The International Commission Hashd celebrates Palestinian women and calls on all local and international actors to provide international protection for women in Palestine

The International Commission Hashd celebrates Palestinian women and calls on all local and international actors to provide international protection for women in Palestine

ImportantMainPress Release

Date: 8 Mar 2024

Press Release

“On the Occasion of International Women’s Day”

The International Commission “Hashd” celebrates Palestinian women and calls on all local and international actors to provide international protection for women in Palestine

The International Commission to Support Palestinians Rights (Hashd) extends its greetings to Palestinian women on the occasion of International Women’s Day, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1977, to remind the world of women’s rights. On the eighth of March this year, Palestinian women suffer from the crimes and woes of Israeli occupation and the ongoing genocide war for the sixth month in Gaza, and the continuation of Israeli aggression in the rest of the occupied Palestinian territories. It became clear from the early days of the aggression that the occupying forces were violating their obligations under international humanitarian law and international human rights law, as they committed clear acts of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. The occupying forces directly targeted civilians with the deliberate intention of causing the highest number of casualties and injuries among them. It was also evident in their organized targeting of residential homes by bombing them while inhabited, deliberately targeting civilians as they attempted to flee their homes and residential areas subjected to shelling. They also forcibly pursued those displaced from their homes and residential areas to shelters that were nothing but schools and tents lacking the minimum requirements for decent living conditions.

During the aggression, women and children were the most targeted and affected by Israeli crimes, despite their limited movement and attempts to stay in their homes. The forms of killing varied between death under the rubble of destroyed houses, inside shelters, or hospitals, or during attempts to flee from the areas under shelling to escape imminent death. Israeli occupying forces killed 9,000 women, while more than 20,000 were injured, causing mobility impairments for nearly 1,000 women, some of whom will be permanently disabled. Approximately 2,000 women out of 8,000 missing persons are still buried under the rubble of their homes, which turned into mass graves after being destroyed over the heads of their inhabitants.

Nearly 280 women, including elderly and infants, were documented to be arrested from Gaza, some of whom were subjected to extreme torture and mistreatment. Some reported being subjected to humiliating strip searches in front of soldiers, while others were raped, harassed, and tortured. Some women remain detained with complete blackout about their fate by the occupation authorities. All detainees from Gaza, exceeding 4,000 prisoners, can be classified as forcibly disappeared due to the lack of any information about them.

During the Israeli aggression, nearly one million girls and women were forcibly displaced with their families who lost their homes. They lived and still live in catastrophic and inhumane conditions due to hunger, thirst, diseases, and health epidemics. The risk of famine in Gaza has risen, and there is a severe shortage of food, with exhausted adaptive capacities. Surely, those who survived certain death in the Israeli aggression will suffer deeply ingrained psychological wounds that will haunt them for life. Some lost their sanity due to extreme fear, psychological pressure, and the long walks to safety, while others witnessed the killing of their children and husbands. Women suffered from collective punishments, including power cuts, water scarcity, limited humanitarian aid, water and food shortages, lack of medicine, and the collapse of humanitarian services due to the continuous Israeli aggression on the sector. Women also suffered from the lack of privacy and basic necessities in overcrowded shelters, in addition to the lack of health supplies, water, and sanitation materials. The martyrdom of thousands of men led to an increase in the proportion of households headed by women who now live in economic and humanitarian insecurity.

Approximately 60,000 pregnant women in the Gaza Strip suffer from complications of pregnancy and childbirth that are difficult to treat due to the lack of medical care, malnutrition, and dehydration. They face severe malnutrition, and many of their children are born underweight and suffer from health problems. Mothers who breastfeed their children suffer from reduced milk production due to malnutrition, making it difficult to afford formula milk due to its high prices, forcing mothers to resort to insufficient or even unsafe alternatives for breastfeeding.

In the West Bank and Jerusalem, Israeli occupation assaults and crimes against women continued, with the most dangerous being the continuation of field killing operations, which resulted in the martyrdom of 4 citizens out of 423 martyrs and the injury of hundreds of women. Israeli forces arrested more than 300 women from the West Bank during 2023, including 200 since the start of the Israeli aggression on Gaza. Still, 56 of them remain detained in Israeli prisons, subjected to a series of violations ranging from beatings, insults, cursing, to interrogation methods, whether psychological or physical, such as beating, sleep deprivation, intimidation, terrorization, and harassment without regard to their physical and psychological nature and their special needs, in a manner that violates the minimum rights of women according to international conventions and norms.

At the national level, the marginalization of women and the lack of women’s participation in decision-making positions continue, as the division still has its implications on Palestinian women, hindering their political participation and enhancing their place and role at all levels.

The International Commission to Support Palestinians Rights (Hashd) extends its congratulations to Palestinian women and women around the world on International Women’s Day and reaffirms its support for Palestinian women. With high respect for their role in the national and humanitarian struggle of the Palestinian people, it records and demands the following:

  1. The International Commission “Hashd”: calls on the international community to end the state of paralysis and double standards and to work diligently to stop Israeli aggression and the genocide war. It urges the provision of international protection for Palestinian civilians, especially women, and pressures the Israeli occupation state for the comprehensive release of all women detainees in Israeli prisons. It also demands a serious investigation into reports of torture, harassment, rape, and other physical violations against some of them. Furthermore, it calls for enabling the Red Cross to fulfill its duty and visit all Palestinian prisoners, especially prisoners from Gaza, whose fate remains unknown, including female prisoners.
  2. The International Commission “Hashd”: calls on the State of Palestine to utilize all international contractual and non-contractual mechanisms to protect women in Palestine. It urges taking necessary measures to refer Israeli occupation crimes against women to the international judiciary and ensure the prosecution of perpetrators of crimes against women.
  3. The International Commission “Hashd”: calls on women around the world to activate solidarity with Palestinian women and organize popular and human rights protests to demand an immediate cessation of aggression, the entry of aid, the opening of crossings, and the establishment of humanitarian corridors to meet the needs of the population and women.
  4. The International Commission “Hashd”: calls on relevant United Nations women’s rights organizations to take clear positions against Israeli occupation crimes against women and pressure the International Criminal Court Prosecutor’s Office to investigate documented violations during the ongoing genocide war, especially crimes targeting civilians, women, and children, and hold perpetrators accountable.
  5. The International Commission “Hashd”: calls on the women’s and national movements to maximize their efforts to demand and pressure for the reconstruction of the Palestinian political system on the basis of partnership, democracy, ensuring the participation of all national, societal, and women in decision-making positions, and enhancing the national response to the demands of the women’s and Palestinian women’s movements.



The International Commission to Support Palestinians Rights (Hashd)



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