying. Despite the obstacles, Palestinian girls and young women have generally made progress in their levels of literacy, education and training at the tertiary level. In fact, 53% of women of higher education age are in higher education, compared to 32% of men in the same age group, according to recent figures (2017) 21 . Some studies suggest that the higher percentage of Palestinian women’s involvement in higher education may reflect the greater social value of women’s education in Palestinian society, but also that Palestinians of the same age may be in prison or forced to leave school and work to provide for their families 22. Education has been a source of both hope and transformation for the Palestinian people.

Since the beginning of the war in Gaza (23 October), education has been suspended in all 19 institutions of higher education in the Gaza Strip, wiping out all universities in Gaza. More than 90 academics and scientists have been killed, including Sufyan Tayeh, rector of the Islamic University of Gaza, and 90,000 university students are unable to attend classes.

Israeli military assaults on Palestinian educational infrastructure are not a new phenomenon. The Islamic University in Gaza has been bombed before, in 2008, 2009 and 2014. Most recently, in August this year, Israel faced international criticism after demolishing a school in the occupied West Bank, just days before the start of a new school year. According to a recent UNESCO report 23, Between January 2019 and September 2021, at least 305 schools and kindergartens in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip were hit by Israeli explosive weapons. The term “scholasticide” was coined as early as 2009 24” to describe Israel’s targeting of educational institutions following the destruction of “Operation Cast Lead” and which have been repeated in the 2023-2024 Gaza offensive.


The Israeli occupation has conditioned the social construction of Palestinian masculinities insofar as many Zionist practices deliberately seek to challenge Palestinian men’s ability to fulfil the role of “protectors” and providers for their families and communities. This tension leads to situations of interpersonal violence and controlled family spaces, highlighting the difficulties of finding safe spaces for women in Palestine. 25

Many Palestinian women work in the informal sector or in unpaid family activities and are therefore at greater risk of exploitation and inadequate working conditions. As in other contexts, Palestinian women working outside the home are also exposed to gender-based violence. According to a study by Birzeit University’s Institute for Women’s Studies and the ILO, 22% of the women interviewed acknowledged having been victims of gender-based violence in the workplace, with a higher prevalence of the phenomenon in the West Bank than in Gaza.

Thus, for example, it has been reported that in Area C, abuses against women – including domestic violence – go uninvestigated, leading to impunity and the perpetuation of violence. In East Jerusalem, women victims of gender- based violence face the dilemma of either putting up with the abuse or reporting it to the Israeli police, at the risk of losing custody of their children or being disowned by their families. This, in a social context that considers that such acts should be kept private. Access to justice is also constrained by discriminatory and insensitive attitudes towards gender-based violence on the part of judicial personnel, an area in which women are under-represented (in 2015, 82% of judges were men, compared to 17% women). Studies indicate that domestic gender-based violence has increased since the Second Intifada (2000), partly as a result of frustration with Israeli policies, economic pressures and recurring cycles of conflict, which would lead Palestinian men to be more violent in the domestic sphere.

According to official statistics from a 2011 study, 37% of married Palestinian women had been exposed to violence by their husbands, 29% in the West Bank compared to 51% in Gaza. More recently, another study found that many Palestinians had witnessed violence against their mothers by their fathers or other male family members during their childhood – 25% and 22% respectively – and almost one in five men surveyed (17%) acknowledged physical violence against a woman in a relationship. 26

The detention of many Palestinian men poses a problem for the economic provision for families, who often lose their main source of income. However, when they are killed by Israel, women not only face a great personal and livelihood loss. For some of them, the option of marrying their brothers-in-law – in line with the expectations of a traditional practice – is imposed as a way to remain in the family home and to avoid disputes over child custody.

It is also necessary to consider the psychological impact on women, who are on constant alert for fear that their children will be arrested, injured or killed as a result of Israeli settler violence and are more reluctant to leave their homes after such experiences. 27 It is also worth noting that recent studies suggest that Palestinian communities most exposed to settler and/or soldier violence are at a higher risk of gender-based violence.

The Israeli military operation on Gaza in the summer of 2014 was particularly severe: in just two months the offensive killed 299 women, including 16 pregnant women, 197 girls and injured more than 2,000 others. The figures are anecdotal if we refer to the brutality of the genocide that began on 7 October in Gaza, with more than 30,000 people killed, with more than 8,800 women and 13,230 minors killed. Women are being sexually abused and summarily executed after arrests, and the situation of pregnant women is alarming. In the ongoing genocide in Gaza, displaced Palestinian women have exhausted the supply of period-cutting pills due to the unsanitary conditions in which they live, fighting a daily battle to wash or find a sanitary napkin 28. Many of them give birth in tents while many are suffering from caesarean sections without anaesthesia, miscarriages and infections, struggling to care for and feed their babies. An estimated 50,000 women 29 are pregnant in the Gaza Strip and every month 5000 of them are forced to give birth amidst shelling and shelling.


25 Ocupación, conflicto y patriarcado: Impactos en las mujeres palestinas. (2019).

26 https://escolapau.uab.cat/img/programas/alerta/informes/OcupacionConflictoPatriarcadoES.pdf

27 Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), Palestinian Women Under Prolonged Israeli Occupation: The Gendered Impact of Occupation Violence, Universal Periodic Review of Israel, Joint Submission to the UPR Working Group 29th Session, enero de 2018; Women’s Center for Legal Aid and Counselling (WCLAC), Women’s Voices, Nov.2013-Jun 2017.

28 https://elpais.com/planeta-futuro/2024-02-28/pastillas-para-cortar-la-regla-partos-en-tiendas-de-campana-y-la-proeza-de-encontrar-un-bano-asi-viven-las-gazaties- desplazadas.html

29 https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/18mQSbvuYqhV3AWjAnXkflCvaNm284B-P1IOSPmZIo44/edit#gid=0

Just in 2022, 28,208 units were advanced in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, compared to 22,030 in 2021, representing almost a 30% increase. In particular the advancement of settlement units in East Jerusalem contributed to this unprecedented number. In 2022, 23,5861 units were advanced in East Jerusalem, compared to 4,427 in the West Bank. The advancement, in 2022, in particular of the settlements and settlement plans in East Jerusalem are a serious cause of concern. If constructed, they would disconnect East Jerusalemites from major West Bank urban areas, such as Bethlehem and Ramallah, having serious implications on Palestinian urban contiguity and posing a serious threat to a viable two-state solution.

As of January 2023, there are 144 Israeli settlements in the West Bank, including 12 in East Jerusalem. In total, there are an estimated 622,670 settlers in the West Bank30 excluding East Jerusalem, with an additional 220,000 Jewish settlers residing in East Jerusalem. Israeli outposts, which are illegal even by Israeli law, rise to over 100 in the West Bank, and their population is hard to establish. In 2021, settlers made up 14% of the West Bank population (465.400) while Palestinians made up 86% (2.814.000). Settlers constitute 4,9% of the Israeli population31.

Since occupying the West Bank in 1967, Israel has misappropriated more than 2 million dunams 200,000 hectares) of land there for its own purposes, including building and expanding settlements and paving roads for settlers. Some areas have been officially taken over by the state, others through daily acts of settler violence. These two seemingly unrelated tracks are both forms of state violence: the Israeli apartheid regime and its representatives actively aid and abet the settlers’ violence as part of a strategy to cement the takeover of Palestinian land. The violent acts include beating, throwing stones, issuing threats, torching fields, destroying trees and crops, stealing crops, damaging homes and cars, blocking roads, using live fire, and, in rare cases, killing. Settlers from so-called farms violently chase Palestinian farmers and shepherds away from their fields, and from pastureland and water sources they have used for generations. They initiate violent altercations on a daily basis and use drones to scare flocks belonging to Palestinians into scattering. State violence – official and otherwise – is part and parcel of Israel’s apartheid regime, which aims to create a Jewish-only space between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea 32.

Settler Attacks on Palestinians usually remain un-investigated, mainly due to the law enforcement’s lack of will to deter or penalize such incidents. As Yesh Din reports, between 2005 and 2022, 93% of police investigations into these attacks were closed without indictments. 33


More than 14 million people, about half of them Jewish and half Palestinian, live in the territory between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea under the same regime. In public, political, legal and media discourses, the common perception is that these are two separate regimes, each acting on its own, separated by the Green Line. One regime, within the boundaries of the sovereign State of Israel, is a permanent democracy, with a population of some 9 million, all of them Israeli citizens. The other regime, in the territories occupied by Israel since 1967, whose final status is supposed to be determined in future negotiations, is a temporary military occupation imposed on some 5 million Palestinian subjects.

This accepted distinction ignores crucial facts: that this ‘temporary’ reality has persisted for more than 50 years; that hundreds of thousands of Jewish settlers live in more than 280 permanent settlements in the West Bank; and that Israel has de jure annexed East Jerusalem, and de facto annexed the rest of the West Bank.

Most importantly, it obscures the fact that the entire area is organized under one principle: advancing and perpetuating the supremacy of one group – Jews – over another – Palestinians. Israel has enacted more than 50 laws that discriminate against Palestinian citizens of Israel 34. Since 1948, Israel has carried out institutionalized policies of racial segregation as a means of ensuring its domination over the Palestinian people. These policies aim to privilege the Jewish Israeli population while controlling Palestinians and denying them equal rights.

Segregation is carried out by means of separate legal regimes for Jewish Israelis and Palestinians living in the same area. For example, Jewish Israeli settlers living in the illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank are governed by Israeli civil, including criminal, law, while Palestinians also living in the occupied West Bank, with the exception of East Jerusalem, are governed by Israeli military law. Israel was criticized for violating the right to equality in a 2012 report by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD).

Describing the existence of two separate legal systems in the West Bank, the committee said it was “appalled at the hermetic character of this segregation 34.” The key tool Israel uses to implement the principle of Jewish supremacy is engineering space geographically, demographically and politically. Jews go about their lives in a single, contiguous space where they enjoy full rights and self-determination. In contrast, Palestinians live in a space that is fragmented into several units, each with a different set of rights – given or denied by Israel, but always inferior to the rights accorded to Jews 34.

Despite of the entrenched structures of patriarchy in Palestinian society, Palestinian women have played a crucial role in resisting the ongoing colonization in Palestine. During the British Mandate era, they protested in the streets against British colonialism, and held conferences across the region to warn against the Zionist project.

When the first intifada broke out in 1987, Palestinian women took to the streets along with men and protested Israeli oppression. They formed networks of women amongst themselves to free the youth the Israeli army tried to arrest in their neighborhoods and villages.

Their heroic deeds turned them into the mothers of the whole nation. Since the inception of the Israeli occupation, Palestinian women have been enduring torture, interrogation and incarceration in Israeli jails. In the rural areas of Palestine, women have been able to disrupt Israeli dispossession policies and practices to expand illegal settlements. They have done so through their daily acts of resistance or sumud-the persistance to stay on the land against all odds. They have turned their homes into a political space in which they nurture the love and attachment for the land. Scenes of women hugging their trees and standing in front of Israeli bulldozers when Israel started building its Apartheid Wall testify to the strong connection between women and land. Such connection is stronger than that of men, because women are the tenders of their land while men work elsewhere, mainly as cheap wage labourers in Israeli corporations.

It is hardly surprising that Israel has been systematically targeting women and children amid the unfolding genocide in Gaza. It is because women are givers of a new life for the nation in the eyes of Israel, they hold the keys of the decolonial future through reinforcing a culture of resistance and defiance in the minds of their children and communities.

Recently, after the murder of Israa Ghrayeb by a member of her own family, many women decided to break the taboos of sexual violence and spoke out about the aggressions, harassment and intimidation they experienced in their homes and also outside of them. It was their “it’s over” that, under the cry “There is no liberated homeland without women’s liberation”, swept through historic Palestine, seeking to redefine the national struggle through the prism of the feminist struggle. The demonstrations were promoted by the Tal’at (emerging) movement.

The Palestinian feminist movement is strong and aware of the challenges internally and externally, in terms of the struggle against patriarchy and against colonization and occupation, understood as an extension of male chauvinist and patriarchal policies of oppression against Palestinians.

The university is another bastion of women’s resistance and emancipation. The Gaza Strip has one of the highest unemployment rates of newly graduated youth in the world, 70%, hence the tendency to continue studying since for them, this is also an opportunity to leave the Strip. Today Birzeit University, the largest university in Palestine, has more than 15,000 students (62% of whom are women).

This has resulted in a vibrant movement of Palestinian women, many of them feminist, who have organized themselves into dozens of NGOs and collectives but also who have permeated Palestinian political and cultural institutions imposing a feminist narrative of the Palestinian cause worldwide.

From journalism, activism and law, many women resist in different ways, in some cases leading the resistance of their communities. This is the case of the Tamimi family in the Palestinian village of Nabi Saleh, which made headlines around the world after the arrest of one of the teenagers of the family, Ahed Tamimi, after she slapped a soldier who tried to arrest members of her family 34. Its women and girls have been the undoubted leaders of the resistance in the village and a reference for the rest of Palestinian women and girls around the world 38.


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