OIC condemns Israeli soldiers’ abuse of Palestinian women in Hebron

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An Israeli soldier stands guard holding an assault rifle as Palestinian women protest and bid farewell to a youth detained by Israeli forces following a demonstration against the expropriation of Palestinian lands by Israel in the village of Kfar Qaddum, near Nablus in the occupied West Bank, on January 18, 2019. (Photo by Jaafar Ashtiyeh / AFP)

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has strongly condemned the reported crimes of abuse and forced undressing of clothes against five Palestinian women by Israeli female soldiers in Hebron, a city in the occupied West Bank.

According to a leading Israeli newspaper, the incident occurred in July when two masked Israeli women soldiers with rifles and an attack dog raided an apartment building in Hebron and ordered five female members of a Palestinian family to strip naked. The soldiers threatened to release the dog if the women did not comply, the report said.

The OIC, which represents 57 Muslim-majority countries, issued a statement on Wednesday, calling the act a “heinous crime” and a violation of human rights and international law. The OIC also urged the relevant international organizations to pressure Israel to stop its daily violations of human rights in the Palestinian territories and to prosecute it legally and criminally before the competent international bodies.

The incident has also sparked outrage among Palestinian factions and civil society groups, who denounced it as a form of “sexual violence” and “collective punishment” against the Palestinian people. They called for holding the Israeli soldiers accountable and providing protection and support for the Palestinian women who were subjected to the abuse.

 

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