Four Palestinian civilians, including three children, were killed by Israeli forces in four separate incidents across the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt). Three of the fatalities, including two children (15 and 17-years-old) and a 25-year-old man, occurred in three separate incidents on 3, 11 and 15 January, in Deir Nidham village (Ramallah), next to the perimeter fence east of Al Bureij refugee camp (Gaza) and in Jayyus village (Qalqiliya), in clashes during protests against the US administration's declaration of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Another 17-year-old boy was shot and killed on 11 January, during clashes involving stone throwing at Israeli forces in Iraq Burin (Nablus).
I am deeply concerned about the significant reduction in funding for UNRWA, which is critical to the provision of humanitarian assistance in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt). Some 2.5 million Palestinians in this area, or about half of the population, need humanitarian aid, including 1.4 million Palestine refugees, who are among the most vulnerable groups in the oPt. The reduction is particularly worrying against the backdrop of an overall decline in humanitarian funding in the oPt in recent years.
The number of Palestinians allowed to move in and out of Gaza declined by almost 50 per cent in 2017 compared with 2016. High level of demolition of Palestinian structures in East Jerusalem in 2017 in contrast to significant decline in Area C. 2.5 million Palestinians across the oPt in need of humanitarian assistance and protection in 2018.
Since the announcement, on 6 December 2017, of the United States’ recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, widespread demonstrations by Palestinians have resulted in clashes with Israeli forces across the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt). In the West Bank, as of 31 December, three Palestinians have been killed and 3,590 injured. The majority of injuries (almost 70 per cent) were due to tear gas inhalation requiring medical treatment, followed by rubber bullets and live ammunition.
The number of Palestinians allowed to move in and out of Gaza declined significantly in 2017 compared with 2016. At the Erez crossing, movement via Israel has been in decline since mid-2016. Palestinian access via Rafah, the Egyptian-controlled crossing, also declined during the year from an already extremely low level. As the internal Palestinian divide escalated, access for medical purposes was also restricted during most of 2017 by the PA Ministry of Health, which delayed or suspended payments for patients referred for medical treatment outside Gaza.
Many Palestinians in East Jerusalem are subject to a coercive environment with the risk of forcible transfer due to Israeli policies such as home demolitions, forced evictions and revocation of residency status. As is the case in Area C, a restrictive and discriminatory planning regime makes it virtually impossible for Palestinians to obtain the requisite Israeli building permits: only 13 per cent of East Jerusalem is zoned for Palestinian construction and much of this is already built-up. Palestinians who build without permits face the risk of home demolition and other penalties, including costly fines, the payment of which does not exempt the owner from the requirement to obtain a building permit.3At least a third of all Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem lack an Israeli-issued building permit, potentially placing over 100,000 residents at risk of displacement.
About 2.5 million Palestinians across the oPt, or roughly half of the population, were identified as in need of humanitarian assistance and protection according to the 2018 Humanitarian Needs Overview (HNO) released in December 2017. Of those, 1.9 million, identified as the most vulnerable, will be targeted in 2018 by a range of interventions outlined in the Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP), at a total cost of $539.7 million, ten per cent lower than the 2017 request.
Longstanding restrictions on the movement of people and goods to and from Gaza have undermined the living conditions of approximately two 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 restrictions on the Israeli-controlled crossings. On 1 November 2017, pursuant to the Palestinian reconciliation agreement reached on 12 October, the Hamas authorities handed over control of the Gaza side of the Erez, Kerem Shalom and Rafah crossings to the Palestinian Authority; a Hamas-run checkpoint that controlled access to the Erez crossing (“Arba’ Arba’”) was dismantled.
The wave of protests and clashes across the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), which started on 6 December following the United States’ recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, continued during the reporting period, albeit at a lower rate. Overall, since the beginning of the protests, 14 Palestinians were killed and 4,549 were injured by Israeli forces; injuries during this period constitute about 56 per cent of all injuries during 2017.
Today, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in the occupied Palestinian territory released a summary of data collected during 2017.