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 Feminist Protest against the Occupation
 Palestinian Women Against the Occupation, Palestine
 April 4, 2002
 
We, Palestinian-Arab Feminist and Women's Organizations and Palestinian activists inside the Green Line express our anger and resistance to the current tragedy befalling the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territories of 1967.

We salute our people in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, women, men and children. We salute the women of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, who have contributed silently and loudly, openly and privately against Occupation. We salute the women and girl-children who have been, or are still in jail. We salute those who have become sole-providers for their households while their husbands, brothers and fathers have been maimed, jailed or killed in their struggle against Occupation. We salute all Palestinian women for giving their lived lives and their deaths for Palestine. We look to the day that they are free, equal citizens in a Palestinian State with East Jerusalem as its capital. We look to the day that each refugee shall be able to return to their homes, their rightful places.

Israeli Troops have strengthened their illegal presence en masse in the Occupied Palestine Territories, forcing a complete curfew and cutting off electricity and water, indiscriminately shooting (and killing) those daring to leave their homes. Ramallah, other Palestinian cities and their surrounding areas are suffering from a severe shortage of food and water. The sick and wounded cannot obtain treatment or medicines. Israeli Occupying Troops are not allowing medical relief organizations to rescue the wounded and sick, nor are emergency food and water conveys given passage into the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Killing and widespread destruction of public infrastructure have already taken place. Foreign press and internationals currently in Ramallah and Bethlehem cannot accurately report this situation. They too are targets of the Israel's Occupying Troops indiscriminate fire.

Israeli Occupying Troops have encircled and trapped the elected President of the Palestinian Authority and symbol of the Palestinian people, President Yasser Arafat in his house.

These actions have taken place immediately after the Arab Summit's peace proposal. The Israeli Government has clearly extended its hand in war in response to the Arab Summit's peace proposal. Ariel Sharon's latest bloody actions are more in line with colonizing the Occupied Palestinian Territories for Jewish settlers rather than attaining peace.

We, Palestinian feminists inside the Green Line, refuse to stay silent as Israel is given full reign in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. As the Israeli government enforces a virtual media blackout, and the US administration gives open and tacit support for Israel's bloody occupation, we fear the real possibility of massacres. The bloody hands of Ariel Sharon have only been encouraged into more deadly actions through America's shameful, partisan stance in this conflict, which heeds neither fact, reason nor conscience.

As the brutal occupation of our people and Palestinian lands continue, we search for voices of critical feminist dissent.

Our sense of reason tells us that than an oppressor's war does not bring peace, even if this war is clothed in the shabby defense of "pro-active security." Killing civilians, denying them their basic human rights, including the right to clean water and food, denying them a livelihood or a state does not create peace. On the contrary, denying the very humanity, histories, and dignity of Palestinians creates the seeds of resistance and liberation, and thus it shall remain.

The essence of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the source of its solution is clear to all those still listening to the voice of reason: an end to the Occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip; a free, independent State with East Jerusalem as its capital; the right of return for all refugees to their homes.

The International community must break its silence. It must do more than offer Palestinians UN resolutions, which the International community has no intention to implement. We call on upon the International community, represented through their Embassies in Israel, to undertake their moral and legal obligations, to take effective and immediate measures to protect the rights and lives of Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

We demand that the International Community act to:

* Demand (and ensure the implementation of) an immediate Israeli withdrawal from the Occupied Palestinian Territories of 1967;

* Call (and ensure the implementation of) an immediate halt to belligerent Israeli actions in the Occupied 1967 Palestinian territories in contradiction to the basic Human Rights afforded to each human being, International Law (specifically the Fourth Geneva Convention) and UN resolutions pertaining to the Middle East conflict. Much of Israel's actions within the 1967 Palestinian territories are clearly illegal and are considered war crimes;

* Building on the small unofficial European presence within the OPT, immediately send to the region international monitors and observers to prevent more war crimes and to record those which have taken place;

* Immediately withdraw financial support for Israel, including aid and preferential trade access, pending a complete and permanent withdrawal from the Occupied Palestinian Territories

We shall not stay quiet as the Israeli government targets an entire civilian population and perpetuates the Occupation.

For more information contact:

Adv. Ms. Suhad Bishara Adv. Ms. Samar Khamis
+972-(0) 54 400 245 +972-(0) 58 813 049
mailto:suhad_b@hotmail.com
mailto:samarkhamis@yahoo.com

The Undersigned:

Al Zahraa, Arab women organization, Sakhnin
Assiwar, Haifa
Kayan Feminist Organization, Haifa
Al-Wafa wal Amal Women's Organization, Baka al-Gharbiya
Women Against Violence, Nazareth
Acre Women's Association & Pedagogical Center, Acre
Ara wa 'Ar'ara Women's Association, Ara wa 'Ar'ara
Women Organization for Change, Nazareth
Laqiya Bedouin Women's Organization, the Naqab

Ms. Diaa Hadid
Public Relations and Fundraising
Ittijah: Union of Arab Community Based Associations
Tel: +972-4-850 7110
Fax: +972-4-850 7241
Email

A statement issued by Palestinian Women Against Occupation, a coalition of Palestinian women and Palestinian Feminist & Women's Organizations against the Israeli Occupation of 1967 Palestinian Territories.