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United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)
25 August 2004
25 August 2004
UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees
Impact of the Security Barrier on Palestine Refugees
Over the past few months, UNRWA has continued monitoring the humanitarian impact of the security barrier in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. UNRWA is concerned that refugees’ access to land, services and livelihoods will be adversely affected, placing further strain on the Agency’s resources and delivery capacity. The UNRWA website features reports, profiles and case studies which illustrate the increasing difficulties created by the security barrier, for refugees and non-refugees alike. Besides access problems relating to gate openings and the new permit system, the profiles detail the impact on health, education services and socio-economic conditions and are currently being updated. All reports are available at:
Among the new case studies recently-posted on the UNRWA website:
• Izbat Tabib, Nabi Elyas and Isla: Although these villages lie on the eastern, “Palestinian side” of the security barrier, the majority of village land lies in the “seamzone”. The permit and gate regime is restricting farmers’ access to their agricultural land and resources with the result that many farmers now cultivate their land infrequently or not at all and have stopped investing time, labour and resources.
• The Deir Ballut enclave: The villages of Deir Ballut, Rafat and Zawiya will become an enclave, should the path of the security barrier follow the official projections. The enclave is connected through socio-economic links to the nearby villages of Mas’ha and Biddya, access to which will be restricted. The enclave is home to around 11,700 people, approximately 780 of whom are refugees.
• Ramadin: The predominantly-refugee population of this village in south Hebron has been subject to wave of wall-related demolitions in recent months. According to official projections, the village will be in the “seamzone”, with serious consequences for local services, including the UNRWA co-educational school and health clinic.
• The Permit system: Though the two Qalqilya villages of Jayous and Falamyeh this study examines the bureaucratic difficulties which farmers encounter in acquiring permits, with examples of the consequences on local residents.
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