Statements and Press Releases
Today marks World Humanitarian Day, an annual occasion dedicated by the United Nations General Assembly to raising public awareness of the millions of people who risk their lives in order to provide food, water and other assistance to people in desperate need in conflicts, in natural disasters and other emergencies. This year the UN and its partners come together on this day to reaffirm that civilians caught in conflict are #NotATarget and to demand global action to protect them.
Humanitarian agencies in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) are calling upon the international community to provide US$25 million in new humanitarian funding to stabilize the spiralling humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip. In a document presented to diplomats today in Jerusalem, agencies identified top-priority, life-saving interventions in health, water, sanitation and hygiene, and food security sectors.
The UN Humanitarian Coordinator in the occupied Palestinian territory, Robert Piper, warned today about the disastrous consequences of a further reduction in electricity-supply to the Gaza Strip on the living conditions of two million Palestinians. He called upon the Palestinian Authority, Hamas and Israel to put the welfare of Gaza’s residents first and to take the necessary measures to avoid further suffering. The UN has already appealed to the international community to support its limited humanitarian efforts to prevent the collapse of vital life-saving, health, water, sanitation and municipal services.
This week marks 50 years since the start of Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip. For humanitarians this is the most long-standing protection crisis in the UN’s history.
2016 figures indicate fewer fatalities amidst heightened West Bank displacement. As the 50th anniversary of the Israeli occupation approaches, OCHA’s 2016 Annual Report for the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), underscores that occupation policies and practices remain the key cause of humanitarian needs in the oPt. The internal Palestinian political divide is also a serious contributing factor.
Gaza has been experiencing a severe electricity crisis since mid-April, when the Gaza Power Plant went silent due to a dispute between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas in Gaza over tax rates for the fuel needed at the plant.
The UN Coordinator for Humanitarian Aid and Development Activities, Robert Piper, expressed concern about the deteriorating energy situation in the Gaza Strip and called for swift action from Israeli and Palestinian authorities and members of the international community to protect the provision of critical basic services to Gaza’s 1.9 million residents.
On 22 February, the Coordinator for Humanitarian Aid and UN Development Activities for the occupied Palestinian territory, Robert Piper, and Director of UNRWA Operations in the West Bank, Scott Anderson, visited the Palestinian Bedouin community of Khan al Ahmar in Area C, in the immediate outskirts of East Jerusalem.
2016 trends affecting the humanitarian situation in the occupied Palestinian territory: Preliminary analysis of data collected by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) indicates that, during 2016 (until 28 December), the Israeli authorities demolished or seized 1,089 Palestinian-owned structures throughout the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, displacing 1,593 Palestinians and affecting the livelihoods of another 7,101. These are the highest West Bank demolition and displacement figures at least since OCHA started recording them in 2009. The vast majority of these structures were destroyed or seized for lack of Israeli-issued building permits.
Joint Press Release: Today, the Minister of Social Development of the State of Palestine, H.E. Dr. Ibrahim Al-Shaer, and the UN Coordinator for Humanitarian Aid and Development Activities, Mr. Robert Piper, launched the Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) for 2017, to support the humanitarian needs of 1.6 million Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt).