Israeli occupation exacerbating COVID-19 effects on Palestinian women: UN


UN Humanitarian Coordinator for the occupied Palestinian territory Lynn Hastings says the effects of COVID-19 pandemic on the Palestinian women have worsened amid Israeli violence across the occupied lands.

On the occasion of the International Women’s Day on Monday, Hastings in a statement censured rights violations against Palestinians, women in particular, the official Wafa news agency reported.

“While this year’s focus is on Women in Leadership, our commitment must be to all Palestinian women, including those with disabilities, in marginalized and rural communities, refugee camps, Area C, Hebron-H2, and in Gaza,” the statement read.

“The United Nations affirms its commitment to continue to work with the Palestinian people and government, and our partners, to combat discrimination and violence, advance human rights, and accelerate progress for girls and women everywhere.”

In February, Hastings urged Israel to allow humanitarian agencies to provide shelter, food and water to the vulnerable Palestinian communities living in Area C, which accounts for more than 60 percent of the occupied West Bank, and forms a significant part of a future Palestine state under the so-called two-state solution.

She also called on the regime to immediately halt its razing of Palestinian homes in the West Bank.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s plan for grabbing a huge swathe of the West Bank has left numerous Palestinian women and children homeless.

In addition to that, there has been a surge in cases of violence against the Palestinian women by Israeli forces since the pandemic broke out last year.

Several Palestinian women and minors were among those either killed or imprisoned by Israeli forces over the past few months. Human rights organizations have time and again censured the Tel Aviv regime for killing Palestinians with intentional lethal force and without justification in the West Bank.

Elsewhere in the statement, the UN official called on the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority to increase participation of female candidates in the upcoming Palestinian elections.

“Gender equality remains one of the most pressing challenges of our time as it is only with gender equality that we all thrive.”

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