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Israel must immediately implement a concrete humanitarian measure that prioritize needs of Palestinian women

Posted On: 22-02-2024 | National News , Human Rights
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Israel must immediately implement a ceasefire and concrete humanitarian measures that prioritize the needs of Palestinian women and girls in accordance with the International Court of Justice’s ruling of 26 January 2024, UN experts said today.

Experts said that at this stage of the conflict, there is an urgent and growing need to address the near-total disruption of schooling, massive destruction of housing, lack of access to sexual and reproductive health care and supplies, and heightened risk of arbitrary detention and violence, including gender-based violence, faced by women and girls in Gaza and the West Bank,” the UN experts said.

The experts expressed alarm at the severely limited access to medical treatment and essential supplies in hospitals, and reports of pregnant mothers having cesarean sections and injured children undergoing amputations without anesthesia.

“Given the critical humanitarian situation, all attacks and raids by Israeli forces on Gaza’s hospitals – less than a third of which are even partially operational – must stop immediately,” they said.

The experts called on Israel to adopt the following six gender-responsive measures as a matter of the highest priority in order to address the urgent needs and vulnerable conditions of women and girls in Gaza and the West Bank.

These measures include the implementation of an immediate ceasefire, taking all possible measures to avoid civilian casualties and displacement from Gaza, the establishment of a field hospital at the Rafah Crossing or offshore from Gaza specifically to provide medical assistance for pregnancy and amputations and protect existing hospitals, facilitating the delivery of food, drinking water, medicines, fuel and other supplies critical to the survival of women and girls and opening crossings for humanitarian aid and the movement of people, particularly the injured.

They also called for prioritizing adequate supplies of menstrual hygiene products for women and girls in Gaza, as well as sexual and reproductive health care and psychosocial support services and building additional shelters and schools in Gaza so that educational facilities are no longer used as shelters and girls can resume their education.

The experts urged for providing safe spaces and reparations for women and girls who have survived or are at risk of gender-based violence in Gaza and the West Bank, and ensuring accountability for those who perpetrate violence against them, including Israeli authorities and colonists.

They noted that the measures recommended represent practical steps that Israel could take to prevent and mitigate further harm to Palestinian women and children, as required by international human rights law and other international obligations.

“Implementing these measures would be a long overdue demonstration that Israel cares about the protection of civilians and respects their human rights,” they said.

The experts are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council.

Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN human rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms.

Special Procedures mandate-holders are independent human rights experts appointed by the Human Rights Council to address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world.

Special Procedures experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent of any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.

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