The new year has witnessed increased tension in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), particularly in Gaza. The most serious escalation occurred on 23 and 24 February, following the killing, by Israel, of a member of Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), who was attempting to place an explosive device along the perimeter fence with Israel; in an incident caught on camera, his body was subsequently retrieved by an Israeli bulldozer, in a manner that triggered widespread outrage across the Gaza Strip.
Akkaba, (population 345), is a village in the Tulkarm governorate in the northern West Bank. About 88 per cent of the community’s 2,200 dunums of land is located in the closed area between the Barrier and the Green Line, the “Seam Zone”. In 2002, following a wave of Palestinian attacks, including suicide bombings, Israel began building the Barrier with the stated aim of preventing these attacks. The vast majority of the Barrier’s route is located within the West Bank, isolating Palestinian communities and farming land, and contributing to the fragmentation of the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt).
In September 2018, following an attack by Israeli settlers, Suhad and Ahmad concluded that their family could no longer stay in Tel Rumeida, located in the Israeli-controlled area of Hebron city (H2). Suhad and their three children left for another part of the city, while Ahmad has continued living in the same home, from where he runs his business. “Buying a new apartment was a huge economic effort, but I had to think of the welfare of my children.”.
This dusty tent in a remote part of the northern Jordan Valley is normally home to 11 women and girls from the Daragmeh family in Al Maleh herding community in Tubas governorate. But for the past 14 years, for two days a week, it has also periodically functioned as a health clinic, providing primary healthcare to some of the region’s most vulnerable people.
As we enter 2020, this Humanitarian Bulletin presents the key figures and trends that OCHA has been monitoring in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) during 2019 and over the decade since 2010. These relate namely to casualties, destruction of property, access restrictions and displacement. While these figures and trends are indicative, they do not represent a comprehensive overview of all factors that shaped the humanitarian situation during the decade.
In 2019, Israeli forces killed 135 Palestinians, mostly by air-launched explosive weapons or live ammunition: 108 were killed in the Gaza Strip and 27 in the West Bank. Another 15,369 Palestinians were injured during the year by Israeli forces: 42 per cent required medical treatment after inhaling tear gas, 16 per cent were hit by rubber bullets and 13 per cent were shot with live ammunition.
In 2019, over 700 Palestinians in Gaza were displaced following damage sustained to their homes during three limited escalations in hostilities between Israel and Palestinian armed groups. The past decade witnessed two rounds of large-scale hostilities between Israel and Palestinian armed groups in Gaza (in November 2012 and in July-August 2014)
The Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip imposed in 2007, citing security concerns, as well as the access restrictions imposed by Egypt, were eased in some ways during 2019. However, the movement of people and goods to, from, and within Gaza remained severely constrained.
Based on a 2018 survey, over 1.2 million people in Gaza, or 62.2 per cent of households, were identified as moderately or severely food insecure, compared with 53.3 per cent in 2014, when the previous survey was conducted. In contrast, food insecurity in the West Bank decreased to 9.2 per cent, down from 11.8 per cent in 2014.
A total of $244 million was raised during 2019 for the humanitarian interventions, included in the oPt Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP). While this represents almost 70 per cent of the $351 million requested (the second highest rate in a decade), in absolute terms it marks the lowest amount raised during the 2010-2019 period for the oPt.