On 26 November 2013, the Palestinian Centre for
Human Rights (PCHR) published the second report of its kind; entitled “Through
Women’s Eyes”. This report focuses the
gender-specific implications and consequences of ‘Operation Pillar of
Defense.’ It was published in English
and will be translated and published into Arabic in the coming weeks.
As a result of the Israeli offensive, 14 women
were killed and at least 92 others were wounded. Although the number of
killings and injuries illustrates the serious humanitarian dimension of this
conflict, the true extent of the suffering lies in the daily life in the Gaza
Strip following ‘Operation Pillar of Defense.’ Civilians struggle to rebuild
their lives, cope with their loss and restore some semblance of human dignity.
PCHR has issued this report in order to
highlight the gender-specific impacts of ‘Operation Pillar of Defense.’ Due to the patriarchal nature of Palestinian
society, women in the Gaza Strip – victims of ‘peacetime’ discrimination – are
particularly susceptible to the marginalization, poverty, and suffering brought
by the occupation and armed conflict.
Israeli attacks often result in ignored gender-specific consequences
despite their seriousness. PCHR has
chosen to allow these consequences and the reality of life after the offensive
to be unfolded through the victims’ words.
Although this report is not prepared from the perspective of the
international law, it is suitable to express human rights and human suffering
through human stories.
This report addresses the cases of 12 women
affected by Israeli attacks over the course of ‘Operation Pillar of Defense.’
These examples are intended to demonstrate the extent of civilians’ suffering
in the Gaza Strip and the continuing difficulties they face due to the
devastation caused by the Israeli forces and the ongoing illegal closure.
“Through Women’s Eyes” highlights the
difficulties facing women in the Gaza Strip while attempting to live with their
grief, injuries and the loss of their children, husbands, relatives, homes, and
livelihoods. These narratives are expressive not only the tribulations faced by
women in the Gaza Strip, but also of the resilience and strength they have
shown over 42 years of conflict and occupation.
It should be mentioned that PCHR’s first
“Through Women’s Eyes” report was released on 28 September 2009. It addressed the gender-specific impacts and
consequences of ‘Operation Cast Lead,’ during which 118 women were killed and
825 others were wounded.