7th March 2018 | International Solidarity Movement, al Khalil team | Occupied Palestine
International Women’s Day kicked off today outside Youth Qalandia Club with Palestinian women, men and Internationals marching together to the gates of infamous Qalandia checkpoint in protest of the ceaseless Israeli military occupation and basic human rights.
Half way through the march, tear gas was fired into the crowd of peaceful protesters causing many to suffer from tear gas asphyxiation and seek refuge in nearby ambulances administering treatment.
The protesters continued marching to the checkpoint gates where they were met with several soldiers and border police who began throwing stun grenades and tear gas indiscriminately into the crowd. At one point, a tear gas canister was fired and broke the windshield of a nearby truck sitting in traffic causing the driver to flee the vehicle as it filled with tear gas and eventually caught fire. Palestinians rushed to the vehicle with fire extinguishers and doused the flames as the protest came to a dramatic end. Luckily no one was seriously hurt or arrested.
Today’s event was organized by the General Union of Palestinian Women, an organization with the end goal of raising the status of women in Palestine through increasing female participation in social, economic, and political life.
International Women’s Day is peacefully celebrated in many countries and surely not met with the same violent military response as here in the occupied West Bank. Strong women showed up today in solidarity against an oppressive Israeli regime where men are usually the face of the Palestinian nonviolent resistance. We honor the women that came out today and the women resisting from their homes.