Over 12,500 housing units totally destroyed and nearly 6,500 severely damaged in the Gaza Strip during the 2014 summer hostilities, according to latest damage assessments. Concern over the precarious living conditions of approximately 100,000 internally displaced persons, particularly of those belonging to vulnerable groups. Successful spring season harvest in a restricted area in northern Gaza, following rehabilitation interventions. The Israeli army resumed military training exercises in the northern Jordan Valley, leading to the temporary displacement of four herding communities.
Rafah crossing closed for the whole of April and opened for only five days in 2015, particularly affecting Gaza medical patients. Progress on repairs to damaged medical and health facilities in Gaza hampered by shortage of construction materials and funding. Plans to “relocate” Palestinian herding communities in the central and southern West Bank advance compounded by demolition orders and seizure of vital infrastructure.
The Strategic Response Plan is now 27 per cent funded but only one third of funding has been allocated for projects considered top priority. The first exports took place of agricultural products from Gaza to Israel since June 2007. The first quarter of 2015 witnessed a general decline in casualties in the oPt but an increase in the proportion of injuries by live ammunition in the West Bank.
In the Gaza Strip, 58,000 people have so far bought restricted building materials for repairs, but almost none of them are IDPs whose homes were destroyed or severely damaged. Israel eases access restrictions in and out of Gaza, including a rise in the quota of exit permits for Palestinian merchants and approval for the transfer of textiles and furniture to the West Bank. Infrastructure works launched in one of the sites designated for the “relocation” of Bedouins in Area C of the West Bank, alongside the issuance of multiple stop-work orders against donor-funded structures in Bedouin communities at risk.
All public employees in the Gaza Strip affected by the non-payment of salaries, further undermining services and livelihoods. Cash assistance to some 100,000 internally displaced people in Gaza
suspended due the unavailability of funds pledged by donors. Record number of olive trees and saplings reportedly vandalized by Israeli settlers during January.
Lack of financial resources impedes home reconstruction in Gaza, despite progress in the assessment and clearance of cases. Relaxation in eligibility criteria for exit permits from Gaza via Israel alongside ongoing closure of Gaza’s crossing with Egypt. Over 1,200 displaced in the West Bank in the context of Israeli home demolitions during 2014, a six-year high.
Up to 118,000 displaced people in Gaza in need of transitional shelter solutions. Concern over the condition of patients waiting to leave or return to Gaza, as the closure of Rafah Crossing with Egypt continues. Decline in Israeli settler violence during the annual olive harvest.
700,000 liters of fuel per month urgently needed to prevent collapse of essential services in Gaza. Winterization interventions are ongoing in the Gaza Strip directly targeting 60,000 beneficiaries. Tensions in East Jerusalem on the rise in the context of concerns about change of access arrangements to Al Aqsa Mosque compound.
Ongoing assessments of the impact of the July-August conflict reveals that 29 per cent of Gaza’s housing stock has been affected and 100,000 people remain displaced in collective shelters or with host families. Although extensive repairs have restored 70 to 80 per cent of the water and sanitation network in Gaza to pre-conflict conditions, significant constraints still impair the delivery of these services. A temporary agreement - the Gaza Reconstruction Mechanism (GRM) - was agreed, allowing large amounts of basic construction materials to enter Gaza to enable reconstruction of damaged and destroyed housing and infrastructure by the Gazan private sector. Preparations are under way for the olive harvest including providing a coordinated protective presence for Palestinian farmers and their families.
The Gaza Strip witnessed the deadliest and most destructive escalation in hostilities since the start of the Israeli occupation. Around 13 per cent of the housing stock in Gaza was destroyed or damaged and over 100,000 became homeless. Large number of casualties in West Bank clashes prompted concerns of excessive use of force by Israeli forces. Extensive areas in Bethlehem declared “state land” and expected to be allocated for settlement development.