100 structures demolished or seized in June, the highest level since January 2017. Of the targeted structures, ten were humanitarian aid, including a tent used as a quarantine site. Only six out of 700 housing units announced for Palestinians in Area C were issued permits.
The number of people with COVID-19 in the West Bank continues to surge, with the epicenter Hebron accounting for over 70 per cent of all active cases. 30 more people died in the West Bank which has been placed under a complete lockdown. No new cases of COVID-19 reported in Gaza, which now records only eight active cases.
The total number of people with COVID-19 quadrupled during the reporting period, with the epicenter in the Hebron governorate. Three more people died in the West Bank and 13 are in serious or critical conditions. Revised Inter-Agency Response Plan for COVID-19 crisis is 66 per cent funded.
An oPt Humanitarian Fund success story: Most Palestinian households in Gaza cannot afford to buy sufficient amounts of nutritious food. Intisar’s family from the village of Az Zawayda is one of them. They are two parents and five children who live together in a small room, in a house shared with their extended family, where thirty people are forced to use a single bathroom. Intisar’s husband has a disability and is unable to work. She takes care of him and their children, and thus cannot seek paid work.
As part of the measures to contain the pandemic, the de facto authorities announced the full closure of the two passenger crossings, from 23 May till the end of June; however, limited movement through the Erez crossing with Israel, continued in both directions. Exit of people through the Erez crossing has been also disrupted following the suspension of coordination between the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Israel while movement of goods through the Kerem Shalom crossing remained unchanged. A week-long heat wave triggered power cuts of 12 hours per day, up from nine hours during the rest of the month. The unemployment rate in the first quarter of 2020 stood at 46 per cent, the same as during the equivalent period in 2019; the figure only partially captures the impact of the COVID-19 measures, imposed since March.
An oPt Humanitarian Fund success story: When Mohannad started elementary school, it was not an easy period for him. His mother says that her divorce affected him a lot back then. He gradually fell behind and lost his self-confidence. By the time he reached the eighth grade, he could not read, write or count as well as his peers. Having a hard time following his teachers, he would sit in the back of the classroom, bored and lonely, until he eventually dropped out and started wandering the streets.
Fifty structures demolished or seized during May. Unprecedented number of demolitions during Ramadan, compared to previous years. First demolitions recorded in East Jerusalem since March. Two aid structures, worth almost EUR 10,500, demolished or seized.
On 16 April, 40-year-old Issa Qattash and his brother were severely beaten and injured by a group of Israeli settlers, while having a picnic with their families in a forest outside of Jibya village (north of Ramallah). “One of the settlers carried a rifle and another an axe”, Issa explained. “My brother Moussa managed to escape to call for help… I laid some time injured on the ground and then the settlers began dragging me out of the area… but then Israeli soldiers arrived and released me, while letting the settlers go.” Fatima Qattash, Issa’s 70-year-old mother, who witnessed the event added: “we were all shocked and scared… the children are still having nightmares!”
Seventy Palestinian-owned structures were demolished or seized in the West Bank due to the lack of Israeli-issued building permits, displacing 90 people and affecting over 280. This represents a 250 per cent increase compared with the weekly average of structures targeted since the beginning of the year (10). Sixty-one of the affected structures were located in Area C, including nine previously provided as humanitarian assistance.