Question of Palestine home
Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
21 July 2011
HUMANITARIAN FACTSHEET ON AREA C OF THE WEST BANK
Most of Area C has been designated as military zones and for expansion of Israeli settlements, severely constraining the living space and development opportunities of Palestinian communities.
While it is virtually impossible for a Palestinian to obtain a permit for construction, Israeli settlements receive preferential treatment in terms of allocation of water and land, approval of development plans, and law enforcement.
There has been a marked increase in demolitions in Area C this year.
More Palestinians lost their homes in Area C in the first half of 2011 than in either of the past two years.
Most demolitions in 2011 affected livelihood structures
, negatively affecting the sources of income and living standards of some 1,300 people.
4. In addition to restrictive planning policies,
Palestinians living in Area C also have to contend with a range of other Israeli policies and practices
, including restrictions on movement and access, harassment from the Israeli military and settler attacks,
making daily life a struggle
Demolitions drive already poor families deeper into poverty.
Most demolitions in 2011 have targeted already vulnerable Bedouin/herding communities, who live in very basic structures, with no infrastructure and very limited access to services. Demolitions increase the dependency of these families on humanitarian assistance and have a range of negative psycho-social impacts, particularly on children. Many of these communities have suffered multiple waves of demolitions.
In some communities, families are being forced to move as a result of Israeli policies applied in Area C.
Ten out of 13 communities recently visited by OCHA reported that families are leaving because policies and practices implemented there make it difficult for residents to meet basic needs or maintain their presence on the land.