It is very difficult for Palestinian women to live a secure and peaceful life amid Israel’s ongoing crimes against the Palestinian people and the political and economic crises it unleashed on the occupied West Bank and the besieged Gaza Strip.
In separate remarks to The New Arab, several women described how they rarely live in peace as they are forced to confront the Israeli occupation and its impact.
In Gaza, women, like all Palestinians, have been suffering from the “illegal” suffocating blockade imposed by Israel since 2007, after Hamas won the legislative elections in 2006.
Under the pretext of curbing Hamas’s power, the Israeli occupation launched five large-scale, deadly wars on Gaza, home to more than 2.3 million people, killing and wounding thousands of civilians and destroying most of the residential and governmental facilities, as well as civilian infrastructure.
Out of the total number of deaths in Gaza, Israel killed about 667 women, according to official data issued by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) yesterday.
“Since then, we have suffered from the hard-living conditions resulting from the blockade consequences (…) We need another 15 years to rebuild our lives,” Reem Abu Warda, from Jabalia refugee camp in the north of Gaza, said to TNA.
Abu Warda, in her 40s, lost her husband in 2014 during the third Israeli war when the warplanes attacked her house and killed 20 Palestinians.
Back then, she recalled, “I had four girls and did not have any source of income … without any prior notice, my daughters and I became homeless and poor. We had to live for a long time in a small tent and struggle to live in deteriorated conditions.”
“For years, my kids and I depended on food aid provided by international institutions. Still, it was not enough for us,” she added. “So, I worked as a housemaid for years.”
However, she said, “My only dream now is to ensure a better life for my kids, but that has become impossible as the situation in Gaza is worse after the fourth and fifth Israeli wars in 2021 and 2022.”
“The only thing that I need is having a normal and security life someday as well as all women around the world,” Abu Warda said.
The situation is not much better for Nehal Nobani, a middle-aged woman from the occupied West Bank city of Nablus, as she hasn’t lived in peace in her neighbourhood for more than 13 months.
Six months ago, the 45-year-old mother of five lost her left leg due to wounds sustained by gunfire from Israeli soldiers who raided her neighbourhood to arrest the so-called Palestinian militants.
“Because of my disability, I am dependent on my family. I cannot go to work and I cannot take care of myself,” she told TNA. “I am the only breadwinner for my children since their father died ten years ago.”
“As long as the Israeli occupation stays in our land, we will not live in security and our life will be under the threat all the time,” Nobani stressed. She urged the international community “to save the Palestinians in general and the women in particular from Israel’s violations.”
Every year on March 8, the world marks International Women’s Day, but the women in the Palestinian territories mostly do not participate on that day because they revive their personal crises and tragedies, according to Nadia Abu Nahel, director of the women’s affairs team in Gaza.
“Unfortunately, we celebrate this day differently under the occupation that deliberately breaks our will and humiliates us by continuing its violations against the Palestinian people and against us,” Abu Nahel said to TNA.
“There are 172 women detained by the Israeli occupation forces in 2022, two among them are minors and two detainees are held under administrative detention without charge or trial,” she said.
Also, she noted, at least 18 women were killed by Israeli army gunfire in 2022, and one woman was killed this year so far.
Source: The New Arab