Friday, February 11, 2011

Civil society organizations in Lebanon demonstrate: We will not forget Jawaher Abu Rahmah

These are photos from today's demonstration in front of the ESCWA. 150 persons, mostly women, were present.
The statement (see below) was handed over to the ESCWA secretary general, El Baker Adam.
It was signed by dozens of non-profit organizations working in Lebanon with both the Lebanese and Palestinian communities.
For more information: http://stopthewall.org/factsheets/2462.shtml


Statement by civil society organizations in Lebanon, working with the Palestinian and the Lebanese communities,
Addressed to: United Nations Secretary General, Mr. Ban Ki Moon,

We will not forget Jawaher Abu Rahmah

10 February 2011
Despite the International Court of Justice historic advisory opinion which found Israel's wall built on occupied Palestinian territory to be illegal, Israel continues its construction of the colonial Wall with total disregard to the Court's decision, as well as its Jewish only settlements and Jewish only roads in the Palestinian occupied territories.
Every day, Palestinians are struggling against the Apartheid Wall. Every day, Palestinian women contribute to this emerging form of resistance in al Ma’sara, al Nabi Saleh, Ni’lin and other villages struggling against the Wall. Weekly protests at Bil’in village are a cornerstone of the movement, where the Wall effectively annexes 60% of its land for Israeli settlements. 
Israel has met this ongoing popular mobilization with systematic, targeted violence. 19 people have been killed protesting the Wall and settlements since 2004, and hundreds more have been seriously injured by both live and non-lethal ammunition, such as tear gas canisters and rubber-coated metal bullets.
Jawaher Abu Rahmah, thirty-four years old, was participating on Friday, December 31st, 2010, in the protest against the Apartheid Wall that strangles her village Bil’in. When Israeli tear gas clouds reached her that day, she fell sick and died from the effects of the gas.[1]
In the struggle against occupation, against the Apartheid Wall, and for freedom, Palestinian women are paying a heavy price. Israeli Apartheid and Israeli repression of popular resistance constitute violence against women. Palestinian women inside Israeli’s prisons are often held in appalling, crowded conditions, suffer from severe punitive measures and are maltreated by prison authorities. Many women have died also at checkpoints, while others are forced to give birth at checkpoints because of delays or denial of passage.
International solidarity activists are also targeted. In May 2010, Emily Henochowicz, a twenty-one-year-old American art student, lost her eye after being shot in the face by an Israeli tear gas canister.
In keeping silent, the international community is complicit with Israel’s occupation, human rights violations, and repression of popular resistance. In keeping silent, the international community helps Israel sustain and expand its apartheid system.

On the 40-days commemoration of the death of Jawaher Abu Rahmah[2], we, civil society organizations in Lebanon, working with the Palestinian and the Lebanese communities, call on the international community and on international women organizations to stand for justice for Palestinian women and to condemn Israel’s ongoing illegal and criminal occupation, annexation of the Occupied Palestine Territories (oPt) and crimes against the Palestinian people.
We also call on the international community and on international women organizations to urge the Government of Israel to provide information on its compliance with its obligation to exercise due diligence to prevent, investigate and punish acts of violence against Palestinian women from the oPt by Israeli state authorities.
Finally, we call on the international community and on international women organizations to support  the Boycott, Divestments and Sanction movement (BDS)[3] all over the world and to consider it as one of the tool to advocate respect of women’s rights under occupation in accordance to United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security. BDS should be maintained until Israel meets its obligation to recognize the Palestinian people's inalienable right to self-determination and fully complies with the precepts of international law.

List of Signatory Organizations:
  • ·       The National Institution for Social Care & Vocational Training (NISCVT)
  • ·       The National Association for Vocational Training and Social Services (NAVTSS)
  • ·       The Ghassan Kanafani Cultural Foundation (GKCF)
  • ·       Arab Resource Center for Popular Arts (ARCPA)
  • ·       The Popular Aid for Relief and Development (PARD)
  • ·       Palestinian Arab Women League (PAWL)
  • ·       Association Najdeh
  • ·       Joint Christian Committee (JCC)
  • ·       Norwegian People's Aid (NPA)
  • ·       General Union of Palestinian Women (GUPW)
  • ·       The Fraternity Association of Educational and Social Work
  • ·       Witness Association for Human Rights
  • ·       Palestinian Human Rights Organization
  • ·       Human Development Center
  • ·       Center for Refugee Rights - Aidoun
  • ·       Arab Women Forum - Aisha
  • ·       Lebanese Women Democratic Gathering
  • ·       Social Movement
  • ·       Thabet Organization for the Right of Return
  • ·       National Committee for the Follow-up on Women's Issues
  • ·       KAFA (Enough) Violence & Exploitation
  • ·       Solidarity Association for Social and Cultural Development
  • ·       Developmental action without borders - Nabaa
  • ·       Arab NGO Network for Development
  • ·       Nasawiya (Feminist Collective)
  • ·       Amel Association
  • ·       Health Care Society
  • ·       Children and Youth Center- CYC


[1] http://www.stopthewall.org/factsheets/2462.shtml
[2] http://stopthewall.org/latestnews/2469.shtml
[3] 2005 Palestinian Civil Society Calls for BDS against Israel http://www.bdsmovement.net/?q=node/52

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