UN commission blames Israel for plight of Palestinian women

AP News
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Posted: Mar 20, 2015 7:02 PM

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. Commission on the Status of Women approved a resolution Friday blaming Israel's ongoing illegal occupation of Palestinian territory for "the grave situation of Palestinian women."

Israel's U.N. Ambassador Ron Prosor denounced the resolution saying it was further proof of the U.N.'s bias against Israel, as it was the only country singled out by the 45-member commission.

The resolution, sponsored by the Palestinians and South Africa, was adopted by a vote of 27-2 with 13 abstentions. The United States and Israel voted against it and European Union members abstained.

The vote took place on the final day of the commission's two-week meeting which reviewed the 150-page platform for action to achieve equality for women adopted at the U.N. women's conference in Beijing in 1995. The commission set a new goal of 2030 to achieve gender equality.

The resolution stressed the quest for equality and reaffirmed "that the Israeli occupation remains the major obstacle for Palestinian women with regard to their advancement, self-reliance and integration in the development of their society." It called on the international community to continue providing urgently needed assistance and services "to alleviate the dire humanitarian crisis being faced by Palestinian women and their families."

It also condemned last summer's Israeli-Palestinian conflict in Gaza which killed and injured thousands of civilians including hundreds of Palestinian women and girls.

Prosor accused the Palestinians of mistreating women, noting that "honor killings in the Palestinian Authority are a matter of daily occurrence, and employment of women stands at only 17 percent." That compares with 70 percent of men.

"Of the 193 member states in this institution, dozens slaughter innocent civilians and impose discriminatory laws that marginalize women and yet they all get a free pass," he said, noting that the commission includes "some of the worst violators of human rights like Iran and Sudan."