Palestinian Displacement: from the perspective of women

The author made a request to remain anonymous.

Palestinian women have experienced conflict, resisted the oppressive Israeli government all whilst maintaining their household and worrying about their families’ safety and stability. For the past 67 years, Palestinians’ house and village demolitions have become widespread. Forced evictions are related to ethnic cleansing and associated state crimes of 1948 or Al-Nakba- which was the mass eviction of 700,000 Palestinians from their homes, which caused a massive refugee crisis. These demolitions can be considered an attempt of the Israeli government to drive Palestinians from their homeland. This article will focus on the general impact of house demotions and evictions on Palestinian families, and will emphasise the experiences of Palestinian women as they are at risk of social and financial stability whilst worrying about the safety of their family members. These evictions can also be attributed to the internal policy-making decisions within the Israeli government.

Israeli settlements violate the International Humanitarian Law; the provision of the Fourth Geneva Convention does not allow the transfer of part of the population of the occupying power. In this case, Israeli citizens are not allowed to be in the occupied territory. The reason is to prevent the occupying power from modifying the occupied territory’s social, demographic, and economic conditions and its population. In this scenario, the Palestinian people are at risk of changes that will affect their social and financial stability.

The militarisation and Israel’s demolition policies impact Palestinian women and their rights, such as safety. Evictions impact access to education, safety, and shelter. The demolition and eviction policies cause Palestinian girls and women to be internally displaced persons (IDPs) and homeless. It results in Palestinian women having to undergo the trauma of losing their home, including losing their sense of safety, security, and belonging.

Sheikh Jarrah in Jerusalem is a Palestinian community experiencing the fear of eviction. The people of Sheikh Jarrah were astonished when two Jewish committees registered their ownership at the Land Department in 1972. This action resulted in numerous judicial cases raised in Israeli courts. The 28 Palestinian families have grown. The number of residents facing eviction has now advanced to 500, including 111 children.

The women of Sheikh Jarrah are involved with planning and decision making roles, and they have been monitoring the legal battle regarding the eviction of homes in Sheikh Jarrah and have attended hearing sessions at Israeli courts. The women also had to deal with fearing for their husbands and sons against Israeli oppression. 

The decision made regarding the legal case is the cancellation of the eviction while the issue of ownership is pending. Supposedly, Israel is to plan a land arrangement, which could take years or even might not come into eventual fruition.

The Tamra Complex project includes 500 apartments. The Complex also includes facilities such as a school, a mosque, a park, markets, and a medical centre, which helps displaced families, and they accept donations on their website.

Bibliography:

Anon (2022) Israeli top court suspends Sheikh Jarrah evictions for now [online]. Available from: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/3/1/israeli-top-court-suspends-palestinian-evictions-in-sheikh-jarrah (Accessed 20 March 2022).

Johnson, P. (2010) Displacing Palestine: Palestinian Householding in an Era of Asymmetrical War. Politics & Gender. [Online] 6 (02), 295–304. [online]. Available from: http://www.journals.cambridge.org/abstract_S1743923X10000103 (Accessed 20 March 2022).

Jundi, A. (2021) The Resilient Women of sheikh jarrah: ‘we will never leave’ [online]. Available from: https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/israel-palestine-sheikh-jarrah-women-resilient-fight (Accessed 22 March 2022). 

Kuruvilla, S. J. (2004) Review of The Politics of Denial: Israel and the Palestinian Refugee Problem. The Arab Studies Journal. 12/13 (2/1), 219–222. [online]. Available from: https://www.jstor.org/stable/27933922 (Accessed 20 March 2022).

Penny Green & Amelia Smith (2016) Evicting Palestine. State Crime Journal. [Online] 5 (1), . [online]. Available from: https://scienceopen.com/hosted-document?doi=10.13169/statecrime.5.1.0081 (Accessed 20 March 2022).

Marie, M. & SaadAdeen, S. (2021) Mental health consequences of home demolition policy towered Palestinians: Literature review. International Journal of Mental Health Systems. [Online] 15 (1), 51. [online]. Available from: https://ijmhs.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13033-021-00472-0 (Accessed 20 March 2022).

Ryan, C. (2015) Everyday Resilience as Resistance: Palestinian Women Practicing Sumud. International Political Sociology. [Online] 9 (4), 299–315. [online]. Available from: https://academic.oup.com/ips/article-lookup/doi/10.1111/ips.12099 (Accessed 20 March 2022).

Shalhoub-Kevorkian, N. (2005) Counter-Spaces as Resistance in Conflict Zones: Palestinian Women Recreating a Home. Journal of Feminist Family Therapy. [Online] 17 (3–4), 109–141. [online]. Available from: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1300/J086v17n03_07 (Accessed 20 March 2022).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s