This page will act as a constant resource and news source for Palestinians and Palestine updates, where we hope to establish, with you, a global feminist solidarity response.
Daily updates (updated July 1, 2021):
- Update ( update 13 July) : Isreali State refused to reslease politcal prisoner and parliamenterian Khalida jarrar to be present in the funeral of her daughter Suha Jarrar.
- Update (12 July 2021): On Monday 5 July 2021, Palestinian forces arrested and released Shaza Assaf, engineer Nadia Habash, Dr. Dima Ayman and Hind Sherida, after their participation in demonstrations denouncing the death of Nizar Banat while in custody of the Palestinian forces. While they were released on the same day, they were all subjected to physical violence.
- Update (12 July 2021) : Occupation forced arrested university student Lian Nasser and Shaza Ouda who works in the health sector, on Wednesday 7 July 2021 from their homes. According to occupation forces, they were participating in protests against the occupation forces and settlement attempts in Sheikh Jarrah.
- On Thursday, June 24, 2021, Palestinian Authority security forces arrested political analyst Nizar Banat from his home and on the same day, his death was announced. the Banat’s family accused the Palestinian security forces of torturing and assassinating him. In response to his death, massive protests erupted across the West Bank demanding justice for Banat and his family. Palestinian Authority met those protests with violence, including the use of tear gas. Demonstrators were attacked and beaten by both police and plainclothed officers. Women demonstrators’ phones were stolen and had their private information, including pictures, leaked on social media. Women journalists were attacked, including journalist Shaza Hammad who was targeted with a tear gas canister shot directly to her face.
- Alert: The Israeli Supreme Court postponed its court hearing until August 2 regarding evicting Palestinians from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan neighborhoods. We must stand in solidarity with Palestine NOW!
What’s happening in Palestine? An Online campaign was launched to save Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, a neighborhood in which Palestinian refugees, who were expelled from their towns and villages by the Nakba (Catastrophe) in 1948, live. However, 28 families are presently in risk of being evicted and evicted from their homes. Since 2008, the 13 Palestinian families in Sheikh Jarrah have been fighting eviction attempts by settlers in Israeli courts. Protests flared a few weeks ago after a judge decided in favor of the settlers, paving the path for some of the families to be evicted right away. The United Nations Commission on Human Rights has said that the forcible displacement of Palestinian families constitutes a potential war crime.
Protests in support of Sheikh Jarrah began in Jerusalem, when Israeli forces attacked al Aqsa mosque during the holy month of Ramadan, brushed aside Palestinian attendants, threw tear gas at protestors, arrested a dozen of them, and then cut the cables to the loudspeakers that broadcast prayers to the faithful from four medieval minarets. Large numbers of Israeli police were stationed on the Temple Mount on May 7, as over 50,000 worshippers were present during the final Friday prayers of Ramadan at al-Aqsa. Following evening prayers, Israeli forces launched stun grenades into the mosque compound and a field clinic. According to a mosque spokesperson, the fights erupted after Israeli police attempted to evacuate the site.
Palestinians throughout the 48 territories, as well as those in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, went on strike on May 18 to protest Israeli policy toward Palestinians. The strike was successful. where many Palestinians overnight during Ramadan, noting that the evacuation was meant to allow Israelis access. The violence took place prior to an Israeli settlers’ Jerusalem Day flag march across the Old City of Jerusalem. More than 600 Palestinians were hurt, with over 400 of them hospitalized. Palestinians in 48 territories, as well as those in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, went on strike on May 18 to protest Israeli policy toward Palestinians. The strike was a huge success.
This has sparked an uprising in Palestine known as the Unity Uprising, as well as in Palestinian communities around the world, from Lebanon to Chile. Following that, Israeli officials postponed announcing a court verdict until June 30. Following that, Israel started an attack on Gaza, which was already under siege. The attack on Gaza lasted 11 days.
Following the ceasefire, UN and Gaza Health Ministry officials reported 256 Palestinians killed, including 66 children and 40 women, and nearly 2,000 wounded, including over 600 children and 400 women. The Israeli Air Force carried out additional airstrikes in the Gaza Strip on June 16, violating the ceasefire and resuming warfare.
Other neighborhoods are also at risk, such as Silwan, and Lifta, which face evictions and the building of settlements. In some cases, even Israeli forces plan to push Palestinians to demolish their own homes. The authorities ordered the residents of Silwan’s Bustan area to demolish their own residences within 21 days or pay demolition costs to the municipality.
Today, the fight to save Sheikh Jarrah continues, and solidarity protests continue to take place in different parts of Palestine. The Unity Uprising is calling for a boycott of Israeli products and calls on the world to join their movement. Below you will find links to support, amplify and acknowledge this initiative.
Repercussions and reprisals: mass arrests and in-detention violations:
Despite the nonviolent character of the protests, human rights organizations, groups, collectives, and initiatives such as Lawyers Defending the Uprising Detainees reported widespread arrest campaigns and crackdowns on Palestinians who were present and engaged in the streets. In Israeli captivity, several were subjected to hour-long sessions of abuse and degradation. Over the last two weeks, Israeli soldiers arrested 2142 people as part of “Operation Guardian of the Walls” and “Operation Law and Order.” These systematic tactics, along with many other methods and details, aim to intimidate Palestinian youth and discourage them from demonstrating in order to empty the streets of the crowds through home arrests and deportation orders in an attempt to prevent people from protesting.
According to the Al Haq Organization, the major type of punishment employed by Israeli authorities against Palestinians, including children, is incarceration. It is also worth mentioning that Israel bears a number of obligations under international human rights and humanitarian law.. Article 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention relating to the Protection of Civilian People in Time of War lays forth the rights of protected persons when they are detained by an occupying force. Article 76 includes the occupying power’s duties to provide sufficient medical treatment and particular protection for women and children prisoners. Furthermore, the Fourth Geneva Convention includes many clauses guaranteeing fair trials and the application of law.
As per Al Haq Organization, “unlawful expulsion, transfer, or unlawful imprisonment of a protected person” or “wilfully depriving a protected person of the rights to a fair and regular trial” are serious breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention.This imposes a legal responsibility on all 194 High Contracting Parties to the Convention to impose appropriate criminal sanctions on those who commit or order the commission of such grave violations, as well as to hunt for and prosecute such individuals. In terms of international human rights legislation, Article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which Israel joined in 1991, imposes duties on Israel in terms of pre-trial detention due process. Article 14 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child imposes duties concerning the right to a fair trial.
However, Israel violates all of the previously mentioned international treaties by proceeding to imprison children, using administrative detention, that alludes to the incarceration of Palestinians without charge or trial (check out the local Palestine WHRD network’s campaign on administrative detention here), and barring certain residents from entering specific neighborhoods (such as banning people from entering Jerusalem for a certain period). Torture via questioning tactics, physical assault, and denial of access to healthcare and appropriate nourishment are all examples of torture.
The Palestinian Center for Human Rights details the arrests and documents testimonies of those arrested, on a weekly basis, here. Adalah, the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, based in Haifa, has stated that this wave of arrests is unprecedented, where more than 2000 individuals were detained.
The WHRDMENA Coalition has documented over 700 violations in which specific patterns of violations such as not providing immediate medical support, including in cases of eye injuries against WHRDs, were concluded, including physical violence, demolishing of WHRDs’ home and temporary detentions.
The WHRDMENA Coalition has also called for Palestinian WHRDs to submit their testimonies and information in the following documentation form.
Israel as an Apartheid State:
In April 2021, Human Rights Watch released a 213-page study that helps put the recent carnage into context, concluding that Israeli officials are committing human rights abuses that amount to apartheid.
So, what is apartheid?
Many elements of apartheid have been a component of Israel’s settler-colonial endeavor in Palestine since its inception. Furthermore, from at least the 1970s, UN officials, legal experts, and activists have extended the notion of apartheid to Israel. According to a report by Al Jazeera, which references the 1973 Apartheid Convention as well as the 1998 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, describe apartheid as systemic and institutionalized rooted control and repression of one racial group over another by “inhumane actions.” Such crimes include “arbitrary arrest and unlawful incarceration of members of a racial group”; measures intended to divide the population along racial lines through the establishment of separate reserves and ghettos for members of a racial group or groups”; “forcible transfer”; “expropriation of landed property”; and denial of “the right to leave and return to their country, [and] the right to a nationality.”
How is Israel an apartheid endeavor?
Israel adopts a policy of maintaining the domination by settlers over Palestinians. Several policies are highlighted in Human Rights Watch’s report where “throughout most of the area, Israel is the sole governing power,” the report also highlights laws, policies, and statements by leading Israeli officials that led to the dispossession of Palestinians, including in Sheikh Jarrah. These deprivations are so severe in some locations, including Jerusalem, as documented in this study, that they constitute apartheid and persecution crimes against humanity.
- In early May, The regional coalition for Women Human Rights Defenders (WHRDs) in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) called on all feminist, women’s rights, and human rights organizations for broader and louder solidarity campaigns, actions with mass protests, that is currently taking place in different cities and towns, including Israeli checkpoints, constructed within the Palestinian Authority territories.
- Organizations such as the Association for Women’s Human Rights in Development (AWID) launched a conversation with Palestinian feminists, which is recorded here. Latin American organizations such as Pro Desc issued a similar statement, along with international organizations such as JASS.
- Platforms such as Mada Masr covered the Palestine national economy week. The coverage included a Q&A with WHRD Amal Nazzal, along with covering the Palestinian strike with live videos from different cities in Palestine.
- Feminists in Kenya issued the following statement in solidarity with Palestine.
- The Palestine Feminist Collective, a US-based feminist body, has previously released a manifesto on Palestine as a feminist issue which can be accessed here
- Feminists and workers have led strikes, boycotts, and other forms of protests, such as the #BlockTheBoat initiative, where feminists are organizing community picket lines in support of Palestinian rights. One has succeeded in delaying for more than a week the landing of a vessel owned by Israel’s largest cargo shipping firm at the Seattle Port. The latest protests also draw on a long history of port shutdown organization, such as the AROC-led #BlockTheBoat actions in 2014, which halted Israeli ZIM ships.
Another important tool to be used in the situation of Palestine and the violations committed by Israeli forces is advocacy via multilateral fora. This is important as it can be used collectively, where different actors can draw attention to the violations committed. This results in the issuance of resolutions such as that issued for the establishment of a commission to investigate the situation in Palestine, which the WHRD MENA Coalition welcomed, where a resolution was adopted by the Human Rights Council to establish an international commission of inquiry to investigate violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in Israel. The coalition also called on the Commission to immediately start investigations and to include the mainstreaming of a gender perspective to look into crimes against WHRDs and women.
It is of crucial importance for all actors to capitalize on this resolution to ensure that timely investigations are conducted and to work towards the release of prisoners since their detention is one of the main violations conducted, as explained above.
Subsequently, calls need to be made on the concerned Commission to:
– Visit prisons and places of detention and meet demonstrators to investigate crimes committed both during interrogation and in detention
– Collect evidence on specific torture tactics used against those detained
– Collect evidence of weaponry used to commit crimes of genocide against Palestinians
– Ensure that settler processes are halted
– Mainstream a gender perspective to look into crimes against WHRDs and women, detailing specific measures taken to commit crimes of a gender-based nature
This can be done by writing to Mr. Michael Lynk, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967 (firstname.lastname@example.org), and the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate Housing, Mr. Balakrishnan Rajagopal (email@example.com).
Furthermore, there are actions per country that you can join now! These are:
- Join a local anti-arms trade campaign via https://caat.org.uk/
- Sign the Palestinian Feminist Collective manifesto: https://actionnetwork.org/groups/palestinian-feminist-collective
- Join a local BDS campaign https://bdsmovement.net/
- Issue public statements in solidarity with the Palestinian movement.
For information on the context of Palestine, check out Decolonize Palestine:
For news and updates, follow Palestinians covering on the ground and live-tweeting updates:
Resources shared by the WHRDMENA Coalition:
Statement: End the silence around the Apartheid State
The WHRDMENA Coalition also submitted a joint written statement to the Human Rights Council with TO Be Foundation