Palestine

We have just visited the Gaza Strip where we met many courageous people trying to live relatively normal lives despite the crippling effects of the illegal Israeli blockade. The blockade was imposed to punish the Hamas-led government, but it is women and children who are paying the highest price. In our conversations with a range of women, we learned that despite the apparent "easing" of restrictions by Israel and Egypt, important socio-economic indicators such as poverty, malnutrition, unemployment and family violence are getting worse. Women in this conservative society find their domestic responsibilities made all the more difficult and time-consuming by the blockade -- and they bear the brunt of society's frustration and anger in such trying times.

The Palestinian Volleyball Union organized its first Women's Championships in 2010, won by a team from Bethlehem's Ibda center in the Duheisheh refugee camp. The team beat the Beit Sahour Orthodox Club three to one in the finals, hosted by the Catholic Action Center in Bethlehem on 12 November 2010. 

طالبت كاتبة فلسطينية دول الإتحاد الإوروبي والولايات المتحدة واليابان بالضغط على السلطة الفلسطينية من أجل إطلاق سراح المدون وليد الحسيني المتهم بالالحاد. ودافعت زينب رشيد عن حق الحسيني في التعبير عن آرائه واستغربت قيام سلطة علمانية بالقبض عليه واعتبرت ذلك مناقض للدستور ولبيان الاستقلال.

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) is gravely concerned over the unjustified intervention of the Ministry of Interior into public freedoms, closing a number of tourist places in Gaza City, imposing restrictions on their work and arresting one of these places' owners under the pretext of gender mixture and non-compliance with the Islamic customs. PCHR calls upon the government in Gaza to take all necessary measures to ensure and respect public freedoms which are constitutionally guaranteed under relevant international standards.

In Gaza, an unspoken rule bans women from riding bicycles after they have hit puberty. But last Saturday, one young Palestinian woman decided to defy the taboo, sparking smiles - and a few threats - from fellow Gaza residents. In a spur of the moment decision, 28-year-old Palestinian journalist Asmaa Alghoul decided to join three of her friends, two Italian human rights workers and an American, on a tour of Gaza by bicycle. On a warm summer's day, the two men and two women set off from the Egyptian border town of Rafah and headed north to Gaza city, along 30km of coastal road. But to Asmaa, the ride was more than a sunny day trip: women on bicycles are frowned upon in most Muslim societies, and the young woman had not ridden a bike since she was 14 years old.

Last night, 25 armed, masked men set fire to a U.N. summer camp at a beach in Nuseirat, Gaza, destroying inflatable pools and tents and roughing up a group of guards protecting the facility. It was the second attack on a U.N. recreation facility in just over a month. On May 23, a group of 30 masked, armed men set fire to another U.N. summer camp facility under construction in Gaza City. They also threatened to kill the U.N.'s top relief official in Gaza.

The slim owner of Gaza City's Gallery cafe has sharp eyes and a sharp tongue. It's easy to imagine him conversing with artists and actors -- he is also a theater director -- far into the night. But he crossed a line. He allowed female patrons at his cafe to smoke hookah pipes and to talk with men. He ignored demands by plainclothes police to rein in "immoral" behavior. In early May, police interrogated and accused him of having extramarital affairs. To persuade him to confess, they beat him with a 2-inch-thick, leather-covered bamboo rod for 50 minutes, and later forced him to stand on one leg for two hours.

Weeks after an UNRWA recreation center in Gaza was set alight by masked gunmen, the Sharek Youth Forum said it has suspended work in the coastal enclave, after its offices were raided several times by armed groups. A statement issued Wednesday said the youth group's equipment had been confiscated and its staff harassed. " Gazan youth are being prevented from expressing their views by unchecked armed groups.

فراس برس: القوة والجرأة هي أبرز السمات التي لمستها في الاقسام المختلفة للشرطة وخاصة قسم أمن النزيلات اللاتي كنّ يتحدثن بثقة تثير بداخلك الفضول لمعرفة طبيعة عملهن خاصة انهن يتواجدن في مكان ملييء بـ"المجرمات والمشبوهات" والشرطيات يرتدين قبعة الشرطة وبعضهن يضعن النجوم على اكتافهن وبعضهن منقبات.

فلسطين:اصوات: نساء فلسطينيات مثليات، تستنكر بحدة الهجوم العنيف على اسطول الحرية 
وتنادي بالبدأ فورا بتحقيق دولي حول الهجوم، معاقبة المسؤولين
ورفع الحصار عن غزه

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