Women’s Organizations Protest the Killing in Bil’in

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011 | 13:42

Following the Killing of protestor in Bil’in 30 Israeli women’s organizations sent an urgent call to the government, protesting the use of weapons to disperse popular demonstrations in the West Bank

Women’s organizations accuse the Israeli army of trying to plaster and disseminate false information regarding the circumstances of the death of Jawaher Abu Rahmah last Friday in Bil’in.

The organizations will join the weekly demonstration against the Wall this Friday in Bili’in.

According to the organizations, “the death of Jawaher Abu Rahmah is the result of repeated attacks of the army on non-violent protestors demonstrating against the theft of their land.” The organizations expressed a firm position of support for the protesters and family, according to which Abu-Rahmah’s death was caused as a result of tear gas inhalation, in contrast to versions circulated in recent days by the IDF spokesperson.

The weekly demonstration in Bil’in this Friday (7.1.2011),  is expected to be larger than the usual, as women from Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Haifa, and south of the country, are planned to come to express solidarity with the struggle of women, children and men

against the Wall.  Among the participating organizations: Coalition of Women for Peace, Progressive Women’s Front, TANDI, Machsom Watch, Aswat, Kayan and New Profile.

Dr. Dalit Baum, member of the Coalition of Women for Peace, who initiated the petition stated: “Abu-Rahmah’s murder is a form of violence against women, and it is plastered in the exact same way as other forms of violence against women are. As in all such cases, we, women’s organizations, will not silence until those responsible will be held accountable. “

Mahasen Rabous, Coordinator of the Coalition of Women for Peace: “nearly thirty women’s organizations have expressed today support for the struggle in Bil’in, and for the Palestinian struggle for liberation from occupation. In this brave move, these organizations prove that solidarity between women does not stop at the checkpoint”

Background:

The sense of accomplishment in the Israeli women’s movement following the conviction of ex-president Moshe Katzav gave way during the weekend to shock and outrage following the killing Jawaher Abu-Rahmah. Abu Rahmah, a resident of the village of Bil’in, participated in the village’s weekly protest against the wall and died after suffering from severe tear gas poisoning.

Jawaher Abu-Rahmah, 36, a sister to Bassem Abu-Rahmah, who was killed in April 2009 from a high-velocity tear gas canister shot directly towards him, was an active and appreciated figure in the village and used to organize conferences and workshops on feminist issues. During a demonstration Friday, 31.12.10, Abu-Rahmah inhaled large amounts of tear gas, was rushed to the hospital suffering from severe poisoning.  Doctors at the Ramallah hospital fought for her life during the night. She died on early Saturday morning.

The Declaration Reads:

We, the undersigned women’s organizations, express deep shock over the death of Jawaher Abu-Rahmah, 36, a resident of the village of Bil’in, who was killed as a result of tear gas poisoning fired by the Israeli army during a demonstration against the Wall.

Her death is a result of repeated attacks on behalf of the Israeli army, against unarmed civilians who are struggling against the theft of their lands. These attacks have led so far to the death of 21 demonstrators, and the injury of thousands.

We call upon the Israeli government to immediately cease the use of weapons against demonstrators: women, children and men.

We express solidarity with our sisters across the Palestine and Israel and support their inalienable right to non-violent protest.

The petiton was signed by:

Coalition of Women for Peace, Achoti – for Women in Israel, Itach-Ma’aki – Lawyers for Social Justice, Machsom Watch, New Profile, International Women’s Commission (IWC), Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), Isha L’Isha, Aswat, Kayan, Anwar – Arab-Jewish Women’s Leadership, Boycott: Supporting the Palestinian BDS Call from Within, Alliance of Progressive Women, Our Safe Home, Daughters of the Dessert, Dessert Princes,  the Social Television, Yasmeen el-Naqab, Tmura Center, Laquiya Women, Women for Themselves, Women in Black, Women and their Bodies, Arus el-Bahar, Sidreh, FOR A: Feminist Organization of Russian Speaking Activists, Women’s Parliament, Women’s Equal Representation (WER), Movement of Democratic Women in Israel.

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