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Last Updated: Thursday, 31 March, 2005, 10:22 GMT 11:22 UK
Palestinian women 'suffer doubly'
Palestinian women climb through the West Bank barrier at Abu Dis
Palestinian women climb through a section of Israel's West Bank barrier
Both Israel and the Palestinian Authority have been told to end the suffering of Palestinian women in a report by Amnesty International.

The human rights organisation says that Israeli military checkpoints, house demolitions and imprisonment have had a severe impact on Palestinian women.

The group also called on the Palestinians to repeal "sexist" laws and fully investigate honour killings.

Women had "borne the brunt" of the Israeli occupation, the report said.

Palestinian women's suffering has been two-fold. They have borne the brunt of conflict and decades of Israeli occupation and in Palestinian society they are also denied full rights and protection
Kate Allen
Amnesty International

The 36-page report details the impact on women of Israel's military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.

Tens of thousands of Palestinians - most of them women and children - have been made homeless by Israeli home demolitions, the report says.

The organisation blames the Israeli military for not allowing Palestinian women unimpeded access to medical treatment.

Scores of women have been forced to give birth at army checkpoints, the group say.

'Honour Killings'

The Palestinian Authority also comes in for heavy criticism in the report.

Amnesty say that violence against women, sex crimes and honour killings have increased in the last four and a half years whilst few of those responsible have been brought to justice.

"Palestinian women's suffering has been two-fold. They have borne the brunt of conflict and decades of Israeli occupation and in Palestinian society they are also denied full rights and protection," said Kate Allen of Amnesty International UK in a statement.

The organisation demanded both Israel and the Palestinian authorities take "urgent steps" to end hardships for Palestinian women.

The United Nations also recently called on Israel and the PA to ensure the safety and rights of women in the occupied territories.

A 2003 UN report found that Palestinian women's living conditions had "seriously declined" in 2002 and 2003 due to Israeli military closures.


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