1325 – Protecting Women and Children in Masafer Yatta

Masafer Yatta, situated in the southern Hebron Hills, lies within Area C, meaning it is entirely under the control of the Israeli army and government. Israel declared the area a firing zone, even though it falls outside the Green Line, making such a declaration contrary to international law, and despite the fact that agricultural communities have resided there for many years. According to a Supreme Court ruling from this year, these communities are to be expelled!

Demolitions of homes and schools have already commenced. The army has denied access to basic infrastructure, such as water and electricity, and has initiated live ammunition and tank training within the villages. Those most affected by these actions are the women of Masafer Yatta, whose voices are seldom heard.

The expulsion impacts all Masafer Yatta residents, but particularly the women. The women who interviewed reported severe violations of basic rights, such as lack of access to water and hygiene, basic health services, and negative consequences for their children’s education, especially for their daughters. The women of Masafer Yatta can no longer contribute to their household’s livelihood, as they shoulder the full responsibility of caring for the wounded in the fight against expulsion and supporting the children who have lost their schools.

Under UN Resolution 1325, Israel is obligated to incorporate gender considerations in armed conflicts and crisis zones. However, the women of Masafer Yatta are not represented at the decision-making table, and their unique needs are not accounted for in the State of Israel’s considerations, which plans to expel them from their homes at any moment.

Recently, Itach-Ma’aki – Lawyers for Social Justice and the al-Tufula Center published a position paper on the expulsion’s impact on the women of Masafer Yatta, authored by Ms. Riham Nessara and endorsed by 40 civil society organizations.

The women of Masafer Yatta have clear and fundamental demands: “Stop violating our rights. Stop the expulsion. Join us in our struggle to protect our home, our children’s rights to education, health, movement, privacy, security, dignity, and our right to self-determination.”

We support the demands of the Palestinian women and urge all those involved in the decision-making process or with access to or influence over decision-making centers to do the same. Raise your voice!

The consequences of deportation of Masafer Yatta
communities on girls and women: