She is the mistress of the women of the earth, quite simply. She is a school from whose hands heroes, teachers, engineers, doctors, workers, and before that the resistance fighters graduate. She made history in the past, and she is making it in the present and the future.
It is the originality that is evident in the roots of its olive trees and its mountains that are steeped in history. Indeed, it is history itself. She is the virgin whom God chose to carry in her womb the word of God.
She is the patient mother of the martyr, she is the key to Jerusalem and its light, she is the mother, sister, prisoner, martyr, and companion… She is all of life.
It is the Palestinian history filled with its people’s struggle for liberation and the building of its independent state, which presented thousands of martyrs, wounded and captive women in its journey. Therefore, it is not surprising that it was at the forefront of sacrificing lives in the battle of the “Al-Aqsa Flood,” where the number of martyrs has exceeded twenty thousand so far, most of whom are women and children, as confirmed by approved international statistics.
It is the factory of masculinity that gave birth to resistance fighters and martyrs and raised them with pride and dignity. She is the supportive sister who stands in support of the Palestinian fighters. She is the lover and wife who is patient, struggles, and supports her husband. She is the first spark that exploded in the face of the enemy, fighting side by side in the battle of struggle against the occupation.
The participation of Palestinian women in the first people’s revolution against the British Mandate – when 40,000 citizens demonstrated in the streets of Jerusalem on February 27, 1920 – was clear and evident, which is what made them participate in the delegation that met the High Commissioner; Demanding the cancellation of the “Balfour Declaration.”
Political and social struggle
Palestinian women have played major roles in the process of the liberation struggle, as the first Palestinian women’s union came into existence in 1921, led by Zulekha Al-Shihabi, one of the most prominent faces of Arab and Palestinian women’s work, about two decades before the declaration of the establishment of the Zionist occupation entity. Al-Shihabi marked a long phase of Palestinian national action that did not end with participation in the founding of the Palestine Liberation Organization in the 1960s, but rather with deportation from Jerusalem – in 1968 – after its occupation.
It is the union that worked hard in the period following its founding to expand the women’s base, organize committees and unify women’s efforts to work on developing women’s social and political struggle. To oppose the British Mandate and stand against Zionist settlement.
In 1929, the Union held the first Palestinian women’s conference, attended by three hundred representatives from various regions of Palestine. Several resolutions were issued – including correspondence with international powers – demanding an end to Zionist immigration and the injustice inflicted on citizens by the oppression of the British Mandate. Organizing many protest events and demonstrations against the British High Commissioner; To demand the cancellation of the “Balfour Declaration,” and a march of 80 cars slowly passed through all European consular centers.
Fighting the occupier
In the 1960s, Palestinian women were among the first to participate in fighting the occupier on land, sea, and air. The martyr fighter Dalal al-Mughrabi wrote the most wonderful heroic epics, when she declared “the first independent republic on our occupied land for three hours,” and Shadia Abu Ghazaleh, who was the first Palestinian martyr after the setback. And Laila Khaled when she hijacked the first plane, and then addressed Moshe Dayan, and said to him: “This is my land.” Where Palestinian women fought all forms of struggle, under occupation, siege, displacement, oppression, and racism, amid international silence.
In the military field, urban women transported light weapons from one place to another through checkpoints, while village women transported clothes, supplies, and ammunition to the revolutionaries in the mountains on the backs of donkeys and mules.
Arab women in Palestine took to the battlefield early, setting the most wonderful examples of bravery and sacrifice. Among examples of heroism, we mention the martyr Fatima Ghazal, who was martyred on June 26, 1936 in the Battle of Wadi Azzun near the city of Lod.
This is from the history that preceded the announcement of the occupation entity. As for our recent history, we can recall Reem Saleh Al-Riyashi, the martyrdom victim of the Zaytouna neighborhood in Gaza City, the daughter of the Al-Qassam Brigades, the mother of two children, one of whom is an infant, and the one who blew herself up in a gathering of occupation officers at the Erez crossing, as an example but not limited to it, of course. .
As for the prisoner movement, the Israeli occupation prisons were not devoid of Palestinian female prisoners. They struggled outside and inside the prisons after their captivity, and we cannot forget April 1970, when a mass hunger strike movement was organized for Palestinian female prisoners for nine consecutive days. To demand that they stop targeting them with beatings and violence inside their prisons, especially solitary confinement, after which protests continued until the present time.
Khaleda Jarrar – the well-known leader of the Popular Front – is considered the most famous female prisoner. Because she does not leave her solitary confinement cell in an exchange deal, or the end of an unjust sentence, or unjust administrative detention, until the occupation returns her to captivity again.
Moreover, the woman who did not have the opportunity to participate in direct struggle work had other work that affected the steadfastness of the Palestinian people and built generations that knew well the meaning of the homeland and carried its cause on their shoulders in defense of their land. It was represented by the mother, wife, and grandmother who were the protectors of their families in the absence of the father and husband, whether he was a prisoner or a martyr. She carried and passed on the story and the story of the homeland from generation to generation so that it would not forget the land, and the struggle and insistence on the return of truth would continue. This has been since the beginning of the Israeli occupation in 1948.
Sacrifices and perseverance
In the context of the “Al-Aqsa Flood” battle – in which the Palestinian people are facing an ongoing genocidal movement in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank – the observer cannot ignore the scenes of the roles of Palestinian women, as they participate with all their might in supporting the fighters and providing the conditions for their steadfastness, which are The mother, wife, or sister, or whether she was a doctor treating the wounded or a volunteer helping those affected by the war of genocide and blatant targeting of civilians; Knowing that she has a family who takes care of her affairs, or a journalist who stands tall in front of the enemy to report the scene in the hottest and most difficult places on earth, and she suffers from the daily risk of being targeted for death, like all the people of the Gaza Strip currently.
The Zionist enemy could not undermine the resolve of Palestinian women. Despite the killing, demolition, and successive arrests, there will continue to be heroics and stories of the steadfastness of women and girls who sacrificed themselves to immortalize their names throughout history.
Despite the difficulty of monitoring events, we now find her – through her personal account on social media platforms – transmitting everything, both small and large, in foreign languages. To enlighten Arab and international public opinion, by highlighting the ongoing massacres experienced by the Palestinian people.
Sometimes we find her as the patient mother whose faith reached the sky, as she mourned for her children, and at other times she was the doctor and paramedic who refused to leave the wounded, and refused to be at the helm of her work. She was the one to whom the news of the martyrdom of her entire family came, and she completed her work. Be patient and considerate. She is the Palestinian woman who is simply considered the heir of the Virgin Mary, Lady of the Women of the Earth.