Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Piya Chatterjee

Reader 2

Elise Ferree


Although Palestinian women, compared to men and even boys, are significantly less likely to directly encounter injury and death by Israeli soldiers and settlers (OCHA, 2020), women in the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt) are not spared the violence of the Israeli occupation. This thesis argues that precisely because Palestinian women proliferate political resistance by bearing children and raising families which are categorically defined as a “demographic threat” (Weiss, 2020), women are distinctly and disproportionately subject to violence by Israel’s collective punishment. First, a historical backdrop is used to explain how the Israeli occupation, underpinned by settler colonialism, has developed a complex web of control over Palestinian life, with the ultimate goal being eliminating Palestinians from the land (Woolfe, 1998). Then, secondly, three facets of Israel’s occupation are selected and identified as key political determinants of health: restriction on movement, military offenses, and deprivation of resources. Their impact on Palestinian women’s daily lives and access to health care is examined. As I discuss the multifaceted, daily, and gendered modes of violence embedded in the Israeli occupation, I weave stories of resilient Palestinian women confronting the occupation and intracommunal patriarchy. Ultimately, through contemporary health data I measure how the “homefront [has emerged] as the battlefield” (Sharoni, 1994) for Palestinian women in recent years.