Palestinian women sit near a section of Israel's separation barrier at Qalandia checkpoint in front of a painted mural of Marwan Barghouti.
(photo credit: AFP PHOTO)
NEW YORK – Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon has demanded that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon revise a report disseminated by his office ahead of International Women’s Day that blames Israel for the violent conditions surrounding Palestinian women.
The report, issued for the 60th session of the UN’s Commission on the Status of Women to be held March 14-24, highlights the status of Palestinian women for the period from October 1, 2014, to September 30, 2015, and says the Israeli “occupation” is to blame for domestic violence against Palestinian women.
“Overcrowded living conditions and a lack of privacy” in Palestinian refugee camps cause “psychological distress among camp residents,” which combined with “the unstable political and security situation and discriminatory gender stereotypes and norms,” leads to this type of violence, the report stated.
“Refugee camps in the Occupied Palestinian Territory are among the most densely populated urban environments in the world and the conditions in these camps have deteriorated over decades, in both the Gaza Strip and the West Bank,” it adds. “Specifically for women and girls, this overcrowding limits their mobility, privacy and access to recreational spaces.”
In addition, section 10 of the report described the November 2014 terror attack in Jerusalem’s Har Nof synagogue as an “incident” in which five Israelis and two Palestinians were killed.
“This horrific episode was not an ‘incident.’ It was a carefully planned terror attack on a synagogue during morning prayers,” Ambassador Danon wrote in a letter to Ban Ki-moon.
“By equating the ‘two Palestinian men’ who carried out the massacre and the ‘five Israeli men’ whom they slaughtered, those with axes in their hands are treated in the same way as those holding prayer books.
“This report is a distortion of the truth and it should be amended immediately,” Danon stated.
The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) meets annually to discuss the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women. The 2016 theme for International Women’s Day, “Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality,” focuses on key targets of the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda including education for all girls; ending discrimination and violence against all women and girls everywhere; and putting a stop to female genital mutilation.