Statement by the Psychosocial Counseling Center for Women (PSCCW) on the grave Violations against Women in Hebron
September 10, 2023
The Psychosocial Counseling Center for Women (PSCCW) expresses its profound concern and unequivocal condemnation regarding the deeply disturbing inhumane treatment that unfolded in Hebron, Occupied West Bank, on September 6, 2023. These events involved the disturbing mistreatment of Palestinian women by Israeli soldiers, an act that represents a grave breach of fundamental humanitarian laws and principles,
The disturbing experience endured by 5 Palestinian women in Hebron, marked by their coerced undressing and humiliation stands as a deplorable affront to their inherited dignity. The women were forced to completely undress and threatened with weapons and dogs to comply with the orders of the soldiers in front of their children who were screaming and crying out of fear. Such violations not only defy the principles of humanity but also constitute a grave violation of the basic principles of international law mainly article 27 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, article 7 of the ICCPR, article 1, 2 of the CEDAW, art 19 of the CRC, and article 2 of the UNCAT. Moreover, such violation stands against customary rules of international law that prohibits acts of violence, humiliation, and inhumane treatment against civilians, particularly in the context of armed conflict.
Palestinians in Hebron, especially those who are among the most vulnerable groups such as women and children have been experiencing several rights violations leading to psychosocial problems and stigma. A cornerstone of international humanitarian law is the protection of civilians, particularly women and children, who find themselves in conflict zones. The deliberate use of intimidation tactics, such as threats to release attack dogs, against Palestinian women, with their children as witnesses, not only violates their status as civilians but also subjects them to unwarranted harm and emotional trauma.
The crime that transpired in Hebron amount to a form of psychological and emotional torture. The intentional infliction of severe mental suffering, coupled with the humiliation endured by these women, represents a clear and egregious violation of the unequivocal prohibition against torture and inhuman treatment enshrined in international human rights law and humanitarian law.
Accountability is imperative to address these grave violations. Therefore, the PSCCW implores the international community to take immediate and resolute actions:
The PSCCW calls for urgent Intervention: We beseech the international community, the United Nations, and relevant human rights organizations to promptly intervene to ensure the safety and well-being of Palestinian women in Hebron. This intervention should prioritize the provision of necessary psychosocial support and assistance to address the trauma experienced by these women and their children.
Comprehensive Investigation: We call for a thorough and impartial investigation into these violations, led by a competent international body, to ensure accountability and justice. The investigation should aim to uncover the full extent of the violations and identify those responsible.
Legal Accountability: The perpetrators of these heinous acts must be held accountable under the full force of the law. Considering the gravity of these acts, we urge the international community to explore the possibility of classifying them as crimes against humanity. PSCCW stands steadfast in its commitment to upholding the rights and dignity of women in Hebron and calls upon the global community to join us in ensuring justice, accountability, and the protection of the most vulnerable in this conflict-ridden region. We must act swiftly to prevent further suffering and to reaffirm our collective commitment to the principles of human rights and international law.
Psychosocial Counseling Center for Women (PSCCW)
Email address: PSCCW@info.org