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Palestinian rights groups call for legal protection for women in war

Nov. 24, 2011 11:21 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 24, 2011 11:22 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Palestinian rights groups spoke out Thursday on the role of women in conflict and peace-building.

Gaza-headquartered Palestinian Center for Human Rights said Israeli forces killed three women and injured 35 in 2011 in the West Bank and Gaza, in a statement to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on Friday.

Israel's closure also impacts the human rights, welfare and social life of women "due to which the local community's violence against them has increased," the statement said.

PCHR documented three women killed in the West Bank and Gaza Strip "due to misuse of weapons and security chaos," it added, while applauding President Mahmoud Abbas' removal of legal obstacles to prosecuting so-called 'honor crimes' in May.

Ramallah-based Human Rights and Democracy Media Center SHAMS applauded the struggle of Arab women to restore their rights, and stressed "the important role that women can play in achieving peace and dissemination of its culture," in a statement marking the anniversary of UN resolution 1325, which demands attention to the role of women in conflict and peace.

It called on the international community to implement the resolution in Palestine, noting that "living for decades under the yoke of Israeli occupation has dramatically curtailed development opportunities for the Palestinian people in general and has increased violence and discrimination against Palestinian women in particular."

PCHR added that it "hopes, in view of the Palestinian reconciliation, that the Palestinian Legislative Council will resume its activities and will develop a unified Palestinian penal code that conforms to the spirit and essence of the Palestinian Basic Law and to international human rights standards in order to guarantee public rights and freedoms."
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