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The protracted humanitarian protection crisis in occupied Palestinian territory has had a devastating impact on the well-being, physical security and future of girls and boys. Restrictions and conflict-related violence have left children with a deep sense of insecurity for their future, while family coping mechanisms and community resilience are weakened by the closure regime, conflict and deprivation.
Articles, statements and press releases
People with disabilities and special needs have been disproportionately affected by the deterioration in living conditions in the Gaza Strip since March 2017. This situation is driven by a worsening energy crisis, which has resulted in outages of 18-20 hours a day, and an exacerbation of the salary crisis in the public sector, both of which are linked to an escalation in internal Palestinian divisions.1 In the midst of this crisis, Gaza’s unemployment rate reached 44 per cent in the second quarter of 2017 (April-June), up from 41.1 per cent in the previous quarter and 41.7 per cent in the same period of 2016.
A new fence installed by the Israeli authorities around two Palestinian neighbourhoods in the Israeli-controlled area of Hebron city (H2), As Salaymeh and Gheith, further separates up to 1,800 Palestinians from the rest of the city. This is in addition to the recent reinforcement (including the installment of turnstiles) of two pre-existing checkpoints controlling access to the area where the new fence was installed. These developments disrupt the livelihoods and family life of Palestinians living in the two neighbourhoods and limit access to basic services like health and education.
For the past three years, approximately 700 Palestinian children in East Jerusalem have been detained by Israeli forces every year, usually on charges of stone-throwing and, more recently, incitement to violence in social media. Some of these cases have triggered allegations of abuses during the arrest, transfer and/or interrogation. Also of concern are recent changes to Israeli legislation that allow harsher prison sentences for children convicted of crimes such as stone-throwing, including children as young as 12 who start serving their sentences when they turn 14. Some Palestinian children convicted or awaiting trial have been placed under house arrest. Although preferable than imprisonment for children, this puts additional strain on the families affected.
An article contributed by UNICEF: The 51-day conflict in the Gaza Strip and Israel in the summer of 2014 had a devastating impact on children. At least 551 Palestinian children and four Israeli children were killed; 2,956 Palestinian children and 22 Israeli children were reportedly injured.
Since 1997, Israel has exercised full control over 20 per cent of Hebron city, known as H2. The population of H2 includes approximately 40,000 Palestinians living alongside several hundred Israeli settlers, who reside in four separate settlements. Access restrictions imposed by the Israeli authorities in H2, compounded by systematic harassment by Israeli settlers and, occasionally, by Israeli forces, have resulted in the displacement of thousands of Palestinians and a deterioration in the living conditions of those who remain.
A statement delivered by David Carden, Head OCHA oPt, on the occasion of the opening of the school year in Khan al Ahmar, a Palestinian community at risk of forcible transfer.