Internal Palestinian issues
There are many internal issues concerning Palestinian society that are not related to Israel. This section will track these subjects and update them regularly.
Women in PA society
PA TV uses International Women's Day to glorify female terrorists and murderers 
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, Mar. 6, 2019

Official PA TV program Palestine This Morning, from Gaza, on International Women’s Day activity

Official PA TV host in Gaza:
"Today [on International Women’s Day] we are telling the Palestinian women that they are the headline of the Palestinian cause with their resolve and patience. All of our blessings to the Palestinian female prisoners, to the wives of the prisoners, to the mothers of the prisoners."
Director of the Palestinian Women’s Union in Gaza Amal Hamad:
"We bless the female and male prisoners and our Martyrs with all blessings. They have stood by the men … The women were the first to take part in the battle. That is why we also have female Martyrs – Shadia Abu Ghazaleh, Dalal Mughrabi Wafa Idris, Ayyat Al-Akhras, Darin Abu Aisheh, and Razan Al-Najjar… Today, the Palestinian people in its entirety participates in the true battle of the national struggle that is greater than every secondary social battle here and there."
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Social activist claims that gender-based violence caused by the occupation 
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, Dec. 9, 2018
Official PA TV program Palestine This Morning, on 16-day campaign to fight gender-based violence, hosting Campaign Liaison and Support Director for the Palestinian Working Woman Society for Development Sandy Hanna

The Palestinian campaign is part of the international “16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence” Campaign which takes place across the globe calling to end violence against women and girls. The campaign began on Nov. 25 on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and ended on Dec. 10, Human Rights Day.

PA TV showed images from the campaign:

"No to violence against women" is written on an image showing a woman with a red tear falling from her eye.


Campaign Liaison and Support Director for the Palestinian Working Woman Society for Development Sandy Hanna: "This campaign will not be occasional as the violence against women – especially in Palestine – is complicated and has been repeating for many years and we have a long way to go in the fight against violence, whether it is gender-based and essentially reestablishing itself due to society's patriarchal foundation, or the most dangerous reason, which is the occupation and the implications inherent to it. Therefore, I do not want us to be frustrated, but there is a long way to go in the fight against violence."
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Abbas’ advisor: A man is permitted to beat his wife when she is disobedient 
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, Dec. 1, 2018

Official PA TV program

Supreme Shari’ah Judge, PA Abbas’ advisor on Religious and Islamic Affairs, Mahmoud Al-Habbash: "The beating here is an educational beating, and not violent beating. … There is merciful beating… As long as Allah permitted a certain type of beating, it is for the good. It is good for society and good for the woman and the man. However, regarding the question of why Islam permitted a man to hit and not a woman: Look, the woman is more sensitive, and this is a kind of preference for her by the way… Every man who beats his wife, his sister, or his daughter for no reason, he is committing a forbidden act… [If] he beats her only because he is angry at her, this is forbidden…The one and only situation, which is very limited and very rare, in which a man is permitted to beat in a way that doesn’t harm, doesn’t injure, avoids the face, and doesn’t cause strong pain – is the situation of disobedience. Only a situation of the woman’s disobedience. The disobedient woman, the woman who is out of line, the woman who destroys the bonds of marriage, and the bonds of home and family. Aside from this, any type of beating, injuring, and cursing of the woman constitutes a forbidden act. The man must know that the woman is not his handmaid and not his servant. She is his partner."
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Palestinian women earn less than 500 NIS/month, campaign for equal rights launched by trade unions 
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, Nov. 3, 2018

Official PA TV News host:
"The Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions together with the International Labor Organization has launched a national campaign for decent work for working women and the right to unionize... The campaign strives to promote women's access to equal economic opportunities in all sectors, decent work, and to strengthen their awareness of their rights."
Secretary-General of the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions Shaher Sa'ad: "We are talking about decent work and the right of unionization for working women at their work places, as we know that there are more than 120,000 women in Palestine whose salaries are less than 500 shekels. They need support, welfare, and the right to unionization, guidance, and education so that they will demand at least minimum wage, and their rights."
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Palestinian Center for Human Rights condemns murder of woman by family member, says number of murdered women has increased  
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Sept. 20, 2018
Headline: “The Palestinian Center for Human Rights condemns the murder of a resident of Khan Yunis by her father”
     “The Palestinian Center for Human Rights yesterday [Sept. 19, 2018] condemned the murder of R.S., a 43-year-old resident of Khan Yunis, by her father. It called to take legal steps in order to stop these crimes and put their perpetrators on trial…
The Center said that it views the increase in the phenomenon of women being murdered under different circumstances with great concern… According to the statistics in the hands of the Center, in the last five years 56 women have been murdered under different circumstances in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, of which 13 were murdered under the circumstances of what is called ‘family honor.’”

Female MPs from Arab countries call on Abbas to repeal PA law which enables rapists to avoid punishment by agreeing to marry the rape victim  
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Mar. 5, 2018
Headline: "Workshop participants demand that clause 308 of the Penal Code be repealed"
     "Participants in a discussion for March 8 (i.e., International Women's Day) demanded that clause 308 of the Penal Code be repealed. The discussion was held yesterday [March 4, 2018] in Ramallah under the title No to Granting Crime Legitimacy and Legal Recognition, at the initiative of the Women's Center for Legal Aid and Counseling and the Coalition of Women Members of Parliament from Arab Countries to Combat Violence Against Women… Secretary of the Women Members of Parliament from Arab Countries Sahr Qawasmi said… that the coalition… hopes that clause 308, which allows a rapist to marry the woman who is raped, will be repealed. She expressed hope that [PA] President [Mahmoud Abbas] will approve [amending] this law on March 8 [2018], because this clause means that the man who rapes evades punishment, and because it turns the woman into a victim twice."
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Palestinian press freedom organization: The PA violates human rights despite having signed many international human rights treaties, woman journalists’ rights are being violated  
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Dec. 1, 2017
PMW note: The following text was published in English on MADA's website on Nov. 30, 2017 and in the official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida on Dec. 1, 2017.

Headline: “MADA held a conference about challenges facing women journalists”
   “The Palestinian center for development and media Freedoms “MADA” held a conference yesterday (29.11.2017) in Ramallah city, about challenges facing women journalists, which coincided with the International Day for the Defense of Human Rights and the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People... Mr. Rimawi said that the violations against media freedoms continued and expanded, pointing out that last year MADA monitored a total of 383 violations against journalists. The Israeli occupation committed the largest and most dangerous of violations.
In addition to Israeli violations, Palestinian violations increased in the first half of this year as a result of the internal tension in the Palestinian arena caused by the political division, these violations declined in the past two months because of the reconciliation efforts.
Mr. Rimawi assured the need to work for the development of the legal environment and amending the laws relating to the media, referring to the Electronic Crimes Law and the need to amend it because it constitutes a severe violation of the freedom of press, expression and privacy.
He expressed the Center's pride in partnership with the Finnish Represent office in Ramallah, and its support of the conference, and offered congratulations to the Finnish people, who celebrating 100 years of his independence."

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Palestinian child bride of 12 “became 17” to marry older man, couple married for 75 years 
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, Oct. 14, 2017

Official PA TV program
Palestine This Morning, on Abu Wajdi and Sara Al-Qassem who have been married for 75 years

Official PA TV host:
"Tell us how did you meet your wife?"
Palestinian man Abu Wajdi Al-Qassem:
"She is my cousin. She was born abroad and lived [there] with her family. At the time, her father said to everyone: 'When we come to Palestine, this girl is intended for Abu Wajdi Al-Qassem.'"
(PA TV host): "
How old was she?"
Palestinian man Abu Wajdi Al-Qassem:
"Right when she was born she was given to me in my absence, but when she came [here] she was 12. (Laughing) She was 12. However, in Islam it is permissible to add years to one’s age, so the sheikh at the time gave her 5 years, and she became 17."
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Fatah official condemns honor killings, violence against Palestinian women 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Aug. 3, 2017
Op-ed by Muwaffaq Matar, Fatah Revolutionary Committee member and regular columnist for the official PA daily, calling for change in Palestinian society's attitude towards women and violence against women.

Headline: "Murder for [family] honor - terror and racism"
      "All people are born free, with equal rights and value. Every person has the right to realize his freedom without discrimination on the basis of gender. Equality between men and women in all political, civil, financial, social, and cultural rights is a set goal. Discrimination against women constitutes a violation of the principles of human rights...
If we wish to liberate our society from the octopus grip of this crime (i.e., honor killings), we must purify our outlook, our books, and our heritage from the sanctification of killing for God and honor and from the glorification of weapons... We need a fundamental change, secure laws, clarity, honesty, and enlightened attitudes from religious figures, jurists, and politicians... and above all, we need a revolution in education."
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PA TV supports Israeli law against polygamy 
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, July 9, 2017
Official PA TV program Keepers of Our Flame, on Arab women in Israel, hosting Israeli Arab Naela Awad from the Israeli NGO Women Against Violence

Women Against Violence activist Naela Awad: "It can be seen that despite there being a law against polygamy in the State [of Israel], the implementation of this law [has not yet taken place]."
Official PA TV host: "We support this law, to a certain extent."
Naela Awad: "Certainly we as feminists support this law, not to a certain extent [but fully]. We support the law and support its implementation."

PA TV interviews first female Islamic religious judge in the PA 
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, June 10, 2017
Official PA TV program Live With Them in Serenity, hosting female Shari’ah Court Judge Khuloud Al-Faqih

Official PA TV host: “When we say [the name] Khuloud Al-Faqih, immediately the first female Shari’ah judge echoes in one’s head – in addition to being the sister of the second female Shari’ah judge, you were the first female judge in Palestine. How was the journey to realizing this aspiration, and how did the dream begin?”

Shari’ah Court Judge Khuloud Al-Faqih: “We as Palestinians believe that rights are being taken from us by force. Palestinian women have been prevented from receiving this position without any justified reason… In the end, the appointment to this position is not [just] a success for Khuloud Al-Faqih, but a success for every woman.”

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PA Ministry of Women's Affairs expresses concern over rise in murder of women in the Gaza Strip 
Source: Amad, independent Palestinian news website, Apr. 23, 2017
Headline: "The [PA] Ministry of Women's Affairs expresses concern over the escalation in crimes of murdering women in the Gaza Strip"
     "The [PA] Ministry for Women's Affairs expressed great sorrow and concern over the rise in the extent of violence and murder against women in recent days, in the shadow of the blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip and the rise in the amount of Israeli violations of human rights.
This evening, Sunday [April 23, 2017], the ministry strongly condemned all of the violence and murder being committed against women in a press release. The ministry demanded that the relevant parties take firm legal steps to stop all forms of the crimes of violence against women, and particularly the crimes of murder. This is in order to prevent the perpetrators from evading punishment, whether the goal was theft or protecting the honor of the family, or due to the use of drugs, which muddle a person's brain and humanity. [The ministry said that] the first of these steps must be the enforcement of the law that considers crimes of murdering women to be crimes of deliberate murder and not accepting any justification for mitigating a sentence, allowing the perpetrator to evade punishment…
The ministry also demanded to remove the strangling blockade from the Gaza Strip in order to improve the financial situation, which has led to a worrying rise in the rates of unemployment and poverty, along with the quick legislation of laws that will guarantee the elimination of violence and discrimination."

PA TV: Viewers who use "beatings and violence to solve their marital problems" to obey the Quran's "religious rules for beatings" 
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, Apr. 1, 2017

Official PA TV reporter on Talk of the Land:
“To those who use beatings and violence to solve their marital problems: Carefully read the Quranic verse again [Sura 4:34]. There are solutions before giving beatings. If you have to, there are religious rules for beatings that must be obeyed. Guys, the goal of the beatings is rebuke in a way that does not cause injury. You can even go ask someone about it.”
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The verse indicated is: “Men are in charge of women by [right of] what Allah has given one over the other and what they spend [for maintenance] from their wealth. So righteous women are devoutly obedient, guarding in [the husband's] absence what Allah would have them guard. But those [wives] from whom you fear arrogance - [first] advise them; [then if they persist], forsake them in bed; and [finally], strike them. But if they obey you [once more], seek no means against them. Indeed, Allah is ever Exalted and Grand” (Quran, Sura 4:34, Sahih International translation).

PA official: Palestinian mothers of terrorist “Martyrs”honored, compared to Al-Khansa who rejoiced when sons died in battle 
Source: Al-Ayyam, Mar. 28, 2017
Headline: “Al-Husseini honored mothers of prisoners from Jerusalem”

“[PA] Minister of Jerusalem Affairs and District Governor of Jerusalem Adnan Al-Husseini noted the sacrifice of Palestinian women, and Jerusalem [women] in particular, and their role in the path of freedom and independence on which the Palestinian procession is walking.
These statements were made yesterday morning [March 27, 2017], during a tribute ceremony for a group of mothers of prisoners from Jerusalem and female workers of the district and ministry at the district headquarters in the Al-Barid neighborhood [of northeast Jerusalem]…
Al-Husseini said: ‘Palestinian mothers continue in one way or another to be absent from the ranks of the ceremonies and the meetings that are planned for Women’s Day, and they celebrate as part of private ceremonies that only the Al-Khansas (see note –Ed.) of Palestine know how to do, in expectation of people who will bless them over the death of their sons the Martyrs (Shahid), prisoners, or wounded for the homeland.’”

Al-Khansa - an Arab woman and poet from the earliest period of Islam (7th century) famous and honored in Islamic tradition for rejoicing when all four of her sons died in battle as Martyrs. She has been lauded by the PA and often presented as a role model for mothers, and the PA has named 8 schools after her.

PA initiates campaign against erasing women’s names from the public space 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Mar. 13, 2017
Headline: "A meeting of the My Name is Not Shameful campaign at the [PA] government's General Secretariat"
      "The [PA] government’s General Secretariat yesterday [March 12, 2017] hosted the second meeting of the My Name is Not Shameful campaign, in which all of the employees of the gender units in the government ministries and government institutes participated…
District Deputy Governor of Jericho and the [Jordan] Valley Jamal Rajoub said: 'I personally initiated this campaign when I noticed that during the preparations for the municipal elections in 2016 (in the end, the elections did not take place –Ed.) the names of the women candidates were concealed, as were the names of women on invitations to social events, and primarily weddings.' He said that the concealment of women's names 'constitutes a continuation of the policy of violence towards them and a continuation of the outdated traditions and customs and of a misguided legacy that is as far as possible from religion.’"

Palestinian women's rights group outraged that rapists and murderers receive reduced sentences 
Source: Ma’an, independent Palestinian news agency, Mar. 7, 2017
Headline: "Article 99 murders women twice"
     "The [PA] Ramallah court on Oct. 19 [2016] convicted a man from Tulkarem of rape, in contradiction of the directives of clause 296 of [Palestinian] Penal Law No. 16 of 1960, and sentenced him to manual labor for three years. However, in light of 'the waiver of personal right' (i.e., a legal device by which the victim or the victim's family can waive the victim's rights), it was decided to reduce his sentence to a year and a half, from which the half year he had spent in detention until his trial was deducted. This is according to a press statement issued by the public prosecutor's office.
On the same subject, institutions involved in women's rights, led by Women Media and Development TAM, are preparing to submit a petition to [PA] Prime Minister [Rami Hamdallah] demanding that he revoke and suspend the use of Article 99 of Penal Law No. 16 of 1960 in cases of murder of women, which provides mitigating circumstances to crimes of murder and allows the use of 'the waiver of personal right' as one of the reasons for reducing the punishment, which is reduced up to half, and in this way the criminal is sentenced to [only] a few years, after which he goes free after he committed a terrible crime against his sister, mother, wife, or daughter.
Director of the Women's Courts Project in the TAM organization Victoria Shukri said to [Palestinian news agency] Ma'an that... 'A man who murdered his wife in one of the Palestinian cities is released after two and a half years? Why? Because his [the murderers] family waived the [wife's] personal right after he was sentenced to 15 years.' This is a living example presented by Shukri, who even added: 'The statistics show that in 95% of the murders of women in Palestine the personal right is waived.'
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Gaza inequality: Woman sentenced to death by hanging for murdering husband, men who murder women receive reduced sentences 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Dec. 21, 2016
Headline: “Gaza: A women’s rights center demands to cancel the death sentence that was imposed on Nahla Abu Anza”

“The Center for Women’s Legal Research and Consulting [in Gaza] strongly condemned the death sentence that a court of first instance (i.e., a trial court where legal proceedings are begun) in Khan Yunis imposed on Oct. 5, [2016,] on Nahla Abu Anza, 26, a resident of the village of Abasan Al-Jadida, east of Khan Yunis, after she was convicted of the premeditated murder of her husband Riyad Abu Anza, 36. This is the first legal case of its kind in the last 20 years of the history of Palestinian law in which a death sentence by hanging is imposed on a woman.

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Over 87,000 Palestinian women are paid less than minimum wage 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Dec. 5, 2016
Headline: “Female workers who were swallowed up by the exploitation – 87,000 women do not receive minimum wage, and there are no complaints out of fear of ‘losing’ the position”
     “The time has come to go to work, and Hanan Yassin needs to go quickly to the private clinic of two doctors who treat people’s pains – and implant extraordinary pain in her heart. The clinic is full of patients. The young woman, in her thirties, registers the names and organizes the queue. A call comes in from a doctor who asks her to prepare coffee or tea and clean the kitchen and bathroom. Hanan experiences an internal struggle: The undergraduate degree that she received did not help her to obtain a position in which she would be respected, and she was forced to work as a secretary in a private clinic for 800 [Israeli] shekels a month. She finds herself compelled to work in difficult conditions, and she does not receive the minimum wage – 1,450 shekels…
Hanan is just one case that exposes the difficult conditions of many [Palestinian] female workers, who do not receive their elementary right – minimum wage…
Secretary-General of the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions Shaher Saed… expressed surprise that complaints are not being submitted, at a time when [success in] suing in court is 100% guaranteed.
He added: ‘However, we cannot submit a complaint without the person whose right was violated turning to us and [lodging a] complaint with us.’ …
Saeb clarified that over 87,000 women do not receive minimum wage. He noted that women are the group that suffers the most from violation [of rights] in everything connected to the minimum wage, and he called to publicly expose everyone who employs women at a salary lower than minimum wage.”

Mufti on PA TV explains how to discipline a wife: “Rebuke her, forsake her in bed, beat her – [use] a small brush or a handkerchief, and the number of blows should not exceed 10” 
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, Nov. 24, 2016
Academic lecturer on Islam and Mufti Sheikh Samih Hajjaj: “A man wanted to take revenge on [his] wife so he locked her in the bathroom. She is from a respectable family and he locked her up for 25 days. In the morning he would give her pita bread, a plate of red pepper, and a beating with a rubber pipe. In the evening he would give her a plate of red pepper, pita bread, and a beating with a rubber pipe. For 25 days. On the 25th day he didn’t pay attention and left the bathroom door open, may Allah protect us all. She fled to her parents’ home. ‘Why did you do this, sir?’ He said: ‘Didn’t you read the Quran? Allah said: “But those [wives] from whom you fear arrogance - [first] advise them; [then if they persist], forsake them in bed; and [finally], strike them”’ ... Even if he had acted gradually, he did not have to beat her in this way. ‘[First] advise them.’ Let’s say that a husband senses that his wife is lying. First he needs to rebuke her and quote the Quran and Hadith on the ban on lying. If that does not work, he need to forsake her in bed... The [Muslim] scholars said that the beating can be with a small brush or a handkerchief, and the number of blows should not exceed 10.”
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Official PA daily reports significant setback in number of women running for election 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Sept. 1, 2016
Headline: “The parties marginalize the role of women in political participation”
     “The millions of dollars that the women’s associations, centers for defending women’s rights, and party activists are transferring have not achieved advancement towards strengthening the role of women in political participation, as the presence of women on the lists of candidates for local elections has suffered a substantial setback compared to previous elections. If not for the law requiring the presence of women in one of [both] the first five and the first nine spots, it is possible that women would not appear on the lists at all. This matter raises a long list of speculations regarding this marginalization of women, even by the parties that pretend to protect women’s rights and wave the slogan of strengthening their political participation... Women appeared on most of the candidate lists only because it is required by law, and women do not appear in the first spot on any of the major cities’ lists, except for one list in Nablus. There is a woman in the second spot on another list in the same city, and in the first spot on one of the lists in Gaza City. In Ramallah there is a woman in the third spot on two lists, and in Tubas on one list out of eight. In Jericho there is a woman in the third position on only one list, and that is also how it is in Hebron. On the other lists, women are generally found in the fifth and ninth spots, as they are the positions guaranteed to them by law. Likewise, the rate of women contending in the elections is lower than the previous time, when it reached 25%.

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