Question of Palestine home
Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
7 December 2010
occupied Palestinian territory
1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
The vast efforts accomplished over the last few years by humanitarian actors, recent economic progress in the West Bank and in Gaza and a reduction in direct conflict-related casualties since January 2010 have provided some measure of relief for Palestinians living in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt). However, in the absence of significant structural changes to the environment, and first and foremost a just and lasting peace and the end of the Israeli occupation, entrenched vulnerability remains a reality throughout the oPt. Indeed, the situation by the end of 2010 is characterized by ongoing political stalemate, regular exposure to violence, continuing restrictions on access and movement, and persistent human rights violations, all factors leading to a protracted humanitarian situation. Macro-economic improvements conceal vast disparities on the ground, with increasing exposure to chronic poverty for many, and great concerns over longer-term prospects. They also fail to alleviate the protection crisis faced by most Palestinians, for whom few rights are ever secure.
In the West Bank, a reduction in the number of obstacles between select urban areas has yielded tangible commercial benefits, as has an improvement in law and order within Area A.
Restrictions on movement remain pervasive, however, notably in East Jerusalem, Area C and the seam zones, where access to social services and economic resources continues to be severely constrained. Unaltered restrictions on planning and development and unabated settler violence in particular constitute constant hardships for Palestinians. In Gaza, despite a partial easing of closure, many of the fundamental parameters of the blockade remain in place. While the June 2010 policy decision of the Government of Israel has resulted in a greater supply of consumer goods and the approval of some international construction projects, on-going restrictions on reconstruction material, exports and movement of people continue to hamper any meaningful economic revitalization, thereby maintaining large swathes of the population dependent on external aid.
In this context, the Consolidated Appeal (CAP) presents a strategy budgeted at US
, supported by 213 projects, including 147 from local and international non-governmental organizations and 66 from United Nations agencies. It focuses humanitarian efforts on the most vulnerable, and where the Palestinian Authority outreach is limited, namely the Gaza Strip, Area C, including the seam zones, and East Jerusalem. Response plans have been designed and priority interventions have been selected in consultation with the Palestinian Authority and on the basis of identified needs, cluster/sector capacity, and their contribution to protection and gender equality. In addition, the Humanitarian Country Team agreed that the implementation of CAP projects should support, where appropriate, the local economic fabric. Finally, the CAP 2011 reflects a significant commitment to increased strategic clarity and transparency, through the application of results-based approaches and terminology across all clusters / sectors.
It is essential to recognize, however, that the humanitarian strategy and projects presented in this CAP address only a portion of the needs in the oPt. Many of those needs require recovery and longer-term solutions within the framework of Palestinian national plans and other strategies, and a resolution of the underlying political conflict. Even within the current environment, organizations on the ground, donors and policy makers should make every effort to identify and support recovery opportunities, including in Gaza, by taking advantage of and building on efforts to date to increase capacities for self-reliance and protect livelihoods.
Both humanitarian aid, as articulated in the CAP, and recovery interventions are necessary complements to the overall goal of a comprehensive political agreement that would ensure sustainable peace and development for all.
The Oslo Accords between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) called for the phased transfer of power from the Israeli military and its civil administration to a Palestinian authority. In 1993 the parties agreed principles and two years later as part of the second Oslo Accord, also known as the 1995 Interim Agreement, specified details, including of a temporary administrative division of the West Bank into three zones, referred to as Areas A, B and C. Areas A and B make up roughly 38% of the West Bank: Area A includes the major Palestinian cities, and is under Palestinian civil and security authority. Area B comprises most Palestinian rural communities, and civil authority is under the Palestinian Authority, while security responsibilities are shared by both the Israeli and Palestinian authorities. Approximately 62% of the area of the West Bank is in Area C, where Israel retains authority over law enforcement and control over the building and planning sphere. Although the Oslo Accords called for the gradual transfer of power and responsibility in the sphere of planning and zoning in Area C from the Israeli Civil Administration (ICA) to the Palestinian Authority (PA), this transfer was frozen in 2000.
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