United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)

Pregnant women must get urgent access to health care in Occupied Palestinian Territory

UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, expresses its deep concern about recent reports of delays at Israeli checkpoints of women in labour, which have resulted in forced roadside births, and even death of some women and infants. It urges that civilians with urgent needs should have access to health facilities and that humanitarian organizations be allowed to work freely to alleviate the suffering of the people, especially women and children. More than 68 pregnant Palestinian women had to give birth at Israeli checkpoints during the last six years, leading to 34 miscarriages and the death of four women, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health. 

UN Agencies: Deeply alarmed by continuing violence in Gaza

The United Nations humanitarian agencies working in the occupied Palestinian territory are deeply alarmed by the impact continuing violence is having on civilians and civilian infrastructure in Gaza, which has resulted in a sharp decline in the humanitarian situation facing 1.4 million people, more than half of them children. We are concerned that with international attention focusing on Lebanon, the tragedy in Gaza is being forgotten. We estimate that since 28 June, 175 Palestinians have been killed, including approximately 40 children and eight women, and over 620 injured in the Gaza Strip. 

A woman's centre takes on domestic violence in the Gaza Strip

Sameera, sister to eight girls and mother to three daughters, suffered from domestic violence for years. Her husband, Adel, accused her of having a genetic defect since she had not given birth to a boy, and he routinely beat and neglected her and their daughters. Adel’s violent temper flared after the birth of their second daughter, while the family was living in dire circumstances in the midst of Al-Bureij Refugee Camp. He accused his wife of depriving him of an heir who would carry his name. He claimed she was incapable of bearing boys, “just like her mother who gave birth to eight girls.” Since there are more boys than girls on his family’s side, it seemed clear to him that she was at fault.