Displacement

Thousands of Palestinians throughout the occupied Palestinian territory have been forcibly displaced or are at risk of forced displacement, which has immediate and longer-term physical, socio-economic and psycho-social impacts on Palestinian families, particularly on children. In the West Bank, displacement is primarily driven by occupation-related policies, including the inability to obtain building permits and related demolitions, residency status issues and the impact of the Barrier. In some cases, entire West Bank communities are at risk of forcible transfer. In the Gaza Strip, displacement has primarily resulted from damage or destruction to homes during hostilities or military operations. Many displaced people in Gaza are unable to rebuild or repair their homes due to the inability of the Palestinian Government of National Consensus to assume effective government functions; Israel’s longstanding restrictions on the import of building materials defined as “dual use items”; and the slow pace of disbursement of pledges made by member states for reconstruction.

OCHA monitors displacement of Palestinians due to home demolitions in the West Bank through its online Demolition System. Official data on demolition orders in Area C is available here.

Articles, statements and press releases

10 July 2018 |
Three-storey  building demolished in Al Isawiya, East Jerusalem, 1 May 2018. © Photo by OCHA

In recent months, the Israeli authorities have passed or advanced new legislation that will significantly limit the ability of individual and human rights organizations to challenge the demolition or seizure of Palestinian properties in Area C and East Jerusalem.

10 July 2018 |
Batan Al Hawa neighbouhood, Silwan, East Jerusalem. © Photo by OCHA

In recent decades, Israeli settler organizations, with the support of the Israeli authorities, have taken control of properties within Palestinian neighbourhoods in East Jerusalem and established settlement compounds.

5 July 2018 |

Today, the Humanitarian Coordinator, Mr. Jamie McGoldrick, the Head of West Bank Operations for UNRWA, Mr. Scott Anderson, and the Head of the UN Office for the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mr. James Heenan, expressed serious concern over demolitions and related events in vulnerable Palestinian communities in the central West Bank

1 June 2018 |

Today, the Humanitarian Coordinator, Mr. Jamie McGoldrick, and the UNRWA Director of Operations in the West Bank, Mr. Scott Anderson, join others in the international community in calling on the Government of Israel to cease its plans to carry out the mass demolition and transfer of the Palestinian Bedouin community of Khan al Ahmar – Abu al Helu

18 April 2018 |
Khan al Ahmar, 18 April 2018

Today, the Humanitarian Coordinator, Mr. Jamie McGoldrick, and the UNRWA Director of Operations in the West Bank, Mr. Scott Anderson, joined Palestinian officials in a visit to the Palestinian Bedouin community of Khan al Ahmar-Abu al Helu, on the outskirts of East Jerusalem in the occupied Palestinian territory.

5 April 2018 |
NRC staff interviewing an IDP family in northern Gaza, November 2017.

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.