WILPF and the Women’s Centre for Legal Aid and Counseling (WLAC) made a statement today on the adoption of the Universal Periodic Review of Israel. This follows a 2017 joint submission to the UPR by the Community Action Center (CAC), The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA), WCLAC and WILPF that highlighted the impact of the Israeli occupation on Palestinian women.


29 June 2018

UN Human Rights Council 38th session (18 June to 6 July 2018)

Item 6: Universal Periodic Review

UPR of Israel

I speak on behalf of Women’s Center for Legal Aid and Counselling (WCLAC) and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF).

Among the 93 out of 240 recommendations supported, in whole or in part, by Israel there are several recommendations relating to gender equality and women’s rights.[1] These include recommendations on combating sexual violence and gender-based violence.[2]

However, Israel only noted a recommendation to “consider the adoption of a strategy on the protection of women’s rights in Gaza.”[3] The lack of support for this recommendation is inconsistent with Israel’s obligations under international law as an occupying Power. It is also very concerning in the light of the gendered impacts of the Israeli occupation on Palestinian women, many of which have been highlighted by our organisations and by the CEDAW Committee. In its Concluding Observations of last November, the Committee expressed concerns and made recommendations on issues, such as, restrictions to freedom of movement; discriminatory policy on housing permits for Palestinians; punitive house demolitions and forced evictions; the practice of night raids; and the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law (Temporary Order) relating to family reunification.[5]

The Committee also recommended that Israel “create an enabling environment in which Israeli and Palestinian women human rights defenders and non-governmental organizations working on gender equality and women’s empowerment may freely conduct their activities without undue restrictions, including on funding by foreign sources.”[6]

The Committee expressed regrets that Israel maintains its position that the Convention is not applicable beyond its own territory and reminded Israel, yet again, of its extraterritorial obligations. [7] It recommended that Israel “give full effect to the provisions of the Convention and implement its obligations under international humanitarian law with regard to all persons under its jurisdiction or effective control.”[8]

Pending Israel’s full compliance with UN Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) and General Assembly resolution 3236 (1974), Israel, as the occupying Power, must implement recommendations by the CEDAW Committee and other UN human rights bodies relating to the Occupied Palestinian Territory and comply fully with its international obligations.

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[1] See, for example, 118.30; 118.104-116

[2] 118.104; 118.113; 118.114; 118.115; 118.116

[3] 118.192

[4] See, for example, “Palestinian women under prolonged Israeli occupation: the gendered impact of occupation violence”,


[6] CEDAW/C/ISR/CO/6, paragraph 39.

[7] “The Committee regrets that the State party maintains its position that the Convention is not applicable beyond its own territory, such that it provided no information on the implementation of the Convention in the Occupied Palestinian Territory over which the State party exercises jurisdiction or effective control. It reiterates that the State party’s position is contrary to the position of the Committee and other treaty bodies, including the Human Rights Committee, the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Committee against Torture and the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, and the International Court of Justice (ibid., para. 12).” CEDAW/C/ISR/CO/6, paragraph 14

[8] CEDAW/C/ISR/CO/6, paragraph 15.