Friday, 12 April. 2024
Your Key to Palestine
The Palestinian Initiatives for The Promotoion of Global Dialogue and Democracy

Your Excellency Secretary General
Mr, Antonio Guterres,

On the 22nd anniversary of UNSC Resolution 1325 and the annual open discussion at the Security Council for the advancement of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda, the Palestinian Women’s Civil Coalition for the Implementation of UNSC Resolution 1325 would like to bring your attention to the fact that the suffering of Palestinian women living in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) has unprecedentedly escalated since this resolution was passed, due to the Israeli occupation’s ongoing, hostile policies, systematic violations of human rights and grave breaches of international humanitarian law that are disproportionally impacting women and girls in the OPT. These violations include extra-judicial killings, arbitrary arrests, restriction on movement, military blockades, house demolitions, land confiscation and illegal de-facto and de-juri annexation, in addition to the ongoing isolation of areas of the OPT from one another. This has had both individual and collective impact on the lives of women, impeding their access to resources, compounded by the deteriorating economic situation due to the occupation’s control and dominance over land and resources. Added to this is the rise in poverty levels due to unemployment, military blockade on the Gaza Strip for over 15 years and the occupation’s exercise of systematic long-term violence against the Palestinian protected population in the OPT, settlement expansion combined with settlers’ violence and vandalism

The Palestinian Women’s Civil Coalition strongly believes that 22 years since the passage of UNSC Resolution 1325 has not resulted in concrete measures for the advancement of the women, peace and security agenda to Palestinian women living under Israeli prolonged military occupation. A lot still need yet to be made by the Security Council to maintain peace and security for Palestinian women living under military occupation. To the contrary, complications and challenges to Palestinian women have increased in terms of implementing the WPS agenda, due to Israeli impediments to its implementation. Israel, the occupying power, has also placed enormous obstacles before Palestinian women who seek to implement this resolution, given its continued occupation of the OPT and the absence of a just and durable solution to end this prolonged belligerent occupation. No concrete measures were taken by the international community to implement UN resolutions related to the question of Palestine, namely UN Resolutions 242, 338, 194 and 2334. Instead, Israel is intent on confiscating and annexing more land to build settlements, which has severed any path to the establishment of an independent and contiguous Palestinian state. Instead, OPT has been transformed into isolated islands more like the Bantustans of apartheid South Africa, as indicated in the most recent evidence based-report by Amnesty International, describing Israel as an apartheid regime, where one racial group is discriminating against other racial groups.

The Palestinian Women’s Civil Coalition, would also like to point out to the remarkable conclusions of a UN independent Commission of Inquiry (CoI) in its recent to the UN General Assembly in New York on 20/10/2022, which considered the Israeli occupation as unlawful according to international law. The report called on the UN General Assembly to ask the International Court of Justice for an urgent advisory opinion on the illegality of this prolonged military occupation, and the impacts of the Israeli illegal measures and violations against the Palestinian civilian population in the 1967 OPT.

Your Excellency UN Secretary General,

As the UNSC is meeting to discuss the advancement of the WPS agenda, we would like to draw to their attention the double standards employed by the United Nations in dealing with its own resolutions, especially when it comes to Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the practices of Israel, the occupying power against Palestinian civilian population. Israeli illegal policies in the OPT , has not only curtailed Resolution 1325 from guaranteeing protection for women and involving her in security and peacemaking, it has also thwarted all international tools and mechanisms for the protection of civilians in times of war and under occupation. This is due to the failure of the international human rights and humanitarian law especially the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention Relative to the Protections of Civilians at time of War and under occupation. The reason for this is that the UN itself is discriminatory and has double standards in its handling conflicts, and peoples’ causes due to the huge imbalance in justice and the policy of impunity, which Israeli, the occupying power enjoys. These policies have allowed Israel to escape from accountability or any punitive measures in accordance to UN Charter and more specifically Article 11 of UNSC Resolution 1325, which demands that perpetrators of crimes and violations during war are not afforded impunity. The fact that Israel is treated as a country above the law, and the absence of any form of accountability has only encouraged it to commit more crimes and violations. A case in point is the recent murdering of Palestinian Journalist Shirine Abu Akleh, where no one has been held accountable thus far, although the incident was caught on tape and there is hard evidence proving that her death was the result of premeditated and extrajudicial killing by the Israeli army.

During its evaluation and review of its action plan, the Palestinian Women’s Civil Coalition noted that Resolution 1325 and the nine subsequent resolutions, pinpointed the reasons for the outbreak and development of conflicts in various regions of the world to racial, religious and ethnic disputes. However, it excluded women under racist, colonialist occupation, which is the case of Palestinian women under Israeli occupation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, including occupied East Jerusalem. Thus, it has disregarded all international resolutions pertaining to the rights of the Palestinian people, over and above Israel’s disregard for its responsibilities as an occupying power. This necessitates a special resolution addressing the status of Palestinian women under racist, colonialist occupation, and addressing the root causes of the suffering of Palestinian women and the major obstacle they face in meaningful political participation, and in moving forward in the advancement of the women, peace and security agenda.

Mr. Secretary General,

Finally, we in the Palestinian Women’s Civil Coalition for the implementation of Resolution 1325, thank your Excellency for your understanding, and for conveying our concerns to all nation states during the open debate on WPS in the Security Council this year. We call on you to dedicate ample attention to the status of Palestinian women during the 22nd Security Council meeting on Resolution 1325, with the objective to develop and push forth the WPS agenda and put into action the role of international tools of accountability. We ask you to provide the necessary protection for Palestinian women under occupation, by closely overseeing the implementation of this resolution and the party responsible for impeding its application on the ground, namely, the Israeli occupying power that has exacerbated the suffering of Palestinian women at all levels and increased discriminatory measures against them.

With our sincere thanks and appreciation,
The Palestinian Women’s Civil Coalition for the Implementation of UNSCR1325

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