Gaza rallies: How women shape Great March of Return movement |

For the seventh Friday in a row, Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have taken part in popular protests calling for their right of return to the homes from which they were expelled from in 1948.

The rallies, launched on March 30, are part of the Great March of Return grassroots movement, which will culminate on May 15 to mark what Palestinians refer to as “the Nakba” or “catastrophe”.

On that day 70 years ago, the state of Israel came into being during a violent ethnic cleansing campaign that forcibly expelled more than 750,000 Palestinians from their towns and villages.

Since the start of the protests, the Israeli army has killed 48 Palestinians and wounded more than 8,500 with live ammunition, rubber-coated steel bullets and tear gas bombs. 

As documented in this series of photographs, Palestinian women have been at the forefront of the Gaza protests, taking on many roles as demonstrators, medical volunteers and cooks.

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