Peaceful Palestinian Women's Demonstration Met With Israeli Violence

(Press Release (19/3/2001) The Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue and Democracy (MIFTAH) FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Press Release: 19/3/2001 Peaceful Palestinian Women's Demonstration Met With Israeli Violence)

A peaceful women's march protesting Israel's multiple siege policy on the Palestinian territories ended violently today with the Israeli army's excessive and indiscriminate use of force. Israeli soldiers fired rubber bullets and stun grenades at the demonstrators, lightly injuring more than 5 people, including MIFTAH's Secretary General, and Palestinian Legislative Council Member, Dr. Hanan Ashrawi. The march, which was organized by the General Union of Palestinian Women, passed through the Qalandia Israeli army checkpoint, as a symbolic gesture of protest against Israel's blockade on Palestinian villages, towns, and cities. The demonstrators marched on peacefully to the next checkpoint at Al-Ram. The march, which included Palestinian women activists and leaders, as well as civil society advocates, was intended to voice Palestinian rejection of the Israeli occupation in a non-violent manner, but with a human message of peaceful resistance to the brutality of Israel's occupation. The Israeli army's use of force against Palestinian demonstrators is another proof of Israel's disregard of the rights of the Palestinians and a blatant and unjustifiable suppression of the Palestinian people's right to freedom of expression, as well as freedom of movement in their own land. Earlier this month, a similar rally protesting Israel's destruction of the Ramallah-Bir Zeit road ended with the killing of 28-year old Abdel-Qader Hamdan, after Israeli soldiers stationed around the village of Surda opened live fire at peaceful demonstrators. MIFTAH strongly condemns Israel's inhuman treatment of Palestinian civilians and calls for immediate and concrete international efforts to provide protection to the Palestinian people, to lift the siege on the Palestinian territories, and to end the Israeli occupation. Public Information Department MIFTAH Tel: 00972-2-585 1842 WWW.MIFTAH.ORG

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