Geneva, Switzerland- Sep.26.2017: The Palestinian Working Woman Society for Development (PWWSD) and Women's Centre for Legal Aid and Counseling (WCLAC) coordinated a side event in Geneva, Switzerland under the framework of the project "Promoting Advocacy and Lobbying Decision-Makers at the UN and International Platforms for Palestinian Women Peace and Security in the Framework of UNSCR1325", funded by the Swedish organization Kvinna Till Kvinna. The side event took place on Tuesday, 26 September, at 9:30 am in Room XV at the Palais des Nations in Geneva in conjunction with the 36th Human Rights Council Session.
The purpose of the side event was to shed light on the Israeli violations against Palestinian women under occupation reflecting on the report of the United Nations Independent Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza Conflict from a gender-sensitive perspective, demanding accountability for Israel's grave violations against the Palestinian people and the need to end 50 years of occupation. The side event included the screening of a short film titled, "Occupation is not only a Word" produced by the Network of NGOs in Gaza.
The representative of WCLAC, Ms. Rawan Zahran, provided a thorough overview on the Israeli occupation violations of Human Rights in the oPt and East Jerusalem focusing on three main thematic oppressive mechanisms that Israel use to ensure its dominance and control through ethnic cleansing: Nights Raids, Home Demolition and Revocation, and Prisoners. PWWSD representatives, Ms. Summar Rasras and Ms. Sandie Hanna, covered various point in their presentations, before different human rights organizations, including an overview on Gaza blockade, the restriction of movement of travelers as well as the supplies and medication. Ms. Rasras pointed out several testimonies regarding the psychological impact of the blockade on women that leads to traumas specially women that are in need for medical treatment. Ms. Hanna highlighted the mechanisms and reasons behind supporting calls to hold Israel accountable for its violations of the International Human Rights Law and the International Humanitarian Law, mainly in Gaza during the war in 2014.
The side event concluded with a call for the international community and the need to work on:
Ensuring that international humanitarian and human rights law are the basis of all interactions and cooperation agreements with Israel. Promote Israeli compliance with these laws, and ending the culture of impunity enjoyed by Israel.
- Reaffirming the Palestinian right to self-determination and to end the occupation of Palestine, and seeking a strong and durable solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict.
Calling on Israel to respect the dignity of the Palestinian people and ceasing its invasive and illegal practices of night raids, settlement construction, house demolition, and residency revocation, and ending the impunity enjoyed by the Israeli individuals involved in settler violence, whether state forces or non-state.