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Female activists dedicate Friday Bil’in march to Abu Rahma
By TOVAH LAZAROFF
01/07/2011
Israeli women’s organizations sign petition calling on the government to stop using tear gas to disperse demonstrations.
 
Female activists from 30 Israeli women’s organizations plan to join the weekly anti-barrier march in Bil’in Friday in memory of protester Jawaher Abu Rahma, 35, who died the day after last week’s march, allegedly as a result of inhaling tear gas.

IDF sources this week have speculated that Abu Rahma died of cancer and might not have even participated in the protest.

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Israeli activists, Palestinian medical experts and residents of Bil’in have said that Abu Rahma was at last week’s demonstration and died of an adverse reaction to the tear gas.

On Wednesday, Israeli women’s organizations signed a petition that called on the government to stop using such weapons to disperse demonstrations. They also accused the army of disseminating false information about her death.

IDF attacks against Palestinians protesting the barrier in the West Bank have led to the deaths of 21 demonstrators and the injury of thousands, the petition said.

“We express solidarity with our sisters across Palestine and Israel, and support their inalienable right to non-violent protest,” the petition said.

Dalit Baum, of the Coalition of Women for Peace, which initiated the petition, said, “Abu-Rahma’s murder is a form of violence against women, and it is plastered in the exact same way as other forms of violence against women are. As in all such cases, we women’s organizations will not be silent until those responsible will be held accountable.”

Among the groups who signed the petition and who plan to attend the march are: International Women’s Commission (IWC), Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), Isha L’Isha, Aswat, Kayan, Anwar – Arab-Jewish Women’s Leadership, Alliance of Progressive Women, Our Safe Home, Daughters of the Desert, Women for Themselves, Women in Black, Women and their Bodies, Arus el-Bahar, Sidreh, Women’s Equal Representation (WER), and Movement of Democratic Women in Israel.
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