As tensions exponentially rise in Gaza, with Palestine's ongoing fight for liberation, activist Ahed Tamimi spoke with the Anadolu Agency on behalf of Palestinian women. Quite the controversial figure, Tamimi rose to public notability as a symbol of resistance in opposition to Israeli military occupation dating as far back as 2012; she was only 11-years-old at the time.
Recently, Tamimi has resurfaced to vocalize how Palestinian women are specifically affected by the escalating violence. “The Palestinian woman has long been suffering since the start of the [Israeli occupation],” she began. She went on to describe how women who’ve lost their husbands are left to parent their children alone, how Palestinian women are brutalized by Israeli soldiers for defending their rights, and how Palestinian women are denied proper medical treatment in Israeli prisons.
“If what happened here was in another country, they would look at it differently,” Tamimi declared, referring to the inadequate response from international human and women’s rights organizations. “I'm telling the whole world. We're human beings, just like everyone else. It's our right to live a normal life. We also have a right to live a nonviolent life.”
"There are women in the Gaza Strip who are also under bombardment, whose bodies have been removed from under the rubble,” she went on. “In Palestine, we always experience this; we always live with pain. When a woman is beaten, I immediately see my mother in her."
Tamimi’s testimony comes soon after news broke about several Israeli airstrikes that have already killed a number of Palestinian civilians. According to CNN, “The death toll in Gaza has climbed to a total of 197, including at least 58 children and 34 women…” The bombings and constant clashes between Arab and Israeli civilians on the ground mark a period of violence comparable to the 2014 Gaza War, with many speculating ceaseless conflict on the horizon.
“I really hope from all women’s rights organizations to provide more support to the Palestinian cause,” Tamimi challenged. “As long as we are under this occupation, the whole world is under occupation. As long as we, the Palestinians, are under oppression, this also means the world is supporting such oppression.”
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Jamilah Horton is a graduate of Wellesley College with a B.A. in Cinema & Media Studies and Africana Studies. She lives in Harlem, NYC and enjoys watching and critiquing the latest films and television shows, especially those that center Black women and femmes. Subscribe to her YouTube channel That's A Wrap TV for more!