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Abstract

Inter-clan conflicts within Northern Israel's Arab community may pit dozens, hundreds, sometimes thousands of people against each other in revenge and counter-revenge cycles that can take years to resolve. Because disputants' clans often live in close proximity to each other, third party interveners- Sulha (Settlement) Makers, mitigate against possible revenge attacks, sometimes command the extended family of the perceived perpetrator to leave their homes and move to another village or town. This exile (tarhil in Arabic) often impacts dozens of family members (mostly women and children), and can extend years, sometimes decades. Such enforced exile has a severe impact on the women (and other members) of the exiled family. In exile, such women and their families are tom away from their organic living environment: they and their children are often transplanted into an unwelcoming new setting where they have to reconstruct life almost from scratch. Furthermore, these very same women are excluded from any formal participation in the resolution of such conflicts which almost always occur through the Sulha, an inter-intra clan, customary justice application practiced, with variations, throughout the Muslim/Arab world. This paper uses interviews literature, case studies, and analysis to locate and describe the ways in which inter-intra clan disputes impact women in Northern Israel's Arab community, and then locates and describes the informal yet influential cultural and functional ways in which women impact the process and outcome of Sulha, during and after the conflict.

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