This paper takes issue with a certain inconsistency in the collective portrait of Palestinian women citizens of Israel, as it is depicted in the feminist literature which emphasizes, simultaneously, multiple forms of oppression and impressive resisting capacities, but does not give sufficient explanation of how these two seemingly contradictory aspects interrelate. I argue, using ethnographic data, that more attention than that paid so far should be given to structural tensions between the various regimes that compose the Israeli-Palestinian gender order, notably the family, the state, and the national/ethnic communities. While the shared patriarchal nature of these regimes produces powerful experiences of omnipresent and naturalized oppression, competition among them allows women some very important latitude. My emphasis on the contradictory location of Palestinian women in Israel is intended to place their agency in finer perspective, through elaborating the structural setting within which it is made possible.

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