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Palestinian and Israeli women protest occupation on Intl Women's Day

The Movement of Democratic Women in Israel organised the protest alongside the General Union of Palestinian Women under the slogan ‘Palestinian and Israeli women break the wall’

Ahram Online , Sunday 8 Mar 2015
Palestine
Palestinian woman reacts after Israeli occupation forces used pepper spray to disperse a rally ahead of International Woman's Day (Photo:Reuters)
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On the occasion of International Women's Day, hundreds of Palestinian and Israeli women demonstrated the Israeli occupation on both sides of the Kalandia checkpoint that separates Ramallah and Jerusalem, France 24 reported on Sunday.

The Movement of Democratic Women in Israel organised the protest alongside the General Union of Palestinian Women under the slogan "Palestinian and Israeli women break the wall."

However, the Palestinian women, who were attempting to reach the Israeli side of the checkpoint, were stopped by Israeli occupation forces who fired tear gas in order to break up the demonstration.

The movement that includes women from both Jewish and Arab backgrounds was established in 1948.

It lamented in a statement "How are we supposed to remain silent when our Palestinian brothers and sisters have been suffering year after year from the Israeli occupation that deprives them of their basic human and civil rights?"

The statement that was distributed in Arabic, English and Hebrew went on to criticise Israel's assault on Gaza last summer.

"How can we ignore the suffering of Palestinian women and their exposure to repression, violence discrimination, oppression and murder."

Israel's assault on Gaza, stopped by an Egypt-brokered ceasefire deal, left more than 2,000 Palestinians dead and 12,000 injured.

Over 70 Israelis, mostly soldiers, died during the assault.

Yukhefit Ghonin, an 85-year-old Jewish peace activist, said that she came from Haifa in Israel to meet Palestinian women who are barred from traveling because of the wall.

"We have to break these boundaries and walls," she said.

On the Palestinian side of the wall, hundreds of women wearing the black and white traditional Palestinian Kifeya held their national flag.

The Palestinian Authority considers Sunday the 8th of March an official holiday in a show of solidarity with women.

The United Nations commemorates the day as a celebration of women's achievements throughout history.

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