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On International Day for Elimination of Violence against Women, Palestinians urge to protect women living under Israeli occupation

Occupied Palestine (QNN)- 25 November is universally recognized as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. The United Nations marks the day by launching a 16-day campaign until 10 December, titled ‘UNiTE to End Violence Against Women’.

On this campaign, Palestinian and pro-Palestine activists have called on the international community to protect Palestinian women as under Israel’s occupation, Palestinian women are exposed to serious human rights violations.

They are exposed to injury and death amid Israeli forces’ use of excessive and lethal force.

From the start of the Peaceful Great Return March demonstrations, on 30 March 2018, over 1,800 women have been injured by Israeli occupation forces.

In Israel’s 2008 aggression on Gaza, 110 women were also killed.

In Israel’s deadly aggression on Gaza in May 2021, 38 women were killed, 397 were injured and 1,603 were forcefully displaced.

Palestinian women are also arrested and detained, as according to the Palestinian statistics, Israeli occupation authorities detained more than 16,000 Palestinian women since its occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip in June 1967.

Over the last 43 years, an estimated 10,000 Palestinian women have been arrested and/or detained under Israeli military orders.

Between 2007 and November 2008, 125 Palestinian women were arrested, detained or imprisoned in Israeli prisons and detention centers (56% of them between the ages of 20 and 30 and 13% of them under the age of 18).

There are now 34 Palestinian mothers and women held inside the Israeli jails.

Inside Israeli jails, Palestinian women suffer from harsh imprisonment conditions including medical negligence, denial of education, denial of family visits, solitary confinement, overcrowded cells that are often filled with insects and dirt and lack natural light. Personal health and hygiene needs are rarely addressed by prisons authorities, even in cases involving the detention of pregnant women.

Moreover, the majority of Palestinian women prisoners are subjected to some form of torture or ill-treatment throughout the process of their
arrest and detention, including beatings, insults, threats, body searches and sexually explicit harassment and psychological abuse.

Moreover, house demolitions affect Palestinian women, who often suffer from forcible displacement, homelessness, and loss of privacy during displacement. The result of losing their livelihood has profound economic, social, and psychological consequences on women and their families, who are often left homeless, or resulted to live in over-crowded, or less than adequate, conditions.

According to Al Mezan’s documentations, of the 740 residential units that were destroyed in Israel’s May aggression on the Gaza Strip, 114 are owned by women.

The Israeli offensive also caused significant damages to civilian infrastructure such as water and electricity supplies as well as industrial and commercial facilities, including 31 stores owned by women, who have lost their only source of income.

More women have also lost their husbands, fathers, or brothers, who, as is typical in patriarchal societies like that in Palestine, are often the sole breadwinners.

In the context of Israel’s 14-year illegal siege of the Gaza Strip, Palestinian women are among those who bear the highest burden. The closure impacts every aspect of life in Gaza, and exacerbates inter alia unemployment, poverty, food insecurity and lack of access to medical care.

Palestinian women also suffer from severe restrictions on freedom of movement, discrimination in the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, and the inability of the Palestinian Ministry of Health to tackle the pandemic.

Al Mezan’s documentation shows that in 2021, Palestinian women in Gaza filed 124 complaints challenging Israel’s rejection or delay in issuing medical permits for treatment in the West Bank. Sixty-two permits remain obstructed by the Israeli occupation authorities.

On the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, the Palestinians have reiterated their calls for the international community to protect women under Israel’s occupation and uphold its legal and moral obligations to put an end to systematic violations committed by the Israeli forces against women.

The international community, have said the Palestinians, must also end Israel’s impunity, ongoing closure of the Gaza Strip and prosecute all those suspected of committing gross and systematic violations of international law in the oPt.

Violence against Palestinian women on the hands of Israeli occupation is horrible and violates international law; the world must take bold actions against Israel, this is what the Palestinian and pro-Palestine activists are trying to say in this campagin.

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