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Oldest Palestinian woman dies at age 109

April 17, 2017 6:34 P.M. (Updated: April 18, 2017 7:30 P.M.)
A Palestinian woman walks amid the rubble of buildings destroyed during the 2014 war in the southern Gaza Strip. (AFP/Said Khatib, File)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- The oldest Palestinian woman died at age 109 on Monday, according to official Palestinian Authority (PA) news agency Wafa.

Labiba Mahmoud Odeh, who was born in 1908, died of natural causes in the Nablus-area village of Qaryut in the northern occupied West Bank, her son told Wafa on Monday.

Odeh -- a mother of five and grandmother and great-grandmother to more than 80 -- never suffered from any diseases and maintained a healthy lifestyle, according to her son.

Odeh’s son noted that as his mother lived through more than a century, she was a witness to some of the most significant time periods in Palestine’s history, including the period of Ottoman rule, the British Mandate, Jordanian rule, and the current Israeli occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Labiba Odeh was 9 years old when the United Kingdom's Balfour Declaration promised to give away Palestinian lands for the establishment of a Jewish state in 1917; 40 years old during the Nakba, when 700,000 Palestinians were forced to flee their villages during the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948; and 59 years old during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, when Israel seized control of the Gaza Strip from Egypt and the West Bank and East Jerusalem from Jordan.

Odeh’s death comes two months before the 50th anniversary of the 1967 war and the occupation of Palestine.

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