Photo Credit: Majdi Fathi/TPS
Women protestors in Gaza city hold posters with the image of Maher Al-Akhras, a member of the Islamic Jihad militant group, who went on a hunger strike during his detention in an Israeli prison and was hospitalized in a serious condition. They call for his release. Gaza, Oct 12, 2020.

An encompassing survey conducted by the Central Bureau of Statistics in the Palestinian Authority (PA) revealed difficult data on the characteristics of violence in Palestinian Authority (PA/Gaza) society in 2019.

The recently published survey was conducted by a number of experts and summarizes the data collected in 2019 which indicates patterns and prevalence of violence.

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Violence against children

The survey draws a great deal of attention to the phenomenon of violence against children and youth aged 12 to 17 because 24% of all children on the street are subjected to verbal violence outside the family.

Some 36% of all boys who reported this and 11% of all girls reported this phenomenon.

In the PA controlled territories, 24% of the boys reported verbal violence on the street and in Gaza, 52% of the boys reported it. The rate of girls reporting such violence on the streets of the Gaza Strip is 10% and in the PA territories, 12% of them indicated that they had experienced such violence.

Regarding the rate of violence of all types in schools, the survey shows that 25% of children and youth were exposed to this phenomenon. 34% of schoolchildren in the Gaza Strip reported violence in schools, as did 19% of Palestinian Authority students.

The survey segments the data and states that 36% of all boys experienced violence of any kind in schools and 15% of all girls in schools.

In the PA controlled territories, the proportion of girls who reported violence of any kind in schools is 13%, while in the Gaza Strip it is 17%.

Some 51% of the boys in the Gaza Strip reported violence in schools, while in the PA controlled areas, a quarter of all children and youth reported it.

Referring to physical violence in schools, the survey shows that 17% of youth and children in schools in general experienced physical violence. The segmentation of the data shows that 26% of the boys and 7% of the girls were subjected to physical violence in schools.

In the PA controlled areas, the rate of this phenomenon is 10% in general. Among the boys, 15% reported, and among the girls, 6% reported the phenomenon of physical violence in schools. In the Gaza Strip, the data indicate 26% of students who experienced physical violence in schools, of which 41% were boys and 10% girls.

The phenomenon of psychological violence in schools was also examined in the survey and showed that 15% of all youth and children experienced psychological violence. Among boys, the rate of the phenomenon is 18% and among girls 12%. Here, too, the data in the Gaza Strip are higher than those recorded in the Palestinian Authority.

Domestic violence against women

The survey examined patterns of violence against women by their husbands and found that 29% of all Arab women were subjected to violence of all kinds by their spouses. In the Gaza Strip, the proportion of these women is 38% and in the PA controlled areas, 24% of all women.

As for physical violence, the rate of married women being beaten by their husbands is 18%. In the Gaza Strip, this phenomenon characterizes 26% of married women, and in the PA controlled territories, 12% of women have experienced physical violence.

The survey also addressed the sensitive phenomenon of sexual violence by men against their wives and found that 9% of all women experienced sexual violence by husbands. In the Gaza Strip, 11% of them reported this, and in the PA, 8% of the women stated that they had been subjected to sexual violence.

The survey also showed that the rate of verbal violence by husbands against women is 57% and indicates that 52% of all women married in the PA and 64% of all women married in the Gaza Strip are subject to verbal violence.

Violence in public space

The survey addresses the range of characteristics of violence in PA/Gaza Arab society and reveals that 6% of youths between the ages of 18 and 29 were subjected to verbal violence in places of entertainment and shopping centers.

In the PA controlled areas, the rate of this phenomenon is 4% and in the Gaza Strip, 10%.

Like the young people, 5% of all young women were subjected to violence in the public sphere, both in the PA, where the rate of this phenomenon is 4%, and in the Gaza Strip, where the rate is 6%.

The survey also shows that 3% of all married women between the ages of 18 and 64 in the PA experienced verbal violence in places of entertainment and commerce in the public sphere.

4% of teens and children between the ages of 12 and 17 were subjected to physical and verbal violence in shopping centers in the public space. Of these, 7% are in the Gaza Strip and only 2% in the Palestinian Authority.

The survey also examined patterns of verbal violence in the street and found that 4% of all married women between the ages of 18 and 64 experienced verbal violence, as did 12% of men.

In the Gaza Strip, 18% of men were subjected to street violence, while in the PA, 8% of all men have been subjected to this type of violence.

Referring to the youth group aged 18 to 29, the survey shows that 21% of them experienced verbal violence on the street and here too the Gaza Strip leads with 28% of the young people who reported it, compared to 16% of young people in the PA controlled territories.

An examination of the phenomenon of violence in PA/Gaza colleges and universities shows that 4% of all young people aged 18 to 29 were subjected to verbal violence in colleges and universities.

With regard to verbal violence in the workplace, the survey states that 2% of all married women are subjected to such violence in the workplace, as are 8% of men.

For married men between the ages of 18 and 64, the rate of those who experienced psychological violence in the workplace is 6% in the PA, while in the Gaza Strip it is 12%.

Among young people, a rate of 10% reported verbal violence in the workplace. 8% of them in the PA and 13% in the Gaza Strip.

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Baruch reports on Arab affairs for TPS.