The humanitarian context of occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) is unique amongst today’s humanitarian crises and remains directly tied to the impact of Occupation, now in its 50th year.
A protracted protection crisis continues. The first challenge is the continuing need for protection measures for at least 1.8 million Palestinians experiencing, or at risk of, conflict and violence, displacement and denial of access to livelihoods, among other threats. Second, is the need to ensure delivery of essential services such as water and health care for the most acutely vulnerable households, currently denied or restricted in access. And third is the need to support vulnerable households to better cope with the prolonged nature of the humanitarian crisis and the recurrent cycle of shocks, natural and manmade.
These dynamics are significantly magnified in the Gaza context by the ten-year long blockade, imposed by Israel citing security concerns after the takeover of Gaza by Hamas, and three major escalations of hostilities in six years: combined these factors have devastated public infrastructure, disrupted the delivery of basic services and undermined already vulnerable living conditions. Across the oPt, one in two Palestinians, or roughly two million people, will need some form of humanitarian assistance in 2017.