The Humanitarian Fund of the occupied Palestinian territory continues to be a valuable tool to leverage the leadership of the Humanitarian Coordinator and activate the humanitarian architecture to meet needs, in close collaboration with the Fund’s donors locally. With support from the OCHA oPt Country Office, this relatively small Fund has been to ensure the greatest benefit to the largest number of beneficiaries in need.
Humanitarian actors have identified three critical areas of intervention arising from the events in Gaza, namely: providing immediate lifesaving healthcare; scaling up the provision of mental health and psychological support for people injured or otherwise affected by the events; and monitoring, verifying and documenting possible protection violations.
In the Gaza Strip, recurrent conflict and the ensuing damage and destruction of educational facilities have disrupted services and impacted the psychosocial wellbeing of children and teachers.
On 9 April, the right leg of Mohammed Al Ajouri, a 16-year-old boy and an athlete from Gaza featured in this Humanitarian Bulletin, was amputated. Ten days earlier he was shot and injured by Israeli forces while participating in the first of the “Great March of Return” series of Friday demonstrations, near the perimeter fence around Gaza. He is one of the nearly 2,000 Palestinians who, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health figures, were injured by live ammunition since 30 March in such events. As of 30 April, 40 Palestinians have also been killed by Israeli forces during these demonstrations, and another ten in other circumstances. On successive Fridays since 30 March, hundreds of demonstrators, out of thousands, have approached the fence and attempted to damage it, burned tires, thrown stones and, to a lesser extent, Molotov cocktails towards Israeli forces deployed on the other side of the fence. No Israeli injuries have been reported. At present, there is no evidence that the demonstrators killed or injured by live ammunition have posed an imminent threat of death or risk of serious injury to Israeli soldiers, hence raising strong concerns of excessive use of force, according to the Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights.
A series of demonstrations in the Gaza Strip since 30 March, near the perimeter fence with Israel, have resulted in large numbers of casualties and have raised serious protection concerns.
Success story published as part of the Humanitarian Fund report for 2017. The health sector in the Gaza Strip is severely affected by the ongoing Israeli blockade, exacerbated by the chronic energy crisis that deteriorated in 2017, in the context of the internal Palestinian political divide. At times, hospitals have faced partial or full closure due to the lack of fuel to operate back-up generators. There is also a chronic shortage of essential and lifesaving drugs and medical disposables in Gaza’s hospitals, where care for new-born babies, particularly those in need of intensive care, is challenged by scarce medicines and supplies, and a lack of qualified health workers.
Success story published as part of the Humanitarian Fund report for 2017: The escalation of hostilities in Gaza in 2014 had significant consequences for local agriculture, where loss of productive land and assets, coupled with a lack of financial capacity to cover production costs, led Gaza’s agricultural sector to decline by 31per cent from 2014. Since 2017, the ongoing electricity crisis, combined with increased lack of access to quality water resources, further weakened the agricultural sector in the Gaza Strip, exacerbating farmers’ vulnerabilities.
The extent of domestic, gender-based violence (GBV) across the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) is believed to be significant. A 2010 survey by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) revealed that 37 per cent of married Palestinian women had been subject to violence by their husbands, while nearly two-thirds of them (65.3 per cent) reported that they chose not to report the violence: only 0.7 per cent of these women sought assistance from specialized organizations. The survey indicated that the incidence of GBV in the Gaza Strip is significantly higher than in the West Bank.
In what amounted to the highest number of casualties in a single day in the Gaza Strip since the 2014 hostilities, on 30 March, 18 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces (or died of wounds sustained that day), and another 1,400 were injured, including over half of them by live ammunition, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health (MoH). The Israeli authorities accused the MoH of inflating the number of wounded by live ammunition. No Israeli casualties were reported. The majority of the casualties occurred in the context of the first in a series of mass demonstrations, organized as part of the ‘Great March of Return’ and scheduled to take place near the perimeter fence with Israel, between 30 March (‘Land Day’) and 15 May, the 70th anniversary of what Palestinians refer to as the 1948 ‘Nakba’.
The hostilities between Israel and Palestinian armed groups from 7 July to 26 August 2014 were the most devastating in the Gaza Strip since the start of the Israeli occupation in 1967. In addition to the 1,460 Palestinian civilians killed, including 556 children,3 some 17,800 housing units were destroyed or severely damaged, causing approximately 100,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs). Three and a half years after the ceasefire, more than 22,000 people (4,162 families) are still displaced (as of the end of February 2018).4 As highlighted below, many of them continue to live in precarious conditions with uncertainty regarding their immediate future.