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'There is no freedom without free women': Palestinians worldwide demand end to domestic violence

Hundreds of protesters took to the streets of Haifa on Thursday [Getty]

Date of publication: 27 September, 2019

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Following the suspected 'honour killing' of Israa Ghrayeb last month, Palestinian women in dozens of cities across the globe took to the streets to demand an end to violence.
Palestinian women across the globe on Thursday marched in protest against domestic violence in the wake of the death of 21-year-old Israa Ghrayeb, who is suspected to have been beaten to death by her relatives.

Hundreds of women and their male allies took to the streets of Jerusalem, Ramallah, Gaza, Haifa, Beirut, Berlin and dozens more cities as part of the #Talat movement, meaning "women rise up".

Under the slogans: "There is no freedom without free women", and "Free homeland, free women", the protesters matched the struggle for gender equality with the national struggle, pointing out that domestic violence is often perpetuated or exacerbated by the occupation.

Ghrayeb, a make-up artist from Bethlehem who was due to be married, is one of 18 women recorded murdered in the Palestinian territories this year, according to the Women's Centre for Legal Aid and Counselling, a Palestinian NGO.

Sarah Abu Ghazaleh, an activist marching in Beirut, told The New Arab’s Arabic-language service that the march is "for solidarity with women in Palestine," but added that the issue of femicide and domestic violence is not restricted to the Palestinian territories but a problem in Lebanon too.

"The liberation of the homeland and the liberation of women go hand in hand. One cannot be achieved without the other," she added.

"From Beirut to Haifa, women are murdered in the streets and at home. It is time to protect them," demonstrators in Haifa chanted, "We want to be free, live in respect, solidarity and safety."


In Lebanon, candles were lit for refugee women killed in camps.


Protesters in Jerusalem were beaten by Israeli forces who attempted to stop the demonstration in the Old City.


"From Berlin, we rise up, and we rise up demanding freedom," chanted protesters in the German capital .

The Women's Centre for Legal Aid and Counselling, which documents abuses in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip, said there were 23 cases of what it called femicide in 2018, and 18 so far in 2019.

The term is defined as the killing of women because they are female, though it can also include suicide in cases of bullying.

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