Posted on 15 December 2017

The Monthly Humanitarian Bulletin | November 2017

Floods due to mild rainfall in Khani Yunis, November 2017. © Photo by OCHA
Floods due to mild rainfall in Khani Yunis, November 2017. © Photo by OCHA
Over 560,000 Palestinians in Gaza residing in areas prone to flooding are at risk of temporary displacement due to the precarious state of infrastructure. 2017 marked a record of US$18.2 million in revenue for agricultural exports from Gaza in an otherwise poor economic situation, with the unemployment rate reaching over 46 per cent. Around 1,300 Palestinians in twelve herding communities in southern Hebron affected by intense Israeli military training and additional access restrictions, exacerbating the coercive environment facing them. The 2017 olive harvest season in the West Bank impacted by a rise in incidents of settler violence, and access restrictions to lands behind the Barrier and near Israeli settlements.

In this document

Clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinians in the context of a demonstration in protest of the US announcement regarding Jerusalem, Bethlehem city, December 2017. © Photo by Ahmad Mizher – WAFA

The second week of December 2017 has been marked by heightened unrest across the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt). The 6 December announcement concerning the United States’ recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel triggered widespread demonstrations and clashes between Palestinians and Israeli forces.

Children on their way back from school, during floods in Gaza city, January 2015. © Photo by Wissam Nassar

In the Gaza Strip, another winter season brings with it the threat of temporary displacement, property losses and health risks due to flooding and poor housing conditions. Insufficient funding, import restrictions, the ongoing energy crisis and the limited capacity of the Palestinian Civil Defense (PCD) are key factors that hinder the ability of the relevant actors to reduce vulnerability and respond effectively.

November marked the beginning of the peak season for the export of high-value cash crops such as strawberries. Growth in agricultural trade from the Gaza Strip in 2017 is encouraging news within an economic context characterized by sluggish growth and unemployment peaking at 46.6 per cent in the third quarter of 2017.

Resident of Jinba community (Massafer Yatta) transporting water, November 2017.© Photo by OCHA

Intense military training exercises over the past two months and the obstruction of key access routes have exacerbated the coercive environment imposed on approximately 1,300 residents of 12 Palestinian herding communities in southern Hebron.

Palestinian farmers picking ollives in land near Alon Moreh settlement requiring access coordination, Azmut village, October 31, 2017. © Photo by OCHA

The 2017 olive harvest season, which lasted roughly from mid-September to mid-November, was reported to have proceeded relatively smoothly. However, an increase in incidents of settler violence, including theft of and damage to olive trees, and restrictions on access to olive groves behind the Barrier and near Israeli settlements, continue to pose challenges for Palestinian farmers.