Peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine (S/2015/677).

Tuesday, September 1, 2015
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 
Sexual and Gender-Based Violence
Justice, Rule of Law and Security Sector Reform
Security Council Agenda Geographical Topic: 
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Peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine (S/2015/677).

Code: A/70/354-S/2015/677

Period of Time and Topic: This report was on the peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine. The report covers the period from September 2014 to August 2015.


This report contains replies by the Permanent Observer Mission of the State of Palestine and Permanent Mission of Israel to the UN concerning the notes verbales sent by the Secretary-General pursuant to General Assembly resolution 69/23. It also contains the Secretary-General’s observations on the current Israeli-Palestinian situation in light of international efforts towards a peaceful settlement. Ultimately, the report fails to incorporate a gender perspective, despite two instances of sex disaggregated data in the Palestinian note. This represents a noticeable decrease in the implementation of the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda from the previous report S/2014/650.

Replies to the Secretary-General’s note verbale and ‘Observations’

Overall, the report failed to consider the gender dimensions of the conflict, including both women’s protection and participation issues. The report missed the opportunity to include gender as a crosscutting issue in its analysis of the peace process, the protection of civilians, Palestinian refugees, and the humanitarian situation. At a minimum, the report should have also provided sex and age disaggregated data on all figures provided, which it failed to do consistently.[1] Both Palestinian and Israeli notes, and the Secretary-General failed to discuss women’s participation in the peace process. Despite the lack of peace negotiations during the reporting period due to the aftermath of the violence in 2014,[2] the report should have investigated and analysed the promotion of women and civil society in the ongoing peace process, and the protection of women’s human rights.

In the Palestinian note, women are cited among the casualties of Israeli military operations. By the August 2014 ceasefire, Israeli occupying forces had inflicted 2,251 deaths, of which 299 were women, and injured more than 11,000, of which 3,540 were women.[3] This technically counts as sex disaggregated data, however it was coupled with figures on children and absent on other reported data. Member States should refrain from including or manipulating data in order to garner sympathy or support, such as the victimisation of women with children. The inclusion and purpose of sex and age disaggregated data is to provide as much information of the context as possible so that evidence may guide effective and targeted solutions.

In discussing the plight of the 5.3 million Palestinian refugees in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and other displacement locations, the Palestinian note should have provided gender-specific information on women’s experiences within these camps, including the humanitarian situations within the Gaza Strip and West Bank.[4] The report in general should have discussed and analysed the provision of gender specific supplies and services, such as reproductive health services, sexual and psychosocial services, and ensured the participation of women and civil society in the design and supply of refugee camps.

Ideal Asks for WPS Transformation

At a minimum, sex and age disaggregated data should have been included across all areas of the report. In line with Security Council resolutions on WPS, gender should be included and analysed as a crosscutting theme in all reporting, including official correspondence between Member and Observer States and the Security Council. Women’s protection and participation issues were severely under-analysed, and this must be addressed in future reporting on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Women and civil society input is vital and must be encouraged at all levels in future peace negotiations and the process in general.


[1] S/2015/677 paras. 5.3, 5.10, 5.13, 6.14, 29, 31, 32, 34

[2] S/2015/677 para. 7

[3] S/2015/677 paras. 5.11, 5.12

[4] S/2015/677 para. 5.3