On 25 November 2020, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, Collectif Palestine Vaincra – a member organization of the Samidoun Network – released a new video, Women, Feminism and Palestine, featuring a nearly 10-minute interview with Zainab Younes, Palestinian activist and a member of the collective. We urge all supporters of Palestine to listen to this video (Arabic audio, English subtitles – French subtitles available here)
Alkarama Palestinian Women’s Mobilization also released a video (below) in Spanish, highlighting the struggle of Palestinian women prisoners on this international day of feminist solidarity.
We urge all friends and comrades to join us in today’s collective social media storm to highlight the struggle of Palestinian women and especially the case of Khitam Saafin, the President of the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees, imprisoned by Israel without charge or trial:
#FreeKhitamSaafin #FreePalestinianWomen: Social Media Action 25 November for Khitam Saafin and the Palestinian Women’s Movement
Wednesday, 25 November
10 am Pacific – 1 pm Eastern – 7 pm central Europe – 8 pm Palestine
- Use these sample tweets for your posts: bit.ly/KhitamTweets
- Download materials and more information at freekhitamsaafin.org
- Use the hashtag #FreeKhitamSaafin in all of your posts during the action!
On 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, join Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, the US Palestinian Community Network, the International Women’s Alliance – Europe, Al-Awda, the Palestine Right to Return Coalition, Within Our Lifetime – United for Palestine, Alkarama Palestinian Women’s Mobilization and the Palestinian Youth Movement for a social media storm and Twitter campaign to free Khitam Saafin and Palestinian women political prisoners!
Khitam Saafin, president of the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees, is jailed without charge or trial by the Israeli occupation under an indefinitely renewable six-month administrative detention order. She is a well-known international advocate for Palestinian women and freedom and justice for the Palestinian people. She has spoken around the world about the struggle of Palestinian women, including at the World Social Forum, and served as chair of the Global Women’s March Palestine.
Administrative detention, a practice first introduced to Palestine by the British colonial mandate, imprisons Palestinians without charge or trial on the basis of a so-called “secret file.” Even the detainee’s lawyer is denied access to any of the contents of this file; instead, it is simply asserted by the Israeli occupation military commander. These detention orders are issued for up to six months at a time and are indefinitely renewable; Palestinians routinely spend years a a time jailed under administrative detention. There are currently approximately 370 Palestinian prisoners held under administrative detention orders, among approximately 4500 Palestinian political prisoners in total.
There are currently 40 Palestinian women prisoners, including student activists like Ruba Assi, Mays Abu Ghosh, Layan Kayed and Elia Abu Hijleh; parliamentarians and advocates like Khalida Jarrar; journalists like Bushra Tawil; and dozens of others. Political imprisonment is one key aspect of the institutional violence against Palestinian women enacted by Israeli occupation and colonization and enabled by U.S., Canadian and European support for Israel’s ongoing war crimes and crimes against humanity targeting the Palestinian people.
Join us for a social media storm on 25 November to demand freedom for Khitam Saafin and her fellow political prisoners and to support Palestinian women on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.
Use these sample tweets for your posts: bit.ly/KhitamTweets
Download materials and more information at freekhitamsaafin.org
Use the hashtag #FreeKhitamSaafin in all of your posts during the action!
To add a second hashtag, use #FreePalestinianWomen
Check out the pages and social media accounts of the organizations for #FreeKhitamSaafin content and more great information:
On Facebook: @uspcn, @samidounprisonersolidarity, @Pal.Youth.Movement, @AlAwdaPRRC @wolpalestine, @IWA Europe @MovimientoDeMujeresPalestinasAlKarama – Feel free to tag us in your posts and use the hashtag #FreeKhitamSaafin #FreePalestinianWomen
On Twitter: See @USPCN. @SamidounPP, @palyouthmvmt, @AlAwda, @intlwomensalli1, @WOLPalestine @alkarama_mmp
On Instagram: Check out @uspcn @samidounnetwork @palestinianyouthmovement @alawdasouthfl @wolpalestine @iwa_europe for stories, posts and information
Palestinian women prisoners and the liberation struggle
Today, there are 40 imprisoned Palestinian women and girls in Israeli jails. Many of them suffer from health issues, and the global pandemic of COVID-19 poses a significant threat, especially as they are held under harsh condition at Damon prison, previously a stable for animals. Palestinian women behind Israeli bars represent all facets of Palestinian society: parliamentarians, leaders, journalists, social workers, activists, students, mothers, sisters, daughters, aunts, caregivers, health workers and many more.
Throughout the history of the Palestinian cause, Palestinian women have been at the center of the liberation movement in all aspects of struggle and have played a particularly meaningful role in the prisoners’ movement behind bars historically, leading hunger strikes and continuing the struggle for freedom. Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Movement salutes the leading role of Palestinian women in the struggle and urges the immediate release of all Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.
Resources on Palestinian women prisoners
We recommend the following resources for more information on Palestinian women prisoners:
- Khalida Jarrar speaks out on women prisoners’ struggle as Ramallah protest urges their liberation, November 2020
Famed musician Roger Waters joins campaign to #FreeKhitamSaafin with unique musical contribution, November 2020
- Steadfastness and resistance: Palestinian women prisoners confront repression, Charlotte Kates, March 2020
- International Women’s Day … 43 Palestinian Women in Detention, March 2020, Addameer
Khalida Jarrar: New Video and Resources, April 2020, Samidoun
Nahla Abdo, From Captive Revolution to Grand Gaza Prison: https://plutopress.wordpress.com/2014/08/21/from-captive-revolution-to-grand-gaza-prison/
- Nahla Abdo’s book, Captive Revolution: https://www.plutobooks.com/display.asp?K=9780745334936&%3C/)
“For the Love of Palestine:” New booklet highlights stories of Palestinian women prisoners – November 2016, Prison, Labor and Academic Delegation to Palestine
- Sahar Francis, Gendered Violence in Israeli Detention, Journal of Palestine Studies, summer 2017
Remembering Therese Halasa, Palestinian revolutionary: Rima Tannous’ prison story – Samidoun, March 2020. With reprint of historical account of Palestinian freed prisoner Rima Tannous
Soraya Antonius, Prisoners for Palestine: A List of Women Political Prisoners – Journal of Palestine Studies, 1980
Addameer, Occupied Lives: The Imprisonment of Palestinian Women and Girls: http://www.addameer.org/publications/occupied-lives-imprisonment-palestinian-women-and-girls
Leena Jawabreh, Facing imprisonment in Israeli Jails: A Palestinian Woman’s Testimony: http://samidoun.net/2013/09/facing-imprisonment-in-israeli-jails-a-palestinian-womans-testimony-by-leena-jawabreh/
Film, Women in Struggle, Dir: Buthaina Canaan Khoury, 2004: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v0Va7-cNxf8
Film, Tell Your Tale, Little Bird, Dir: Arab Loutfi, 2007: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wdkoxBjKM1Q
The Struggle of Palestinian Women (PLO, 1975): http://www.palestinianconference.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/PLO-PalestinianWomen.pdf
International Women’s Day and the General Union of Palestinian Women, PFLP Bulletin, April 1982: http://www.palestinianconference.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/WomensDay-PFLPBulletin-April1982.pdf
Palestinian Women Develop Their Struggle through Democratic Revolutionary Resolutions, September 1974, PFLP Bulletin: http://www.palestinianconference.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/WomensDay-PFLPBulletin-13-SepOct74.pdf
Women’s Struggle in Occupied Palestine, Democratic Palestine, May 1984: http://www.palestinianconference.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/WomensStruggle-DemocraticPal-Mar1984.pdf