Paper presented by Zahira Kamal, Director
General of the Directorate of Gender Planning and Development,
Ministry of planning and International Co-operation, PNA
The current Intifada is a direct response
to people's frustrations after 34 years of Israeli military
occupation of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem. More
specifically, it is a manifestation of the public's general
disillusionment with the Oslo Accords. After seven years of
the peace process, the military occupation remains, settlement
activities have increased, and Israeli governmental policies
continue to stifle Palestinian economic and political life.
The second Intifada began on 28 September
2000, as a result of the provocative visit of minister Ariel
Sharon to the Haram Al-Sharif in Jerusalem. He arrived at
the Muslim sanctuary with 1,500 heavily armed Israeli security
forces. The next day, these forces responded to Palestinian
protests against Sharon's visit with excessive force, firing
tear gas, rubber-coated metal bullets and live ammunition
at worshipers and protestors. Around 200 civilians were injured
and six killed. Demonstrations and clashes erupted throughout
the West Bank and Gaza Strip in direct response to the killings
in Jerusalem, and Palestine entered into a state of emergency
as Israeli aggression against civilians intensified. The Israeli
army continues to escalate its deadly use of force, attacking
men, women and children with tear gas, rubber-coated metal
bullets, explosive high-velocity ammunition, anti-tank missiles,
tank shells and attacks from helicopters gunship and F- 16s.
Israel's policies during the Intifada have
led to devastation and disruption in all areas of Palestinian
life. From 29 September 2000 until 22 July, 2002, 1,761Palestinians
were killed1, and about
20,000 injured2. Approximately
2,000 of those injured will be left permanently disabled,
500 of whome are children according to an estimate by the
Ministry of Health.
As of July22, 2002:
those killed, 85,3 % were civilians.
of those killed are women.
(21,1%) of those killed aged 18 or younger .
Palestinians were killed by live ammunition, 302 were killed
by missiles and tank fire, 10 were killed by tear gas, and
the prevention of medical treatment led to 50 deaths, 131
were killed by Israeli settlers.
In conjunction with its excessive use of
force against civilian demonstrators, the Israeli government
has systematically destroyed houses, industrial plants and
orchards. Furthermore, it has imposed various collective punishment
measures which have served to choke the physical, mental,
political, economic and social life of Palestine. The Israeli
government has imposed arbitrary curfews preventing Palestinians
from leaving their homes. It has also imposed a strict
internal and external border closure, which has severely restricted
mobility between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and between
the cities and villages throughout the Occupied Territories.