The Gaza War's Effect on Women - by Stephen Lendman
The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights' (PCHR) new report, titled "Through Women's Eyes," highlights "the Gender-Specific Impact and Consequences of Operation Cast Lead" and the ongoing siege, including 12 case study examples "through the victims' words." Several are discussed below.
In patriarchal Palestinian society, women traditionally are caregivers while men typically head households and are the main breadwinners. As a result, when widows are thrust into this role, they're often victimized by cultural, social and economic discrimination and marginalization. In Gaza today, it's hard for women to get by alone, so widows must either live with family members or remarry. The alternative is a hard struggle alone, something most Palestinian women try to avoid, but post-conflict many have no choice.
Besides the vast destruction from Operation Cast Lead claiming over 1,400 lives and thousands more wounded, 118 women were killed and 825 injured, in many cases severely enough to make it hard for them to get by. The majority of victims were in Northern Gaza and Gaza City where the heaviest fighting and bombardment occurred. PCHR listed the names of the dead by age, their address, date and place of attack, and date of death.
Israel said the death toll was an unavoidable part of its military operations during which efforts were made to minimize civilian casualties. PCHR debunked this as baseless by documenting numerous indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks against civilians and their property.
Individual testimonies bear witness that 83% of all fatalities were civilian, and so weren't most of the injured. "These crimes constitute serious violations of international law; they demand judicial redress." The September 25 Goldstone Commission's findings confirmed that Israel committed grievous war crimes that must not go unaddressed.
Israel's Imposed Closure of Gaza
The ongoing siege is a form of collective punishment, in direct violation of Fourth Geneva's Article 33 stating: