UN blasts Is­rael’s Pales­tine oc­cu­pa­tion

The Star Early Edition - - WORLD -

THE UN Of­fice for the Co-or­di­na­tion of Hu­man­i­tar­ian Af­fairs (OCHA) in its an­nual re­port has slammed the ef­fect of Is­rael’s oc­cu­pa­tion on the hu­man­i­tar­ian sit­u­a­tion in Pales­tine.

The 2016 re­port re­leased yes­ter­day states that “the oc­cu­pa­tion poli­cies and prac­tices re­main the key cause of hu­man­i­tar­ian needs in the oc­cu­pied Pales­tinian ter­ri­tory (oPt)”, while adding that in­ter­nal Pales­tinian po­lit­i­cal di­vi­sion was also a se­ri­ous con­tribut­ing fac­tor.

“At its heart, the cri­sis in the oPt is one of a lack of pro­tec­tion for Pales­tinian civil­ians – from vi­o­lence, from dis­place­ment, from re­stric­tions on ac­cess to ser­vices and liveli­hoods, and from other rights vi­o­la­tions – with a dis­pro­por­tion­ate im­pact on the most vul­ner­a­ble, chil­dren in par­tic­u­lar. While the trends vary from one year to the next, the per­va­sive lack of pro­tec­tion and ac­count­abil­ity for vi­o­la­tions of in­ter­na­tional law re­mains,” said David Car­den, Head of OCHA in the oPt.

Re­port­ing large num­bers of con­tin­u­ing Pales­tinian fa­tal­i­ties and in­juries in the Is­raeli-oc­cu­pied West Bank, OCHA said forced dis­place­ment of Pales­tini­ans in the Gaza Strip also con­tin­ued.

“While there was no new dis­place­ment in the Gaza Strip, as the Au­gust 2014 cease­fire con­tin­ued to largely hold, more than 9 000 fam­i­lies (47 200 peo­ple) re­mained dis­placed at the end of 2016.”

In the West Bank, more Pales­tini­ans were dis­placed in 2016 (1 601, in­clud­ing 759 chil­dren) due to de­mo­li­tions of their homes by the Is­raeli au­thor­i­ties than in any year since OCHA be­gan record­ing the phe­nom­e­non in 2009.

The vast ma­jor­ity of the 1 094 af­fected struc­tures were tar­geted on grounds that they lacked a build­ing per­mit, which is nearly im­pos­si­ble to ob­tain from the Is­raeli au­thor­i­ties. Thou­sands of oth­ers in Area C in the West Bank and East Jerusalem were at risk of dis­place­ment and/or forcible trans­fer, due to a co­er­cive en­vi­ron­ment gen­er­ated by Is­raeli poli­cies and prac­tices, which cre­ate pres­sure on res­i­dents to leave their com­mu­ni­ties.

Re­stric­tions on Pales­tinian move­ment and ac­cess to ba­sic ser­vices and hu­man­i­tar­ian as­sis­tance also con­tin­ued through­out the oPt, de­spite some eas­ing of mea­sures.

Last year, hu­man­i­tar­ian or­gan­i­sa­tions con­tin­ued to face a range of ob­sta­cles in de­liv­er­ing aid. ANA

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.