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Internal Palestinian issues
Women in PA society
Internal Palestinian issues
There are many internal issues concerning Palestinian society that are not related to Israel. This section will track these subjects and update them regularly.
Women in PA society
PA Governor: “True examples for Palestinian women are the Martyrs (Shahids) and prisoners’ mothers” 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Dec. 31, 2015
Headline: “Ghannam: The connection between the man and woman is complementary, and the Martyrs and prisoners’ mothers are exemplary”
    “District Governor of Ramallah and El-Bireh Laila Ghannam emphasized… that the connection between men and women is complementary and not competitive. She noted that the true examples for Palestinian women are the Martyrs (Shahids) and prisoners’ mothers… She noted that since the revolution’s launch (Intilaqa), the Palestinian woman has been at the man’s side in the struggle, and that it is her right to perform decision-making roles.”

Intilaqa - the “launch" of Fatah on Jan. 1, 1965, when it carried out its first terror attack against Israel, attempting to blow up Israel's National Water Carrier

Fatah official praises female terrorists ”beginning with Dalal Mughrabi and ending with all the women of Palestine” 
Source: Fatah-run Awdah TV, Dec. 24, 2015
Fatah-run Awdah TV program Personal Encounter spoke with Fatah Central Committee member Amal Hamad via telephone.
 
Fatah Central Committee member Amal Hamad: “Throughout all stages, the woman took part in the national, political, and social struggle. From the very beginning of the Palestinian revolution, we have had female Martyrs (Shahidas) and Martyrdom-seekers [who acted] against the occupation... beginning with Dalal Mughrabi and ending with all the women of Palestine. So far, many sisters have died as Martyrs in the recent mass uprising against the occupation.”

Dalal Mughrabi led the most lethal terror attack in Israel’s history, known as the Coastal Road massacre, in 1978, when she and other Fatah terrorists hijacked a bus on Israel's Coastal Highway, killing 37 civilians, 12 of them children, and wounding over 70.
Gazan Fatah official praises Palestinian women for fighting against Israel 
Source: WAFA, official PA news agency, Dec. 23, 2015
     "Fatah Central Committee member and General Commissioner of Mobilization and Organization in the southern districts (i.e., in the Gaza Strip) Zakaria Al-Agha... stated in a speech he gave during his meeting today [Dec. 23, 2015], Wednesday, with a delegation of secretary-generals of the General Union of Palestinian Women in Gaza, in the presence of members of the National Action Commission, that a few days separate us from the 51st anniversary of the outbreak of the Palestinian revolution, and the Launch of the Fatah movement (Intilaqa). This movement that turned the Palestinian woman into a global symbol of the struggle and of giving, and a focus of research... Al-Agha praised the role of the Palestinian woman and her endless giving throughout the history of the Palestinian revolution, during which she proved her ability to fight and give, and she sacrificed female Martyrs (Shahids), prisoners, and wounded on the altar of freedom, independence, the end of the occupation, and the establishment of an independent state with Jerusalem as its capital... Likewise, he noted that the Palestinian woman is not absent from participation in the ongoing popular uprising in the West Bank and Jerusalem, and stands at the head of the ranks of the confrontation with the occupation, which has led to the deaths of a number of female Martyrs. Thus the Palestinian woman offers another example of sacrifice, devotion, and giving for the homeland in the confrontation with the Israeli occupation and its aggression against the holy sites."
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Intilaqa - the "launch" of Fatah on Jan. 1, 1965, when it carried out its first terror attack against Israel, attempting to blow up Israel's National Water Carrier.
PA daily cartoon urges women to become rock-throwers 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Oct. 27, 2015

 
Image published in the official PA daily
Image shows a keffiyeh-masked woman swinging a slingshot with a stone, creating the Arabic letter Nun, which indicates the female form in Arabic verbs. The cartoon is meant to encourage Palestinian women to take part in rioting and rock throwing.
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PA daily publishes image of woman swinging slingshot 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Oct. 27, 2015

Image published in the official PA daily
Image shows a keffiyeh-masked young woman swinging a slingshot.
Text below image: “El-Bireh: [A young woman] throws [rocks] at them with a slingshot”
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PA daily publishes image of women rock throwers 
Source: Al-Ayyam, Oct. 9, 2015


Headline
: “The confrontations on Thursday: Two Martyrs, dozens injured and 4 stabbing operations”
Photo on front page article, shows a young woman taking part in rock-throwing against Israeli military forces.
Text below image:“Young people throwing stones at the occupation forces near the settlement of Beit-El, north of El-Bireh”
Photo by Agence France-Presse news agency.
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PA Governor: Female terrorists like Lina Al-Jarbouni and Dalal Mughrabi "are… a model of pride for us”  
Source: WAFA, official PA news agency, June 8, 2015
Headline: “Ghannam: ‘The mothers of Martyrs (Shahids) and prisoners are a model of pride for us.’”
     “District Governor of Ramallah and El-Bireh Laila Ghannam stated… during a reception she held in her office today, Monday [June 8, 2015], for the Egyptian journalist Ahmad Qandil… that the Palestinian woman has been a main pillar in the national struggle throughout history, and clarified that she [the Palestinian woman] was ahead of her counterparts in the Arab world. Likewise, she noted that the mothers of Martyrs and prisoners are in general a model of pride for us, the Palestinians, and mentioned the most veteran female prisoner, Lina Al-Jarbouni, Martyr Dalal Mughrabi and a number of Palestinian female figures of the struggle who proved that they are not easy prey for the occupation and its oppressive measures.”
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Notes: Lina Al-Jarbouni is an Israeli Arab woman serving a sentence of 17 years, convicted March 9, 2004 of maintaining contact with and helping Islamic Jihad terrorists, of conspiring to commit terrorist attacks and of aiding an enemy during war.

Dalal Mughrabi led the most lethal terror attack in Israel’s history, known as the Coastal Road massacre, in 1978, when she and other Fatah terrorists hijacked a bus on Israel's Coastal Highway, killing 37 civilians, 12 of them children, and wounding over 70.
PA daily article opposes violence against women and the cultural norms that encourage it 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Mar. 29, 2015
     “According to statistics recorded by the Center of Women’s Affairs in Gaza about the cases of violence reaching the center, 63% of women suffer from marital violence, 63 % believe that the violence has increased following the recent aggression against the Gaza Strip (i.e., Israel’s Operation Protective Edge which aimed at destroying Hamas' terror infrastructure and ability to launch rockets at Israel), 73 % suffer from verbal abuse, 24 % from physical abuse, 29.5 % from mental abuse, 9.4 % from financial abuse and 4.5 % from sexual abuse. Regarding the justifications for violence: 41 % of the women agreed that violence was justified if the woman leaves home without notifying her husband, while 74 % agreed that violence was justified if she neglected her children... In this context, Zainab Al-Ghneimi, head of the Women’s Legal Counseling Center, said: ‘Married women are not forthcoming with these details about violence at the beginning, probably out of shame, and because the prevailing culture forbids discussing such secrets. This stems from the lack of a proper sexual ethics in our society...’ When asked for the reasons that may bring a man to act violently towards his wife, Al-Ghneimi responded that, in her opinion, there were many reasons, but that the main reason is probably that the man believes he has bought the woman and paid for her, and therefore she has become his property and must obey his orders. She clarified that unfortunately, this is the culture of the entire society, and that [Palestinian] laws give him the right of ownership, based on the man being the guardian, and he is the one who commands and prohibits..."
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Abbas makes punishment for honor killings identical to other forms of murder 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Feb. 23, 2015
Op-ed by attorney Dr. Ihab Amr of the PA Justice Ministry
     “In order to diminish the number of murders for motives of honor, his Excellency the President [Mahmoud Abbas] published a resolution on May 11, 2014 to amend Article 98 of Penal Law 16 of 1960, which is in force in the West Bank… abolishing the pretext (i.e., mitigating circumstance) that reduces the penalty for femicide for so-called ‘motives of honor’ – a pretext used regularly [by defendants] in the past before the above-mentioned abolition. The amendment classifies murders for motives of honor as identical to any other [form of] murder in terms of the penalty. The decree to institute the amendment of the law reads as follows: ‘The mitigating circumstance shall apply to a person who has committed a crime in a state of rage resulting from an act of injustice committed by the victim against the perpetrator, posing a threat to the latter. The mitigating circumstance shall not apply in the event that the act was committed against a woman on the pretext of honor.’”
PA daily columnist condemns violence carried out against Muslim women in the name of Islam 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Jan. 25, 2015
Op-ed by Hanan Bakir, regular columnist for Al-Hayat Al-Jadida
     “The Charlie Hebdo commotion has subsided, and the discussion over free speech, its borders and criteria has been ignited… France has recognized its responsibility for marginalizing the refugees and failing to implement a wise policy for their integration into society. Will we [too] admit that we are responsible, to a certain degree, for the negative way in which we portray our Arab culture, without this being construed as self-flagellation?... We are living in the West, and we are witnessing sickening behavior, whether on the part of individuals or some of the clergy, and the host countries are not blind to what is happening and being said in Friday sermons and Islamist circles. Furthermore, their eyes look around, and there are many who volunteer to spy on their coreligionists – for money, not out of loyalty to those who satisfy their hunger and provide them a safe haven…"

Click "Full article" for a longer excerpt from the op-ed
PA daily reports on study: 53% of Palestinian women have suffered from violence 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 28, 2014
     “A specialized study has confirmed that 53% of [Palestinian] women have been exposed to violence – 63.3% of them once – and that 18% of non-married young women have been exposed to physical, psychological and sexual violence. In 45.9% of the cases, the violence was perpetrated by the [victim’s] father, while in 25.5% of the cases – by her brother. These findings were presented at a conference organized by the Women’s Affairs Team yesterday [Nov. 27, 2014], with the aim of presenting the results of the study which examined the services offered to victims of violence… In addition, the evaluation of the functioning of the governmental health institutions revealed that the medical insurance [offered by the government] does not cover the costs of the treatment [necessary as a result of] the violence…”
PA daily article: Honor killings used as an excuse to kill women for other reasons; honor killings should be made a crime  
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 27, 2014
     “Despite the efforts of the women’s organizations participating in the Forum to Combat Violence Against Women and the human rights organizations, the murders for [family] ‘honor’ continue to occur – [in fact,] their number is on the rise...  In most cases, the motive is inheritance. Additional motives may include the victim’s discovery of a family member’s secret – for example, that they had collaborated [with Israel]. Why is it nonetheless claimed that the murder was committed in defense of ‘honor’? Because this is the legally accepted claim to alleviate the verdict. The murderer uses the motive of family ‘honor’ as a sure way of shirking [the penalty for] his crime, by exploiting the mediating circumstances prescribed by the current penal code... The murder of even one woman is too much. What will happen if that number reaches 30 – not including the cases that go unreported, and which do not appear in the statistics. Until laws [are passed] that define the murder of women for motives of ‘honor’ as a crime punishable by law, women will continue to be murdered using the claim of ‘honor.’”

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PA daily reports on women’s study: 62% of Palestinian women are denied their inheritance 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 17, 2014
     “Sixty-two percent of the families refused to grant women their right to inheritance when they demanded it, while 25% repeatedly postponed [the issue]. This data appeared in a study carried out by the Women’s Center for Legal and Social Advising, together with the Young Christians’ Association at the Gaza Women’s Center and the Church Aid Institution. The study was financed by the European Union, as part of the Right of Inheritance project … Nasreen Qawas, the project coordinator, told Al-Hayat Al-Jadida that… women in Palestine are among the groups that are most marginalized and discriminated against in all spheres of life – economically, socially, culturally and politically. In addition, she noted that despite the rise in the number of women in the work force over the past decade, their number was still small, amounting to 17.4% of all women of working age in 2012, as opposed to 10.3% in 2001.”
Fatah glorifies female army unit training to launch rockets, presents suicide bombers as role models 
Source: Facebook, Fatah - The Main Page, July 10, 2014
TV reporter: "With willpower stronger than mountains, these young women part from their children, leave their homes and go to the battlefield carrying burial shrouds to fight in the ranks of the Palestinian resistance in the Gaza Strip. They thereby strive to become an important part of the path of Jihad and the struggle - the path walked by Dalal Mughrabi, Hanadi Jaradat and Reem Riyashi... Um Salim, member of [Fatah's] Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades:"
Female fighter: "We are young women, but we can do the impossible... We support our boys, our husbands and our leaders to liberate Palestine, in the way of leader Yasser Arafat. We are the sisters of Dalal Mughrabi. We will continue to walk the path..."
TV reporter: "The woman in Palestine is no longer a prisoner of her home or work, but constitutes the foundation of the [young] generations' education and the occupation's defeat."
[Facebook, "Fatah - The Main Page," July 10, 2014
Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades YouTube channel, July 10, 2014]
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For context and descriptions of the terrorists mentioned above, click "full article.''
PA Minister of Women’s Affairs pushes ‎Penal Law that will protect women from ‎violence 
Source: Al-Ayyam, May 21, 2014
     ‎“[PA] Minister of Women's Affairs Rabiha ‎Dhiab said yesterday [May 20, 2014] that ‎the finishing touches are currently being ‎put on the proposed Penal Law, and ‎spoke of the law’s importance in stopping ‎crimes of femicide. Dhiab spoke during ‎the sit-down strike held in front of Prime ‎Minister [Rami Hamdallah]’s Headquarters ‎in Ramallah, at the request of Tawasul ‎‎(contact) centers, the ministry, and ‎women’s groups such as the Palestinian ‎Non-Governmental Organization Against ‎Domestic Violence Against Women (Al Muntada),‎to demand the bill’s ratification. ‎In addition, she praised [PA] President ‎Mahmoud Abbas’ decision to cancel ‎mitigating circumstances in [cases] of ‎femicide… ‎
In a position paper published on its ‎behalf, the Palestinian Non-‎Governmental Organization Against ‎Domestic Violence Against Women (Al Muntada)… ‎expressed its concern about the increase ‎in the rate of femicide cases, which ‎necessitates the publication of a ‎presidential decree ratifying the proposed ‎penal law submitted to the Legislative ‎Council (PA Parliament), the government ‎and the President by the civil social ‎institutions and the National Group for the ‎‎[formulation of the] Bill. In addition, he ‎noted that an honorary convention, [which ‎is to serve] until the [bill’s] ratification, was ‎recently published with the common ‎consent of all PLO factions.”‎
Abbas publishes legal amendment ‎against perpetrators of hate crimes ‎against women 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, May 20, 2014
     ‎“[PA] Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has ‎published a legally binding decree ‎amending Article 98 of the [Palestinian] ‎Penal Law No. 12 of 1960. ‎Hassan ‎ Al-Ouri, legal advisor to PA ‎President Mahmoud Abbas, said the ‎significance of this amendment was its ‎abrogation of mitigating circumstances in ‎cases in which the act is committed ‎against a woman for motives of what is ‎referred to as ‘family honor.’ According to ‎Al-Ouri, this means that the court has no ‎authority to invoke mitigating ‎circumstances [in the defendant’s favor] ‎when the victim is revealed to it [the court] ‎to be a woman, and when the crime was ‎committed for motives of what is referred to ‎as ‘family honor.’ … ‎
The UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) ‎welcomed this decision. Baha Al-Saadi, ‎the [UN] HRC representative in the ‎Palestinian territories, told Reuters: ‘We ‎welcome this move, which we consider a ‎great step forward…’ He added that the ‎council had conducted a study of cases of ‎murder committed under the pretext of ‎honor, and had concluded that an ‎amendment of the law was necessary.‎..
This decision came in the wake of a steep ‎rise in cases of femicide – most recently, ‎the murder of a woman by her husband in ‎a Shari’ah law court in Birzeit, north of ‎Ramallah, and the strangling to death of ‎another woman by her husband in one of ‎the refugee camps.”‎
Abbas amends law on honor killings 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, May 20, 2014
     “[PA] Chairman Mahmoud Abbas published a legally binding decree amending Article 98 of the [Palestinian] Penal Law No. 12 of 1960.
Hassan Al-Ouri, legal advisor to PA President Mahmoud Abbas, said the significance of this amendment was its abrogation of mitigating circumstances in cases in which the act is committed against a woman for motives of what is referred to as ‘family honor.’ According to Al-Ouri, this means that the court has no authority to invoke mitigating circumstances [in the defendant’s favor] when the victim is revealed to it [the court] to be a woman, and when the crime was committed for motives of what is referred to as ‘family honor.’ …
Article 98 of the [Palestinian] Penal Law No. 12 of 1960 will read as follows: ‘Mitigating circumstances shall apply in cases in which the crime was carried out in a state of extreme anger, as a result of a serious and unjust act…’ The amendment adds: ‘Mitigating circumstances shall not be granted to the perpetrator if the crime was committed against a woman for motives of honor.’
The UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) welcomed this decision. Baha Al-Saadi, the [UN] HRC representative in the Palestinian territories, told Reuters: ‘We welcome this move, which we consider a great step forward…’ He added that the council had conducted a study of cases of murder committed under the pretext of honor, and had concluded that an amendment of the law was necessary...
This decision came in the wake of a steep rise in cases of murder of women – most recently, the murder of a woman by her husband in a Shari’ah law court in Birzeit, north of Ramallah, and the strangling to death of another woman by her husband in one of the refugee camps.”
 
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PA daily reports on higher number of ‎femicide cases and necessity of ‎combatting it 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, May 16, 2014
     ‎“The UN Organization of Women in ‎Palestine has expressed its concern over ‎the femicide that occurred this week, ‎which raised the number of femicide ‎cases in the West Bank and Gaza Strip to ‎‎14 since the beginning of this year [2014] ‎‎– an average of a crime against women ‎every ten days.‎
In addition, it [the Organization] noted that ‎the Palestinian Government had ‎‎‘demonstrated a resolute political will to ‎end violence against women through the ‎adoption of a zero-tolerance policy on ‎violence against women, by realizing the ‎Millennium Development Goals and ‎adopting a national strategy to combat ‎violence against women for the years ‎‎2011-2019, and most recently, the ‎ratification of the Convention on the ‎Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination ‎against Women.’ The Organization ‎emphasized that this political will must be ‎translated into urgent concrete action, and ‎called for the urgent implementation of the ‎Serious Case Review mechanism ‎coordinated by the Ministry of Women’s ‎Affairs.”‎
Palestinian activist calls for Abbas to publish ‎new presidential decree protecting women ‎from violence 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, May 6, 2014
Op-ed by Atef Abu Al-Rub:
     ‎“Lately, Palestinian society, which ‎considers itself united and crime-free, has ‎been shaken by a series of grave social ‎events. Among the clearly prominent ‎crimes were assaults on women – ‎including murder, attempted murder, and ‎other acts considered to be assaults on ‎women… ‎
Feminist activist Nada Tawil says: ‘Since ‎the beginning of the year, the number of ‎femicides perpetrated in safe places, ‎including even courts of justice (allusion ‎to the murder of a woman in a Shari’ah ‎law court in the beginning of May, 2014. ‎Ed.) has risen to 13. Feminist movement ‎groups working to form coalitions to ‎advance the development of the Penal ‎Code and the Personal Status Law, have ‎finished their drafts and submitted them ‎for approval to the Palestinian Parliament ‎‎(Legislative Council) – but it [the ‎Parliament] is [currently] suspended ‎because of the rift [between Fatah and ‎Hamas]. Therefore, we asked the ‎President [Mahmoud Abbas], by way of ‎memoranda, to publish a presidential ‎decree abrogating the mitigating excuses ‎for murder. [The decree] was indeed ‎published, but with loopholes – the issue ‎was left to the discretion of the legal ‎system, creating a loophole in the law. We ‎demand that the President publish an ‎additional decree until the Legislative ‎Council convenes.’”‎
Public march cancelled because intermingling of sexes might lead "women to sin and fall into traps" 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Apr. 19, 2014
Op-ed by Jawad Boulus, a columnist for the official PA daily
     “I don’t know if there are organizational ties between the groups that opposed a series of social and cultural activities that were supposed to take place in a number of our villages in the Galilee and the Triangle (a concentration of Israeli-Arab towns and villages adjacent to the Green Line in northern Israel). The organizers of a march in Baqa Al-Gharbiya, the purpose of which was to allow all family members to participate in an educational entertainment activity… were forced to cancel it to prevent a ‘civil war’ – according to an announcement [published] by those in charge. Prior to this, [activists] distributed notices and pamphlets, signed by Islamic movements, which called for the cancellation of the event on the grounds that it was inconsistent with the principles of the Islamic Shari’ah [law], as the intermingling [of men and women] might allow the participating women to sin and fall into traps.
In Acre, a group of members of Takfir (i.e., Muslims who accuse other Muslims of heresy) protested a performance by the Homeland On a String group and prevented the audience from entering the concert hall, claiming that in one of its satirical and critical performances, the group had attacked the Muslim Brotherhood... We are on the brink of a nationwide phenomenon that reflects the growth of rapidly spreading Takfir ideas. The proponents of these ideas are no different from their predecessors in the Islamic and Takfir political movements, and so they follow their example and strive to enforce what they believe to be their right and duty of protecting their faith – [their faith] as they understand it."

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