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On 13 April 2021, the beginning of the fasting month of Ramadan, unrest began in East Jerusalem after the Israeli authorities installed metal barriers outside the Damascus Gate, blocking access to a public area for Palestinians. Although relative calm was restored with the removal of the metal obstacles on 25 April, tensions were also heightened by the Israeli authorities’ imminent eviction of four extended Palestinian refugee families from their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood, located in occupied East Jerusalem. The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has stated that the evictions, if ordered and implemented, would violate Israel’s obligations under international law. Palestinians held daily protests in Sheikh Jarrah in support of the families, triggering confrontations with Israeli settlers and Israeli security forces. Between 7 and 10 May, widespread clashes erupted across East Jerusalem, particularly around the Al Aqsa Mosque and the Damascus Gate.
The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated the socio-economic crisis in State of Palestine in which women have suffered more than men in almost all aspects of their labour-market participation and wellbeing. More than one in every two critical workers in health and education is a woman. In these sectors, increased working hours to fight the spread of the virus revealed one line of pandemic burden that fell disproportionately on women.