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Israel's occupation of the Palestinian territories, with its ubiquitous closures, checkpoints, military raids and arrests, has decimated the Palestinian economy in the West Bank and Gaza.
What is the situation like for women in Gaza today?
The Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution under George Mason University hosted an international conference entitled “Assessing the Deadlock in the Nagorno-Karabakh Peace Process.” The event brought together analysts from US, Azerbaijan, and Armenia. The conference was moderated by the Carnegie Endowment's Russia and Eurasia Program Senior Associate Thomas de Waal, vestikavkaza.ru reported.
The tri-lateral women's group, consisting of Palestinian women, Israeli women and female political leaders from around the world, was founded in 2005 under the auspices of UNIFEM in New York. Its mission was to implement and strengthen U.N.
In her office at the Bethlehem women's counselling centre, Khawla Al-Azraq recounts her memories from Israeli prison as vividly as if they were yesterday: the routine physical and psychological abuse, the nightly room searches, the hunger strikes and other collective actions in protest against their conditions, and the intense study sessions with her fellow prisoners.
Male leaders fail to break the Mideast impasse. Enter women from Israel and the Palestinian territories working together. And… it would have been nice to say they succeeded where the men failed.
They didn't. The women have been ahead of the times, in speaking of solutions others thought unmentionable once, but now increasingly accept. And yet, peace seems more difficult than ever.
As ongoing tensions and what has been called “the politics of hate” rises to a critical point today following the killing deaths of three teenage male Jewish seminary students who bodies were found after they were hitchhiking in the West Bank, the region is reeling military aggression from Gaza, as well as from a ‘retribution' killing of 16-year-old Palestinian Mohammed Abu Khaider.
A U.N. resolution passed over 10 years ago requires women's involvement in conflict resolutions. But that has little bearing on the Israel-Palestine conflict, where women are far from the power roles on either side.
The Independent Commission for Human Rights recently criticized the Hamas police for violently disbanding women protesting peacefully in front of the Palestinian Legislative Council in Gaza City on Nov. 6.
Speaking to the US congress in May, Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu boasted that his country is a beacon of freedom in the Middle East and North Africa, that it is the only place where Arabs "enjoy real democratic rights".
Recently there has been increased focus on the issue of violence against women. First, Culture and Sports Minister Limor Livnat (who also heads the Ministerial Committee on the Status of Women) exclaimed during a heated cabinet debate, “Where there's an exclusion of women, violence against women eventually grows.”
It was a single word scrawled on a wall at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem that unlocked something deep inside Inbar Michelzon, two years after she had completed compulsory military service in the Israeli Defence Force.
A Lebanese aid ship aiming to reach Gaza in defiance of Israel will "probably be delayed," organisers said Saturday, on the eve of its planned departure, after Cyprus denied use of its waters and ports.
The Mariam, a Bolivian-flagged cargo ship renamed for the all-women aid operation, was to have set off from the northern Lebanese port of Tripoli on Sunday night, headed for Cyprus on the first leg of a crossing to Gaza.
A ship bearing aid for Gaza is preparing to leave Tripoli in Lebanon this weekend in the latest attempt to defy the Israeli blockade – with only women on board.
The High Court of Justice on Wednesday instructed the state to review its stance regarding the inclusion of a woman in a commission investigating the Israel Defense Forces raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla in May, and issued a deadline of several hours to explain why there are no women sitting on the panel.
The PeaceWomen Team
The escalating military aggression and conflict in the Middle East is the most recent example of the need for efforts to build sustainable peace and the dangers of not doing so. Building sustainable peace goes beyond the calling of a cease-fire – although this is an important step. Sustainable peace is not possible if women are excluded from peace processes.
Last Thursday the Blount County Women in Black celebrated a bittersweet milestone.