The Monthly Humanitarian Bulletin | October 2019
34 Palestinians killed in the Gaza Strip during a two-day escalation, including eight children and three women. Half of vulnerable families living in rented accommodation in northern Gaza face eviction threats and legal action due to inability to pay rent. The 2019 fishing catch in Gaza grew by 34 per cent compared to 2018, following increased access to the sea off Gaza’s coast. Record 27,000 tons yield expected in current olive harvest, amid ongoing concerns over access restrictions and settler violence.
In this document
In the early hours of 12 November, the Israeli Air Force targeted and killed a commander of the armed wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and his wife, while they were sleeping in their home in the northern Gaza Strip. The incident triggered an escalation in hostilities between Israel and various Palestinian armed factions, excluding Hamas. On the morning of 14 November, a cessation of hostilities entered into force and has been largely holding.
Evictions have become routine for Eitidal, aged 30, a wife and mother of two daughters: Layali, 11, and Rimas, 7. Her husband, Medhat, 33, suffers from epileptic seizures and psychological problems, and has been unable to find regular employment. Over the past few years, the family has been evicted twice over accumulated, unpaid rent.
“I have been fishing since I was ten years old and fishing is the only source of income for my wife, myself and our 10 children,” said Fadi, a 44-year-old fisher from Gaza city.
On 1 April 2019, the Israeli authorities expanded the permissible fishing area along the southern and central parts of Gaza’s coast from six up to 15 nautical miles (NM) offshore, the furthest distance that Gaza’s fishers have been permitted to access since 2000. Access to the northern areas along the coast remain more limited at up to 6 NM, well below the 20 NM agreed under the Oslo Accords
The annual olive harvest, which takes place every year between October and November, is a key economic, social and cultural event for Palestinians. In the West Bank, more than 10 million olive trees are cultivated on approximately 86,000 hectares of land, representing 47 per cent of the total cultivated agricultural area. Between 80,000 and 100,000 families are said to rely on olives and olive oil for primary or secondary sources of income, and the sector employs large numbers of unskilled laborers and more than 15 per cent of working women. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the olive oil yield for the West Bank in 2019 is estimated to reach a record 27,000 tons, which is an 84 per cent increase over the previous year. The estimated record yield this year is due to the alternate fruit-bearing “on and off seasons” and less infestation by the olive fruit fly during the current season.