On the March 8th women day: Women challenging the occupation at Qalandiya checkpoint

On Women’s day, March 8th, 2012, Palestinian Working Woman Society for Development along with The Coalition of Women for Peace and several other women and human rights organizations, hold a mass rally at the Qalandiya military checkpoint, North Jerusalem. This demonstration sent out a message of protest and resistance: the Israeli government policies of segregation, discrimination and oppression against the Palestinian people are unacceptable and we, women who pay its ultimate price, we will continue resisting these policies.

Occupation forces attacked the demo with tear gas and sewage water, in an attempt to depress the demonstration were around 200 women participated in. Women from Haifa, Negev, Hebron, Ramallah and other cities all came together to protest the occupation policies.

Mahasin Rabus, a key organizer, said: “on this day, we send our message to the world, we say it loud and clear, that we are not accepting the occupation policies, with its checkpoints and the apartheid wall, and we call for immediate intervention to stop decade’s long abuse of our fundamental rights.”

Qalandiya checkpoint became a symbol of the occupation. It separates Jerusalem from the rest of the occupied territories, and divides the West Bank into separate unites socially, politically and humanly disconnected from each other.

Amaal Khresha, from the Woman Working Association for Development, said: “the 8th of March symbolizes an accumulated struggle for women all around the world for freedom and justice. For Palestine women under the occupation this day is a day of marking the struggle against the occupation”.

The demonstration, also, called for the release of Hana Shalabi, an administrative detainee who started a hunger striker since 22 days. It called for the immediate release of all the Palestinian prisoners.