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Situation des femmes palestiniennes - débat de la 3ème commission de l'AG - Communiqué de presse (extraits) Français
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10 October 2006

General Assembly

        Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Sixty-first General Assembly
Third Committee
10th & 11th Meetings (AM & PM)



Draft Resolutions Introduced on World Social Summit Outcome, Ageing,
Trafficking in Persons, World Drug Problem, Strengthening UN Crime Programme


NADYA RASHEED, Observer of Palestine, said Palestinian women had borne the brunt of the illegal policies of Israel, the occupying Power.  For them, reality had been a constant and merciless assault of harassment and humiliation, violence and terror, punishment and discrimination.  As a result of home demolitions, women -- traditionally the central figures in their homes -- had suddenly found the centre of their existence pulled from underneath them.  They had been left relying on the charity of relatives or international humanitarian organizations to provide housing and food.  Such an environment had increased Palestinian women’s sense of anxiety, pushing them further into despair.

Restrictions on the movement of Palestinian people and goods, with more than 600 checkpoints throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, had resulted in pregnant women giving birth at military checkpoints.  Since September 2006, at least 69 Palestinian women had encountered such a horrible fate.  Many of the mothers and their children had suffered grave complications, even death, and the psychological affect could not be understated.  The Palestinian Authority had established a Ministry of Women’s Affairs in 2003 in hopes of advancing women’s rights, but it was impractical to speak of any real advances when the entire Palestinian population was being denied the most basic human rights.  Real concrete actions had to be taken by the international community to end Israel’s 39-year occupation.


Rights of Reply

Speaking in exercise of the right of reply, the representative of Israel responded to the statement by the representative of Palestine, saying it had been an attempt to shift the blame for the condition of Palestinian women onto his country.  Once again, the plight of Palestinian women was being exploited for political causes.  Regarding the Palestinian representative’s reference to Gaza, he said Israel had left Gaza a year ago, and that bold gesture had been met with Palestinian terror.  The election of Hamas meant that the future of Palestine was a matter of choice for the Palestinian people.  Within their own society, he continued, Palestinian women had been victims of violence, crimes and honour killings in increasing numbers.  Regarding checkpoints, if there was no terror, there would be no checkpoints.  Indeed, some Palestinian women had become terrorists and suicide bombers.

In response, the representative of Palestine said Israel was an occupying Power, and that Palestine would never allow Israel or anyone else to distort that fact.  Issues had to be viewed in the context of the occupation.  The biggest obstacle to peace was not terrorism, but occupation.  Regarding the unilateral disengagement from Gaza, no one could claim it was a step forward; rather, it had turned Gaza into an open-air prison, with Israel throwing away the key.  Israeli forces had gone back into Gaza and border checkpoints remained.  No one wanted peace more than the Palestinians, especially women, every day, every hour and every minute.

In response, the representative of Israel said his country cared about the plight of Palestinian women.  They were the daughters who could ensure a peaceful future, and the mothers who would raise the next generation.  With Hamas in control of the Government, however, their plight had not improved.  Nevertheless, Israel had not lost hope that Israeli and Palestinian women, working together, could help to resolve the conflict.

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For information media • not an official record

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