8 Bullets! Weapons training for PA security forces

I have recently met a friend of mine who was recruited in the PA National Guard. He was trained in Jericho and stationed in Qalqilya. I was curious to ask him about his job. When asked him how experienced he is in using weapons, he replied that he is not sure. I asked him how extensive was his training on weapons, he replied that during his weapons training course he was given only 8 bullets to fire. That was all his unit’s weapons training and then they were sent to service. I checked with a trainer who works in Jericho police training and he confirmed to me that most security forces receive no weapons training or no training at all.
8 bullets!


“The soldiers humiliate me. My husband beats me”

62% of palestinian women reported that they were victims of psychological violence during the year 2005.


80%of Palestinian girls aged five to 17 reported that they were exposed to violence in the home.

24% of married women in the West Bank and Gaza had been victims of domestic violence in the year 2005.


36% said that their husbands threatened and intimidated them into submission.


52% of Palestinian mothers believed that at least one of their children (aged five to 17) was exposed to violence.


18% reported that their husbands beat them to have sex.


47% of Palestinian women reported that their husbands used “force and brutality” during sexual intercourse.

These are some shocking figures from the latest report by Human Rights Watch on the status of Palestinian women in the year 2005: A Question of Security: Violence against Palestinian Women and Girls

At a time when the Palestinian people are suffering from the Israeli occupation which inflects its abuse and violence on both males and females, young and old, it is heart breaking to find out that the majority of Palestinian women and children are facing even more abuse at the hands of those who are supposed to exchange with them love and care.

We the Palestinian are a nation fond of romanticizing our women and idealizing their role in the miraculous rebirth of our nation and its survival under the sun. Our poets wrote poems of the ever loving, ever watchful Palestinian woman on whose shoulder leans the wounded fighter and from whose hands drinks the thirsty prisoner. To us the Palestinian woman represents the Palestinian land and vise versa.

But it is an image that conceals behind it a dark reality of abuse of this woman whose full share in the fighting and suffering did not shelter her from the chronic chauvinistic ills of the Arabic culture.

It seems that not only the Israeli occupation we have to liberate ourselves from. We have our own inner circles of occupation that need as much fighting and struggle. What joy will we have in the freedom of our lands if then we leave the souls of our mothers and sisters occupied by fear and humiliation?