On 17 April, Gaza’s sole power plant (GPP) was forced to shut down completely after exhausting its fuel reserves and being unable to replenish them due to a shortage of funds. Prior to this, the GPP was operating at only approximately half of its capacity, producing nearly 30 per cent of the electricity supplied to the Gaza Strip. On 20 April, electricity supply from Egypt, which accounts for 15 per cent of Gaza’s supply, also came to a halt due to technical malfunctioning that is yet to be repaired. Gaza is currently supplied only with electricity purchased from Israel (some 55 per cent of the previous supply), resulting in electricity blackouts of 20 hours per day, up from 12 hours previously, further undermining the delivery of basic services.
An Israeli soldier and a British woman were killed in two separate Palestinian attacks. On 6 April, a 22-year-old Palestinian man ran his car into Israeli soldiers standing at a bus stop near Ofra settlement (Ramallah), killing one soldier and injuring another; the perpetrator was later arrested by Israeli forces. This brings the number of Israelis killed by Palestinians since the beginning of 2017 to five, all of which were soldiers. Also, on 14 April, a 57-year-old Palestinian man, reportedly mentally ill, stabbed and killed a 21-year-old British student while travelling on the Israeli light train near the Old City of Jerusalem, and was subsequently arrested.
Approximately 4,000 displaced families in the Gaza Strip have not been allocated any funding for the reconstruction of their homes. Severe access restrictions place some 2,000 Palestinians in the settlement area of Hebron city at risk of forcible transfer. New measures aimed at revoking the residency rights of family members of perpetrators of attacks in East Jerusalem raise concerns over collective punishment. Outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease, which affected over 100 livestock farms in the Gaza Strip, has been largely controlled.
Longstanding restrictions on the movement of people and goods to and from Gaza have undermined the living conditions of 1.9 million Palestinians in that area. Many of the current restrictions, originally imposed by Israel in the early 1990s, were intensiﬁed after June 2007, following the Hamas takeover of Gaza and the imposition of a blockade. These restrictions continue to reduce access to livelihoods, essential services and housing, disrupt family life, and undermine people’s hopes for a secure and prosperous future.
The de facto authorities in the Gaza Strip executed three Palestinian men convicted of “collaboration with Israel”, according to media reports.
The Ministry of Interior in the Gaza Strip announced the lifting of all access restrictions in place since 26 March.
This overview provides a snapshot of movement and access restrictions affecting Palestinians in Gaza in 2016, as well as multi-year, trend analyses on key areas, including movement of people, movement of goods and access to land and sea areas.
Flash Update: In the aftermath of the killing of a Hamas member on 24 March in Gaza City by unknown assailants, the Palestinian de facto authorities in Gaza are imposing new access restrictions, citing security reasons, which are negatively impacting already vulnerable sectors in Gaza. These restrictions are taking place before the upcoming Israeli national and religious holidays when the opening hours of the Israeli-controlled passenger and goods crossings are normally reduced.
Longstanding restrictions on the movement of people and goods to and from Gaza have undermined the living conditions of 1.9 million Palestinians in that area. Many of the current restrictions, originally imposed by Israel in the early 1990s, were intensiﬁed after June 2007, following the Hamas takeover of Gaza and the imposition of a blockade. These restrictions continue to reduce access to livelihoods, essential services and housing, disrupt family life, and undermine people’s hopes for a secure and prosperous future. The situation has been compounded by the restrictions imposed since June 2013 by the Egyptian authorities at Rafah Crossing, which had become the main crossing point used by Palestinian passengers in the Gaza Strip, given the above restrictions on the Israeli-controlled crossings.
On 13 March, a 25-year-old Palestinian man stabbed and injured two Israeli policemen in the Old City of East Jerusalem and was subsequently shot and killed by Israeli forces. Following the incident, Israeli forces raided the family house of the perpetrator in the Jabal al Mukabber neighbourhood of East Jerusalem, detained four family members and destroyed the mourning tent erected. On 15 March, a 16-year-old Palestinian girl crashed the car she was driving into the metal pillars protecting a settler bus stop at the Gush Etzion junction (Hebron) and was shot and severely injured by Israeli soldiers; no additional injuries were reported
All structures in Khan al Ahmar - Abu Al Helu, a Palestinian Bedouin community in the Jerusalem governorate, were served with final demolition orders, increasing the risk of a mass forcible transfer. Largest seawater desalination plant in Gaza inaugurated and expected to serve 275,000 people, less than 15% of Gaza’s population. Key measures by humanitarian organizations can mitigate the humanitarian impact of de facto settlement expansion. Eight years after the 2008-2009 (Cast Lead) hostilities in Gaza, victims are still bearing the consequences while lack of accountability persists.