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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".
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.
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.
The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics says more than 7,000 Palestinians are currently held under life-threatening conditions in Israeli prisons.
In the run up to the Palestinian Prisoners Day, scheduled for Saturday, the office issued a statement in which it condemned the continued detention of 34 Palestinian women and 270 child prisoners.
What inspired you to begin photographing Palestinian women activists?
Several hundred Palestinian and Israeli women demonstrated on Saturday on each side of Israel's Qalandiya checkpoint, the main passage point between Jerusalem and the West Bank city of Ramallah.
Assembling nearly a week ahead of a Palestinian bid for statehood at the United Nations Security Council, the women all gathered under the slogan "Women want an independent Palestine".
Israeli troops on Saturday clashed in the occupied West Bank with Palestinian women and youths who were protesting against plans to build new homes for Jewish settlers.
An AFP correspondent said the troops fired tear gas to disperse about 200 Palestinian women and youths who gathered at the Qalandiya checkpoint north of Jerusalem.
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.
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.
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.
Last Thursday the Blount County Women in Black celebrated a bittersweet milestone.
Ready for a rare opportunity? Join us for a SPECIAL LIVE Global Room for Women Teleconference as we have personal conversations with 5 courageous filmmakers and women featured in the award-winning film, BUDRUS - about a Palestinian village that succeeds through non-violence to save their land from the Separation Wall. How on Earth did they do it?