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A Vision for Palestinian Womens Rights Organizations based on the Global Study on the Implementation of UNSCR 1325
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Date posted: October 09, 2018
By MIFTAH

Last month, MIFTAH held a discussion session aimed at developing a position paper based on factsheets prepared by the organization on human rights violations against Palestinian women and girls by the Israeli occupation in Area C and Jerusalem. The session was part of MIFTAHs Project Conflict and Fragility funded by OXFAM as part of its program: Policy and Good Governance Dialogue.

The factsheet prepared by Dr. Anhar Asali on the violations against women and girls who live in Area C of the West Bank, focused on a number of particular violations: settlement expansion, land confiscation, home demolition, displacement and settler violence, in addition to Israeli checkpoints, all of which are considered breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which stipulates the necessary protection for the rights of the family. Article 27 of the Convention reads: Protected persons are entitled, in all circumstances, to respect for their persons, their honor, their family rights, their religious convictions and practices, and their manners and customs. This is in addition to the stipulation in the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women [CEDAW] regarding violence against women.

The factsheet concluded that the forms of violations women are subjected to negatively reflect on the details of Palestinian women and girls lives. It maintained that these violations intersect at the economic, political and social levels with the cultural, patriarchal and traditional structure which increasingly excludes and marginalizes women .

The participants confirmed that the lobbying and advocacy paper to be presented at the Human Rights Council 39th session under item 7 concerning oPt in September 2018 and in the side event, and must focus on how these violations impact women and girls in accessing basic services. That is, Palestinian women and girls are affected by the occupations policies vis--vis the environment in Area C, including the location of dumpsites and water and soil pollution from sewage water, which Israeli occupation authorities intentionally discard in these areas. This is in addition to the impacts of the separation wall and Israeli checkpoints on women and girls which impinges on their freedom of movement.

Gender expert Fida Barghouthi presented a factsheet during the session entitled Jerusalemite women and Israeli violations against them. The paper focused on the most significant Israeli violations Jerusalem women are exposed to including home demolitions and attacks on freedoms and basic rights which infringe on the daily lives of women such as residency rights, family reunification and arrests. This is in addition to the violence women and girls are exposed to from Israeli settlers.

In terms of residency rights and family reunification, participants including Jerusalemite leaders and human rights activists agreed on the need to focus on the repercussions of Israeli policies on Palestinian families particularly women through their use of various justifications to revoke residency rights. The most prominent of these excuses has been the Israeli policy of the center of life, which obliges permanent residents to repeatedly prove that their center of life is in the city in order to issue or renew their ID cards. This policy also affects the issuance of passports, marriage licenses and birth and death certificates. In this regard, attorney Luna OrIkat cited the means used by Israeli authorities to apply double standard and racist laws against Palestinians. She said these laws grant Jews the right of return or immigration and immediate citizenship upon arrival, which means any Jew can obtain residency and citizenship in the country. At the same time, racist stipulations within the Entry into Israel Law of 1952 and its accompanying regulations of 1974 were applied to all other non-Jews, i.e. Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem, who are considered permanent residents only.

On her part, MIFTAH CEO Ibtisam Husari stressed on the importance of addressing the newly-passed Israeli nation-state law and its impact on all the violations mentioned in the factsheet. She said this activity is part of MIFTAHs project for Promoting women peace and security agenda, adding that the position papers would be presented in several international forums, including the Human Rights Council in Geneva in order to hold Israel accountable for its violations against women. She also said the two factsheets constituted a database for organizing a series of sessions with PA government institutions.

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