The Security Council met on 23 June 2014 to discuss the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question. Jeffrey Feltman, Under
Secretary-General for Political Affairs, provided the Council with a brief on a number of recent developments in Gaza, Lebanon, and Syria. With
the recent kidnapping of three Israeli students, violence perpetrated by Israeli security forces and Palestinian militants resumed with a fervor.
Israeli security forces extended search operations to the rest of the West Bank resulting in the arrest of 350 Palestinians and killing of four
Palestinians, including one minor. Overall, since the last briefing (S/PV.7178) Israeli security forces have arrested a total of 928 Palestinians and
killed five during these searches. Illegal settlement activity has, also, resumed thus causing the displacement of 112 Palestinians. Hamas has also
been found to be further antagonizing the conflict through inflammatory statements and illegal arms. In response to Lebanon’s delay in electing a
president, Mr. Feltman underlined the urgency for the Lebanese government to ensure the election without further delay. Syria’s conflict has
caused the number of Syrian refugees in Lebanon to rise to over 1.1 million. While the recent removable of chemical weapons in Syria is a major
landmark, Mr. Feltman underlined the dire need for a credible peace process to ensure accountability for all human rights violations committed
and for new efforts to start a political process. The Under SG for Political Affairs indicated that the prolonged Syrian conflict has led to the rise
of radical armed groups testing the overall region that ultimately necessitates greater international and regional party involvement.
The Council failed to address any women, peace and security concerns.
Women, peace and security issues are completely absent in the Under SG for Political Affair’s debrief on the situation in the Middle East. While
Mr. Feltman does call for the cessation of civilian-targeted violence by both the Israeli security forces and Palestinian militants, he neglects to do
the same for gender-specific violence such as SGBV. He should explicitly call for women’s human right’s protection as well as the provision of
sex-disaggregated data of all human right’s violations. Regarding Lebanon’s influx of Syrian refugees, there is absolutely no mention of the
provision of and access to gender-specific services. Mr. Feltman fails to even encourage a gender analysis on present humanitarian services
afforded to these refugees. In both his debrief of the political situation in Lebanon and Syria, Mr. Feltman fails to address women’s promotion
concerns in the peace-building and political processes. He does not urge the Council to call for the full and meaningful participation of women in
either the delayed appointment of the Lebanese president nor in the creation of political processes in Syria.
In the meeting, the Security Council does address the structural challenges in Gaza regarding the limited crossings for both goods and people.
While this indirectly does affect women, no specific gender reference is made. The recent February 2014 MAP recommended that the Council
explicitly promote the role of women in both the conflict resolution and peace-building initiatives in the region. The MAP, also, called for the
cessation of women-targeted violence in both Israel and Palestine. Furthermore, the MAP urged for the cessation of infrastructure damage and
denial of access to education and health. While Mr. Feltman does address the need for urgent need for the resumption of additional United
Nations construction, no reference is made of women’s concerns in this reconstruction.
This meeting’s debrief paid no attention to women, peace and security concerns in regards to civilian-targeted violence, refugee assistance, and
the peace building/political processes across the region. In the previous, no information was provided on actions taken to further women’s
concerns. Overall, the Security Council has made no progress in including and addressing women’s peace and security concerns in the Middle