The Madison-Rafah Sister City Project

Israel’s Measures intended to Prevent Births within Gaza Strip

PCHR, March 9, 2024

On Saturday, 9 March 2024, The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) issued a new report titled, “Israel’s measures Intended to Prevent Births within Gaza Strip.” The report sheds light on Israel’s commission of one of the genocidal acts that is preventing births within a group.

The report lays out the catastrophic conditions facing pregnant women in the Gaza Strip, one of the most vulnerable categories and in need of lifesaving preventive and curative nutrition interventions. Estimates show that there are 50,000 pregnant women in shelters with no access to adequate food and proper healthcare, and 15% of them are likely to experience pregnancy or birth-related complications and need additional medical care that is not available.

Respectively, the report highlights Israel’s measures intended to prevent birth within the Gaza Strip amid lack of protection from military attacks. They are under direct attacks, resulting in killings, injuries, toxic gas inhalations and causing serious psychological and physical harm amid heightened feelings of fear and anxiety and lack of special protection. All of this combined will lead to preventing births and have serious consequences on reproductive health, including a rise in pregnancy pains, miscarriages, stillbirths and premature births.

The report then reviews Israeli violations resulting in provision of poor health services to pregnant women with no safe access. This has forced a lot of pregnant women to give birth in houses or shelters, worsening the birth-related complications, increasing their suffering and leaving them with unprecedented levels of stress.  Pregnant women unable to have safe access to health services are facing a double nightmare as if they need healthcare, they have to walk for a long distance or sometimes feel reluctant to ask for adequate healthcare.

The report also monitors Israel’s imposition of dire living conditions that increase pregnancy complications.  Due to the ongoing aggression, a lot of women became the caretaker of their families because their husbands were killed, injured, arrested or etc. Therefore, women bear greater responsibilities towards their children and families. Meanwhile, the aggression has led to forced mass displacement of civilians in light of the outbreak of epidemics and dire living conditions in shelters along with lack of electricity and water supplies.  All of this combined has increased pregnant and postpartum women’s suffering and health risks during pregnancy and after childbirth.

The report emphasizes that the Israeli serious human rights violations against pregnant women in the Gaza Strip amount to genocidal acts, in particular imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group.  It calls upon the international community to exert pressure on Israel to cease all genocidal acts, including imposing measures intended to prevent births within the Gaza Strip; comply with the legally-binding provisional measures order lately issued by the International Court of Justice to enable the provision of urgently needed basic services and humanitarian assistance; and fulfill its obligations as an occupying power in terms of its duty to transfer pregnant women to safe areas.

Read the report






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