Humanitarian Bulletin occupied Palestinian territory - February 2018
14 Mar 2018 Humanitarian Bulletin occupied Palestinian territory - February 2018 Reportfrom UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Published on 28 Feb 2018 Download PDF (2.63 MB)
â Donations of $3.5 million avert a halt of emergency fuel program in Gaza, preventing the collapse of vital services; available funding will be exhausted by mid-2018.
â Newly-built classrooms demolished in a Bedouin community located in an area planned for settlement expansion; 44 schools in Area C and East Jerusalem at risk of demolition.
â Closure of a West Ban k village, ongoing for over one month, generates hardship and raises concern about collective punishment.
Last monthâs Humanitarian Bulletin warned that the Gaza Strip was on the brink of collapse. The key drivers identified then were the lack of progress in the implementation of the reconciliation agreement between Fatah and Hamas; the unprecedented financial crisis facing UNRWA, one of the territoryâs main service providers; and the risk that funding for the emergency fuel provided by the UN in Gaza would be exhausted by mid-February.
The latter threat has been temporarily averted following last moment donations for a total of $3.5 million. However, currently available funding will cover only around half of the bare minimum required to maintain emergency fuel deliveries during 2018, assuming no further deterioration in the availability of electricity. The impact of the energy crisis in all sectors of society is illustrated in t his monthâs Bulletin by the case of a nine-year-old boy, whose dialysis sessions are being regularly disrupted due to electricity cuts, with serious ramifications on his health; and by an interview with a Gaza municipality official, who highlights the health and environmental risks stemming from the thousands of tons of uncollected rubbish currently piling up across the city due to lack of fuel to run the garbage trucks.
While UNRWAâs crisis remains largely unchanged, some emergency funding mechanisms have been recently mobilized to mitigate the impact of the crisis on the most vulnerable. On 13 March, the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) approved an exceptional grant of $15 million to UNRWA to support urgent food assistance through in-kind vouchers and cash for work opportunities for more than 600,000 Palestine refugees across the oPt. An additional loan of $15 million will support UNRWAâs life-saving humanitarian activities in all it fields of operation in t he Middle East, until additional funding is received. Prior to that, the Humanitarian Fund for the oPt, managed by OCHA, released $900,000 to provide support to 140,000 of the most vulnerable Palestinians in the West Bank, left by the cut in funding.
The allocation supports the deployment of mobile clinics in 39 West Bank communities, and maintains food distributions to Bedouin and herding in Area C, for a period of six months. An international conference to raise funds for the agency, with the attendance of the UN Secretary General, will be held on 15 March in Rome.
Another article in this Bulletin, which provides an overview of demolitions and displacements in the West Bank in January and February 2018, highlights the vulnerability of Palestinian communities in Area C. Among the structures targeted during this period, citing the lack of building permits, were two newly-built classrooms funded by donors in the Palestinian Bedouin community of Abu Nuwar. It is locate d in an area planned for the expansion of the Maâale Adumim settlement (the E1 plan) and is one of 46 communities in the central West Bank at risk of forcible transfer due to a coercive environment, including the promotion of relocation plans. A recent assessment indicates that 36 primary schools in Area C and eight in East Jerusalem, currently serving about 5,000 children, are at risk of demolition or seizure.
The final item in this monthâs Bulletin concerns the Israeli militaryâs blocking of vehicular access to and from Hizma, a Palestinian village of over 7,000 people in the Jerusalem governorate, reportedly in response to stone-throwing by Palestinian youth at Israeli vehicles. The closure, which is ongoing for over 40 days as of the time of writing, has disrupted the access of Hizma residents to services and livelihoods, with a disproportionate impact on young children, the elderly and disabled people. The closure of Palestinian localities following Palestinian at tacks against Israelis, including stonethrowing, has been taking place on a regular basis since late 2015. According to the UN Secretary-General this practice may amount to collective punishment, strictly prohibited under international humanitarian law.
Referring to the escalating humanitarian crisis in Gaza, in his February briefing to the Security Council, the UN Special Coordinator to the Peace Process, Nikolay Mladenov, warned that implementation of the intra-Palestinian agreement âhas stalledâ, and that in the absence of âimmediate steps to address the humanitarian crisis and to revive the economy, we will face a total institutional and economic collapse in Gaza. This is not an alarmist prediction â" it is a fact.â Regarding the West Bank, Mr. Mladenov reiterated âthat we in the international community must continue advocating for substantial Israeli policy changes â¦ including a halt to settlement construction, demolition of structures and prevention of Pal estinian development in Area C.â He also called âupon all sides to reject violence, condemn terror, ensure accountability and work to reduce tensions.âUN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit http://unocha.org/.
Primary countryoccupied Palestinian territory
- Situation Report
- Food and Nutrition
- Protection and Human Rights
- Shelter and Non-Food Items
- Water Sanitation Hygiene
- Aged Persons
- Persons with Disabilities