The health system in occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) is operating under severe pressure due to the effects of the occupation, blockade, rapid population growth, and lack of adequate financial resources and shortages in basic supplies. In the Gaza Strip, years of blockade and movement restrictions on people and materials, including medical resources, compounded by the internal Palestinian divide, have led to a serious deterioration in the availability and quality of health services. The 2014 hostilities added further strain to the health sector. In the West Bank, the key concern is lack of access to quality and affordable health services. Many communities, particularly in Area C, face restricted access to basic health care as a result of insecurity due to the presence and actions of Israeli checkpoints and settler violence. Restrictions on the freedom of movement of patients and ambulances is a particular concern for those seeking specialized treatment in East Jerusalem hospitals.
Supported by donors, the UN has been coordinating the delivery of emergency fuel to run back-up generators and vehicles in the Gaza Strip since 2013. This has ensured that a minimal level of life-saving health, water and sanitation services are maintained despite the severe energy crisis.
Since 28 January 2018, the three access roads into Hizma village have been totally or partially blocked to Palestinian traffic by the Israeli military, and remain so at the time of writing. Hizma is a Palestinian village of over 7000 residents in Jerusalem governorate. The bulk of its built-up area is in Area B, but small parts of the village lie in Area C or within the municipal boundaries of Jerusalem, separated from the rest of the city by the Barrier.
Today, the Humanitarian Fund for the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt HF) released approximately US $900,000 for health and food support over the next six months to around 140,000 Palestinians, almost half of them children, in dozens of West Bank communities, including in East Jerusalem
Very few of the measures agreed in the reconciliation agreement between Fatah and Hamas on 12 October 2017 have been implemented to date and improvements in conditions in the Gaza Strip are extremely limited.
Funding is desperately needed for emergency fuel: Emergency fuel for critical facilities in Gaza will become exhausted within the next ten days, the United Nations warned today, noting an urgent need for donor support to avoid a humanitarian catastrophe driven by the energy crisis.
I am deeply concerned about the significant reduction in funding for UNRWA, which is critical to the provision of humanitarian assistance in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt). Some 2.5 million Palestinians in this area, or about half of the population, need humanitarian aid, including 1.4 million Palestine refugees, who are among the most vulnerable groups in the oPt. The reduction is particularly worrying against the backdrop of an overall decline in humanitarian funding in the oPt in recent years.