According to the World Health Organization ten years ago, at least 69 women had been forced to undergo labor at Israeli checkpoints. These shocking statistics are under reported and it is estimated that many more have existed since these statistics were gathered, some ten years ago. The Commissions report in 2008 noted that 71 women had children at checkpoints in 2007, showing that the discrimination increased.
According to statistics, 35 infants died as well as five of the mothers. Given that even with adequate medical facilities labour is never an easy process, Palestinian women face discrimination and health risks when simply trying to gain access to Israeli hospitals and medical clinics. The world community needs to voice its outrage, and women in particular need to support their sisters.
Minority women denied access to medical centers include other non-Jewish women; they are forced to give birth in cars, ambulances, and on the side of the road, and they will suffer and face insurmountable medical and emotional challenges that are detrimental to both the individual women and their families, because of their ordeals. What is Israel thinking? And how can they justify this barbarity?
Studies in March, 2010 showed that conditions were largely improved, however, there are still great concerns. Documents provided by UNISPAL do not state that women have not been denied, just that NGOs have not reported any. It is doubtful that 71 women in 2007 would have been forced into labor at a checkpoint and that none were subjected to these crimes 3 years later.
The March 2010 Report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on the issue of Palestinian pregnant women giving birth at Israeli checkpoints reads as follows, in part:
15. In a press release on 15 January 2009, UNFPA stated that, during the Israeli operation “Cast Lead” in the Gaza Strip, continuing violence and displacement presented serious risks to more than 40,000 pregnant women in Gaza. UNFPA stated that a “lack of access to critical health services, including emergency obstetric care, could mean the difference between life and death for many women and their babies. In normal circumstances, hundreds of pregnant women require care by qualified health-care providers every day in Gaza and 30 women on average undergo a Caesarean section — a procedure not readily available because of the conflict. Stress, trauma and poor nutrition could also result in life-threatening complications for the estimated 41,000 women who are likely to be pregnant at any time in Gaza.”
In its conclusion, the Commission noted these remarks in its report:
“20. The number of reported cases of births at checkpoints appears to have declined in recent years, to the extent that there has been no case (sic) reported since January 2009.”
The report notes were presented at the Thirteenth session, in March of 2010.
3. (The Commission) “…would appreciate receiving comments or observations on the basis of Commission resolution 2005/7… on the issue of Palestinian pregnant women giving birth at Israeli checkpoints.”
To support my assumption that NGOs are simply not reporting events, it is quite possible that women are simply not trying to access hospitals, given that they have repeatedly been turned away at checkpoints, and suffered at the checkpoints.
The Commission estimates that “41,000 women are like to be pregnant at any time in Gaza…” also bolsters my theory.
Again, instances reported by the UN High Commissioner in the 2008 UN General Assembly Annual Report, showed that in the previous year, 71 women had given birth at checkpoints.
(If you are in the IDF, or any other Israeli government post, and if you have incriminating texts or information regarding this issue, you can contact me and your information will be kept confidential. This is because I know Israelis can no longer access wikileaks.)
For more information on the work of the UN High Commission for the Coordination of Human Affairs in the West Bank and the Gaza, please click here.
Women and activists around the world must come the aid of Palestinian women, living under these horrible conditions, also, the support of spiritual and other groups would be helpful so that attention to these condition can be made public.
For more on the topic, you can get updated information about a variety of issues dealing directly with both women’s’ rights and general issues regarding the limited access across the West Bank, Gaza, and Israel.
And for the entire Commission notes.
Related to the news:
- IOF troops injure four pregnant women in Shufat | Jan 20, 2011