Question of Palestine home || Permalink || About UNISPAL || Search

Follow UNISPAL RSS Twitter

Source: Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
30 September 2010


The West Bank barrier, which Israel has been constructing since 2002, at several points runs well inside the West Bank territories beyond the accepted “1967 Green Line”, separating people from their farm lands, their families and their communities.

The barrier is a row of concrete slabs with only a few gates open for passing and even when they are, the strict access regime prevents many from crossing to the other side. This forces large numbers of refugees to take long alternative routes in order to meet their essential needs and to seek livelihood opportunities. In some cases, communities are cut off altogether from essential goods and services. Vulnerable groups such as the elderly, women with children, disabled people and the chronically ill are unable to make such long voyages. Impoverished families cannot afford the additional transportation costs.

This has a negative impact on the lives of thousands of Palestine refugees, Bedouins and herder communities as many have been hindered from accessing basic commodities and services such as food, primary health care and schools.

To mitigate the impact of closures on the health status and well-being of the Palestinians residing in isolated or remote areas of the West Bank, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) has developed a Mobile Health Clinics programme to provide primary health care including preventive and curative primary health care, blood tests, medical advice and mental health counselling. Towards the end of 2010, more than 156,000 patient refugees living in 76 isolated locations will be receiving medical care thanks to these mobile health clinics.

The project is being realized thanks to the generosity of many partners. In 2010, the main donors were Gaddafi International Charity and Development Foundation, Generalitat Valenciana, Ayuntamiento de Castellón, Navarra Government and the Association Solidarite Maroc-Palestine.

See also

Area Affected

The Barrier’s total length is 707 km, more than twice the length of the 1949 Armistice Line (Green Line) between the West Bank and Israel.

The total area located between the Barrier and the Green Line is 9.4% of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem and No Man's Land.

When completed, approximately 15% of the Barrier will be constructed on the Green Line or in Israel with 85% inside the West Bank.

Populations Affected

If the Barrier is completed based on the current route:

Approximately 33,000 Palestinians holding West Bank ID cards in 36 communities will be located between the Barrier and the Green Line.

The majority of Palestinians with East Jerusalem ID cards will reside between the Barrier and the Green Line. However, Palestinian communities inside the current municipal boundary, Kafr Aqab and Shu'fat Camp, are separated from East Jerusalem by the Barrier.

Approximately 126,000 Palestinians will be surrounded by the Barrier on three sides. These comprise 31 communities; the Biddya and Biddu areas, and the city of Qalqilya.

Approximately 28.000 Palestinians in 9 communities in the Az Zawiya and Bir Nabala Enclaves will be surrounded on four sides by the Barrier, with a tunnel or road connection to the rest of the West Bank.


Follow UNISPAL RSS Twitter