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PREGNANT WOMEN'S ACCESS TO HEALTH CARE IN THE OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN TERRITORY: APPLICATION UNDER THE ROME STATUTE OF THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT
Israel’s occupation regime and subsequent closure apparatus in Palestine manifests in numerous ways. In a span of seven years, Israeli military authorities delayed pregnant Palestinian women at checkpoints at an annual rate of ten percent, resulting in sixty-nine cases of birth en route to hospitals, with thirty-five infant and five maternal deaths. This dissertation tracks the historical development of childbirth and maternity health care services in Palestine, and discusses the effect of the Palestinian political context on the health of pregnant women. It goes on to establish that as a result of Israeli closure policies, restrictions placed on pregnant women’s access to health care constitutes a war crime of outrage upon personal dignity, as defined by Article 8(2)(b)xxi of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. While a number of births and deaths have been documented, many others have gone unnoticed. Existing reports fail to note any prior or post-traumatic stress disorders faced by pregnant Palestinian women as a result of this commonly occurring humiliating and degrading treatment. Moreover, national and international laws still remain unclear on the consequences and penalties of such acts. Between 2005 and 2009, the United Nations Commission on Human Rights issued several resolutions addressing the issue of Palestinian pregnant women giving birth at Israeli checkpoints. The United Nation’s concern regarding this issue is an indicator of the gravity of this problem. However, no legal recourse has been employed to attain justice for the women whose dignity has been violated or for the infants they lost. Given the inactivity of Israeli and Palestinian national judicial systems, this dissertation provides an international framework for adjudicating Israeli restrictions placed on the movement of pregnant Palestinian women.
NotesElectronic thesis available to American University authorized users only, per author's request.
Degree grantorAmerican University. Washington College of Law