MIFTAH
Monday, 22 July. 2024
 
Your Key to Palestine
The Palestinian Initiatives for The Promotoion of Global Dialogue and Democracy
 
 
 

On June 19th, 2023, the Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue and Democracy – MIFTAH held a side event as part of the 53rd session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, highlighting the situation of Palestinian women and girls across historical Palestine and in exile under Israel’s military occupation, apartheid regime and settler-colonial project.

MIFTAH’s Joharah Baker briefed the audience on the varying Israeli crimes and human rights violations committed against Palestinian women and girls based on the imposed geographical fragmentation. In the occupied West Bank, Joharah discussed MIFTAH’s documentation of Israeli state-sponsored settler terrorism, systematic home demolitions and army night raids and their impact on women physically and psychologically. Regarding occupied Jerusalem, she explained that Palestinian Jerusalemite women continue to be isolated from their natural surroundings due to the annexation wall and numerous military checkpoints, talking about her own experience in this regard.

While discussing the situation of Palestinian women in the besieged Gaza Strip, Joharah mentioned that in addition to the dire conditions following a 16-year-long suffocating land, air, and sea blockade and closure, frequent Israeli aggressions on Gaza have made it almost impossible for women to seek proper medical healthcare inside Gaza or to seek medical referrals outside the besieged Strip, particularly female cancer patients as recently documented by MIFTAH.

MIFTAH also highlighted that deliberate Israeli police negligence in Palestinian areas inside Israel has led to a record increase in femicide, leading to the killing of 12 Palestinian last year alone. Palestinians there also face over 65 discriminatory laws, namely the family reunification law, which prevents mothers, wives and daughters from living with their families under one roof, leading to a denial of rights.

The speaker also explained that Palestinian women refugees residing in overcrowded camps and still denied their right of return, are denied access to basic services like access to water and electricity, which in turn leads to increased gender-based violence.

Joharah also touched on MIFTAH’s efforts domestically to push for the Family Protection Bill to be passed into law, in order to guarantee rights and protection for Palestinian women and girls, citing the predominantly patriarchal society in Palestine as a major source of discrimination against them.

The second panelist, Carrie Shelver from the Sexual Rights Initiative, talked about the importance of intersectional solidarity when it comes to Palestine and gender-related struggles. She also emphasized the need to have a progressive feminist discourse using an anti-colonial lens and including input from the global South. Finally, she discussed Israeli pinkwashing attempts that aim to obscure its crimes by promoting itself as a protector of women and depicting Palestinians as regressive.

Finally, Palestinian activist Nada Awad informed the audience of the responsibility and obligations of the international community to end Israel’s impunity and hold it accountable for its persistent crimes and human rights violations. She also laid out the various available tools and mechanisms for accountability, including the Commission of Inquiry, UN Special Rapporteurs, the International Criminal Court and the Convention of Ending All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).

The panelists concluded the event with a set of recommendations for the international community:

  • Ending Israel’s impunity and holding it accountable with effective and concrete steps

  • Political and Financial support for the UN Commission of Inquiry in light of baseless attacks

  • Support for the UN Special Rapporteur to the oPt in light of smear campaigns

  • Support the International Criminal Court investigation into Israeli war crimes

  • Support for the upcoming ICJ advisory opinion on the illegality of Israel’s occupation

 
 
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