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UNITED
NATIONS
A E

        General Assembly
        Economic and Social Council
Distr.
GENERAL
A/60/65
E/2005/13

24 May 2005

Original: English

General Assembly
Sixtieth session
Item 41 of the preliminary list*
Permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the
Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem,
and of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan
over their natural resources
Economic and Social Council
Substantive session of 2005
Item 11 of the provisional agenda**
Economic and social repercussions of the Israeli occupation on the living conditions of the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, and the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan


Economic and social repercussions of the Israeli occupation on the living conditions of the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan




Note by the Secretary-General ***


In its resolution 2004/59 of 23 July 2004, the Economic and Social Council requested the Secretary-General to submit to the General Assembly at its sixtieth session, through the Council, a report on the implementation of that resolution. The Assembly, in its resolution 59/251 of 22 December 2004, also requested the Secretary-General to submit a report to it at its sixtieth session. The annexed report, which has been prepared by the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), is submitted in response to the two resolutions.


*A/60/50 and Corr.1.
** E/2005/100.
*** A longer period for clearance was required for extensive consultations within the various United Nations entities at Headquarters and in the field. The report annexed to the present note was therefore delayed 12 days for processing.


Annex

Report prepared by the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia on the economic and social repercussions of the Israeli occupation on the living conditions of the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan *



Summary
The occupation of Palestinian territory by Israel continues to deepen the economic and social hardship for Palestinians. In response to real or perceived attacks by Palestinian armed elements, the Israeli army continues to resort to arbitrary detention, home demolition, severe mobility restrictions and closure policies.

Economic indicators continue to show negative trends: high unemployment; greater dependency on food aid; and untold losses from physical destruction of Palestinian homes, public buildings, agricultural assets, infrastructure and private property. That state of affairs has exacerbated poverty, rendering more than 2.2 million Palestinians poor.

Israel’s confiscation of Palestinian land and water resources for settlements and the erection of the West Bank barrier accelerated during 2004. Refugees, women and children bear a significant brunt of those measures. Malnutrition and other health problems afflict a growing number of Palestinians at a time of curtailed access to needed services. Over 60 per cent of children below 2 years of age, 36 per cent of pregnant women, and over 43 per cent of nursing mothers in the Gaza Strip are anaemic. An estimated 38 per cent of the Palestinian population is food insecure. Israeli restrictions regularly impede humanitarian services to the occupied Palestinian territory.


Israeli settlements, land confiscation and the construction of a barrier in the occupied Palestinian territory, contrary to the Geneva Convention and other norms of international law, isolate occupied East Jerusalem, bisect the West Bank, curtail normal economic and social life, and continue to fuel the conflict. In 2004, the number of Israeli settlers in the West Bank and Gaza Strip grew to 250,179, which is a 6 per cent increase from 2003.


Israeli settlements in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights, housing an estimated 20,000 Israeli settlers, continue to expand unabated. Access to natural resources and social services remain inadequate for the Arab population in the Syrian Golan Heights.


* The Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia would like to acknowledge with appreciation the substantive contributions of the United Nations Children’s Fund, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, the United Nations Population Fund, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the World Food Programme, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the World Health Organization, the International Labour Organization and the Office of the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process.



I. Introduction


1. In its resolution 2004/54 of 23 July 2004, the Economic and Social Council stressed the importance of reviving the Middle East peace process on the basis of Security Council resolutions, including 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967, 338 (1973) of 22 October 1973, 425 (1978) of 19 March 1978, 1397 (2002) of 12 March 2002, 1515 (2003) of 19 November 2003 and 1544 (2004) of 19 May 2004, and the principle of land for peace as well as compliance with the agreements reached between the Government of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, the representative of the Palestinian people. In the same resolution, the Economic and Social Council reaffirmed the applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949,1 to the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967; stressed the need to preserve the national unity and the territorial integrity of the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and to guarantee the freedom of movement of persons and goods in the Territory, including the removal of restrictions on going to and from East Jerusalem, and the freedom of movement to and from the outside world; reaffirmed the inalienable right of the Palestinian people and the Arab population of the occupied Syrian Golan to all their natural and economic resources, and called upon Israel, the occupying Power, not to exploit, endanger or cause loss or depletion of those resources; also reaffirmed that Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and the occupied Syrian Golan, are illegal and an obstacle to economic and social development; and requested the Secretary-General to submit to the General Assembly, through the Council, a report on the implementation of the resolution.

2. In its resolution 59/251 of 22 December 2004, the General Assembly reaffirmed the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and the population of the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources, including land and water; and called upon Israel, the occupying Power, not to exploit, damage, cause loss or depletion of or endanger the natural resources in the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem and the occupied Syrian Golan. In the resolution, the Assembly recalled the advisory opinion rendered on 9 July 2004 by the International Court of Justice on the “Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory” (see A/ES-10/273 and Corr.1), and recalled also its resolution ES-10/15 of 20 July 2004. The Assembly noted the detrimental impact on Palestinian natural resources being caused by the unlawful construction of the wall by Israel inside the occupied Palestinian territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, and of its grave effect on the economic and social conditions of the Palestinian people. The Assembly recognized the right of the Palestinian people to claim restitution as a result of any exploitation, damage, loss or depletion of, or endangerment of their natural resources, and expressed the hope that the issue would be dealt with in the framework of the final status negotiations between the Palestinian and Israeli sides. The A ssembly requested the Secretary-General to submit a report to it at its sixtieth session.

II. Occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem


Death and injuries

3. Between 1 January and 29 December 2004, 869 Palestinian fatalities and 3,975 injuries were recorded. The cumulative total of Palestinian fatalities and injuries since September 2000 were 3,497 and 28,321 respectively. 2 Since September 2000, 70 per cent of Palestinian victims have been civilians. Apart from Palestinian fighters killed and injured, civilian casualties are mainly caused by the Israeli army’s disproportionate use of force. 3

4. Between March and December 2004, 41 of the fatalities and 32 of the injured were UNRWA pupils. Two of the deaths occurred while the pupils were inside their classrooms. 4 The cumulative total of Palestinian child fatalities from September 2000 through November 2004 reached 775. More than 12,000 Palestinian children have been injured since October 2000. 5

5. While the purpose of the present report is to describe the effects of the Israeli occupation on the Palestinian people, it is important to point out that, between September 2000 and December 2004, 1,030 Israelis have been killed and 6,964 injured as a result of the conflict. From September 2000 to September 2004, there were 104 Israeli child fatalities. 2

6. The Secretary-General has repeatedly emphasized that violence cannot provide a solution to the conflict, and that only through negotiations can peace be achieved. On numerous occasions, the Secretary-General had called on both parties to exercise maximum restraint and responsibility, and reiterated his long-standing and adamant opposition to all terrorist attacks, from whatever quarter. 6

Arbitrary arrests and detentions

7. An estimated 7,600 Palestinians remain in Israeli prisons and detention centres. 7 By 6 January 2005, 848 Palestinians remained in administrative detention, without charge or judicial procedure. 8

8. As of 6 January 2005, at least 259 Palestinian children were under Israeli detention. 9 Israeli authorities have arrested some 2,500 Palestinian children since September 2000, 10 holding them for long periods and denying them contact with a lawyer or relatives during interrogation. 11 Some 30 imprisoned Palestinian children in Israel have fallen ill and have been inadequately treated; 41.6 per cent of their ailments directly or indirectly resulting from their incarceration. 12

Property destruction

9. Home demolition is among the most destructive Israeli practices in socio-economic terms. Such demolitions have predominantly taken place at night, and inhabitants receive only a few minutes’ notice to remove their possessions. 13

10. Between 1 March and 21 December 2004, the Israeli army destroyed at least 630 Palestinian homes in the West Bank, of which 29 were refugee shelters. Throughout 2004, Israeli authorities in occupied East Jerusalem destroyed 115 Palestinian residential buildings, including over 170 residential units. 14 In 2004, the Israeli army destroyed 1,443 homes, affecting about 14,481 persons in the Gaza Strip. 4 During the first nine months of 2004, the Israeli army demolished an average of 120 residential buildings per month in the West Bank, and 77 homes per month in Rafah, in southern Gaza Strip. 2

11. Since September 2000, the Israeli army destroyed over 2,990 shelters in the Gaza Strip that were home to 28,500 people, 4 and demolished or damaged more than 12,000 homes in the West Bank.2

12. From September 2000 to 31 January 2005, the Israeli army uprooted over 1,325,000 fruit-bearing trees. 15 Those huge losses will take years to recover, as any fruit tree requires five to seven years of steady cultivation before yielding any income. 16

13. Throughout the Gaza Strip, land levelling increased in 2004. Over 50 per cent of the Gaza Strip’s Beit Hanoun’s agricultural land, mainly comprising of citrus fruit and olive trees has been destroyed in the last four years. In July 2004, the Israeli army cleared 289 hectares of land in the same area during a military operation. 17

14. Israeli military ordnance, equipment and soldiers have damaged or destroyed both private and public Palestinian infrastructure. The destruction in both Tel al-Sultan and Brazil Camp demonstrates Israel’s use of bulldozers to tear up roads, along with their water and sewage networks, thereby also producing a significant public health risk in already vulnerable communities. The Israeli army destroyed 51.2 per cent of Rafah’s roads in that manner. 18

15. The total cost of accumulated physical damage to housing, factories, infrastructure and land from October 2000 to September 2004 is conservatively estimated at $2.2 billion, or almost 19 per cent of the estimated Palestinian capital stock. With subsequent incursions, the occupied territory’s war-torn economy has lost about one fifth of its economic base. 19

16. During its military operations in the Gaza Strip, the Israeli army targeted Palestinian factories and workshops, with the declared aim of destroying local rocket-making capabilities. However, that has resulted in the destruction of and severe damage to civil and private enterprises essential to the community’s economic life. Operation “Forward Shield” exemplified that pattern, where the army damaged or destroyed 22 industrial facilities. 20

Mobility restrictions and closure policies

17. Restricting movement of goods and persons exacerbates the humanitarian crisis in the occupied Palestinian territory by deepening unemployment and poverty, preventing health care, interrupting education and generally humiliating the Palestinian people individually and collectively. Restrictions on the movement of people and goods continued in 2004 and became more severe in the Gaza Strip. The Gaza Strip remained severed into three segments, where new pass restrictions have especially affected isolated communities, including Siafa, al-Ma’ani and the al-Mawasi areas (Khan Yunis and Rafah). 21

18. In 2004, the Erez checkpoint in north Gaza was fully closed to Palestinians for 179 days; Erez industrial zone for 190 days, Karni checkpoint (the main commercial crossing between Gaza and Israel) for 47 full days and 188 partial days, Netzarim junction for 41 days and the Sofa crossing south of Gaza for 56 full days. During the same period, the Rafah Terminal (the only border crossing between the Gaza Strip and Egypt) was closed for 66 full days and partially closed for 182 days (from 16 April to 21 October 2004 it was completely closed to males aged between 16 and 35). Gaza International Airport remained closed for the entire period. Within the Gaza Strip, the Gush Qatif checkpoint, on the main north-south road, was fully closed for 27 days and partially closed on all remaining days. 4

19. The monthly average number of Gazan workers who entered Israel and Erez industrial zone was 2,960, representing a 69 per cent decline from the 2003 monthly average of 9,670 workers. 22

20. In 2004, exports from the Gaza Strip through Karni crossing decreased by 30 per cent from the previous year. Exported truckloads fell from 934 trucks per month in 2003 to 655 in 2004. Imported truckloads rose by 5 per cent from 3,429 per month in 2003 to 3,589 in 2004. In March, Israel imposed new restrictions on the volume of goods passing through Karni crossing by reducing the height of goods placed on the conveyor belt at the security check from 1.7 metres to 70 centimetres. That has significantly slowed the passage of goods through the crossing. 22

21. In the West Bank, over 700 physical obstacles, including checkpoints, military observation towers, concrete blocks, road gates and earth mounds, obstruct internal movement. At the beginning of 2004, the Israeli army announced that it would ease the West Bank closure regime. Subsequently, about 50 roadblocks were removed, making vehicular movement between districts easier in the northern and southern West Bank, but erratically constructed “flying checkpoints”, were still used. 22

22. Curfews continue to be imposed on West Bank cities. Between 18 June 2002 and 6 March 2005, Hebron came under 5,828 hours (243 days) of curfew, while Nablus and Jenin came under 4,808 hours (200 days) and 3,766 hours (157 days) of curfew, respectively. 23

Israeli settlements

23. Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory, deemed illegal by the international community, continue to exacerbate the conflict, with detrimental repercussions on the living conditions of the Palestinian people.

24. The number of Israeli settlers in the West Bank and Gaza Strip increased by 6 per cent, growing from 236,381 in 2003 to 250,179 in 2004. 24 Israeli settlers in occupied East Jerusalem total about 180,000. In the Gaza Strip, 17 Israeli settlements house 8,693 settlers, representing an 11 per cent increase from 2003. 24

25. In 2004, Israel established two new settlements in the occupied East Jerusalem area: Kidmat Zion (400 units) and Nof Zahav (550 units). Thereafter, in June 2004, the Israeli Government revealed plans for Givat Yael, west of Bayt Jala (West Bank), entailing the confiscation of 411 hectares of Palestinian land. That new settlement is planned to accommodate 55,000 settlers in 13,500 housing units. 25 The World Zionist Organization is also supporting new settlement construction in the Jordan Valley. 26

26. The Israeli Ministry of Housing and Construction revived the 4,000-unit “E–1” expansion plan in 2004, which links Ma’ale Adumim with other Jerusalem-area settlements, bisecting the West Bank. Intensive road construction is already under way in that area. Israel’s Finance Ministry has allocated $4.4 million for the project. 27 In late August, the Israeli Lands Authority approved another 767 units for Jerusalem-area settlements. 28 In January 2005, Israeli authorities approved 3,500 housing units in the area between Ma’aleh Adumim and Jerusalem. The construction of those units aims to reinforce Israel’s hold on settlement blocs, “filling in” the closed areas between the Green Line and the barrier. 29

27. The four West Bank settlements included in Israel’s “disengagement plan” also grew in 2004. The residents of Sa-Nur nearly tripled. 30 The larger West Bank settlements also increased in population: Modi’in Ilit by 14 per cent, totalling 27,301; Ma’aleh Adumim by 6 per cent, adding 1,800 newcomers to total 28,546.

28. Two settlements are expanding around Alfei Manashe: Nof Sharon, implanting 50 settler houses on Palestinian lands near Habla village; and Givat Tal, with 400 new units. Extensive construction since mid-2004 is nearly doubling the size of Alfei Manashe itself. 25

29. The Ari’el settlement already has expanded westward with 2,000 new housing units. In May 2004, Israel’s Attorney General granted the Housing and Construction Ministry permission to resume funding for settlement construction. In August, the same ministry published tenders for building 1,001 new units in the West Bank, plus 600 housing units that were approved for Ma’ale Adumim. 28 The Israeli Lands Administration marketed 1,783 new housing units in the West Bank in 2004, announcing plans for 2005 to support the construction of over 6,391 new settler homes and retroactively approved 120 settler outposts. 31 The latter decision was modified on 13 March 2005 when the Israeli cabinet decided to set up a committee to dismantle 24 of the outposts following the findings of the Sasson report. 32

30. In the Gaza Strip, land-seizure orders increased throughout 2004, where at least 350 settlement development projects awaited approval. On 26 July 2004, the Gaza Regional Council won approval for 26 residential buildings in Gush Katif and new schoolrooms for Kfar Darom, Netzarim and Neve Dekalim. 33

31. In August 2004, the Israeli Government announced exceptional financial incentives to Israeli settlers in the West Bank. 34 It also announced new incentives for Gaza Strip settlers redeploying to the West Bank, as well as a $30,000 bonus for settlers moving to the Negev or the Galilee. 35 Settlements in the Gaza Strip should be evacuated over a period of 12 weeks beginning mid-August 2005 as part of the $680 million disengagement procedure. 36

Barrier

32. General Assembly resolution ES-10/15 of 20 July 2004 acknowledged the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice that the construction of the barrier in the occupied Palestinian territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, is contrary to international law. Nevertheless, Israel continues to construct the barrier in the West Bank. The barrier is approximately 209 kilometres long, with some 105 kilometres actively under construction, 37 and forms a complex of fences, ditches, razor wire, groomed trace sands, electronic monitoring system and patrol roads. A total of 22 kilometres consist of an average width of 60 metres, with 8- to 9-metre-high concrete slabs, forming a wall (mostly in urban areas such as in occupied Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Qalqiliya, and Tulkarm). 38

33. Based on the map of the planned route of the barrier that the Government of Israel published on 20 February 2005, the barrier includes sections around the Ma’ale Adumim and Ari’el/Emmanuel settlements that constitute 108 kilometres, or 16 per cent of the whole barrier route. If the aforementioned sections are to be included, the barrier’s ultimate length will be 670 kilometres, which equals about twice that of the Green Line. Accordingly, 57,726 hectares, or 10.1 per cent of the West Bank land, including East Jerusalem, will lie between the barrier and the Green Line. 37

34. The damage caused by the destruction of land and property for the barrier construction is long lasting and undermines Palestinians’ ability to recover should a political situation allow it. In that regard, and as requested by the General Assembly in resolution ES-10/15, the Secretary-General intends to establish a register of barrier-related damages, which is expected to begin later in 2005. Some 1,323 hectares of land have recently been cleared or damaged owing to the construction of the barrier. 2 It is estimated that once the construction of the barrier is complete, access to 8,500 hectares of olive trees (approximately one million trees) will be either impossible or severely restricted. 21 Among other consequences resulting from the construction of the barrier are the following:

• Confiscation of land, particularly for those living east of the barrier, where agricultural land comprises the major source of income for its inhabitants

• Seizure, destruction and isolation of water sources

• Loss of and defaults on investments, which will have longer-term financial consequences

• Environmental degradation affecting flora, fauna and geology of Palestinian habitat

• Negative impact on social relations and family ties due to movement restrictions 39

• Sharp decline in commercial activity (including loss of access to the Arab-Israeli market), employment and economic viability, especially along the barrier route itself

• Emergence of additional categories of “new poor”, especially among farmers and farm labourers

• Greater dependency upon labour and commercial markets in Israel for those living in the “closed” areas.

35. Excluding the population of occupied East Jerusalem, the barrier is expected directly to affect 49,400 Palestinians living in 38 villages and towns. More than 500,000 Palestinians live within a 1-kilometre strip of the barrier, including occupied East Jerusalem. The planned Ma’ale Adumim section will cut 14 km east across the West Bank, or 45 per cent of its width. That would restrict movement for Palestinians between the northern and southern parts of the West Bank, as well as for those residing in and around occupied East Jerusalem. 40

36. The area between the barrier and the Green Line, excluding occupied East Jerusalem, will include 56 Israeli settlements with approximately 170,123 Israeli settlers, which is an estimated 76 per cent of the West Bank settler population. 37

37. In February 2005, 63 gates in the constructed barrier were observed, of which only 25 were accessible to Palestinians with the correct permits. 37 However, the permit system severely limits passage for Palestinians and has proven inadequate to ensure normal daily life. 41

38. Palestinians residing in “closed areas” between the Green Line and the barrier face an uncertain future in terms of both their personal and lands’ status. Approximately 5,000 Palestinian residents in Jenin, Qalqilya and Tulkarm districts are required to apply for permits to remain living in their homes. 21

39. The barrier will further restrict farmers living outside “closed areas” between the Green Line and the barrier from getting to their land located in those areas. Medical staff, business people and international humanitarian organizations also have to apply for special permits. If the military orders that restrict entry into “closed areas” are to be applied to new parts of the barrier, then many thousands of Palestinians are likely to face difficulty continuing to live in their homes or access their land. 21

40. By most estimates, approximately 220,000 persons in 60 communities are being affected in the completed first phase of the barrier in the Qalqilya, Tulkarm and western Jenin areas, of whom as many as 40 per cent are refugees. Outside of Tulkarm and Qalqilya towns, these communities have not figured prominently on UNRWA’s agenda to date because the area was relatively well-off before September 2000. Land-owning refugees were the least in need of assistance, and with few facilities in the area, they were not strongly relying on UNRWA health and education services. However, it is possible that a “new poor” category will emerge, particularly among landless labourers. Outside of the “Jerusalem Envelope”, approximately 120 such communities will be affected in the Salfit, Ramallah, Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Hebron areas. UNRWA has projected that the disadvantaged socio-economic conditions of refugees, as compared to the non-refugee population, will make them particularly vulnerable to further declines in their living standards. 4

41. Problems of access to educational and health services are part of the detrimental impact of the barrier on refugee livelihoods. This is particularly relevant to UNRWA operations in the Jerusalem surroundings, given the high number of UNRWA installations (schools and health centres) in the area. The UNRWA Jerusalem Health Centre epitomizes difficulties in refugees’ access to Agency services. Whereas about 10,000 visits per month were completed between August and October 2003, mostly of patients coming from outside town, visits have dropped considerably by more than half in July 2004. In January 2005, this number continued to drop, falling to 4,112 visits, with a marked decrease in visits from patients with non-communicable diseases and registering infants for vaccinations. Furthermore, over 6,600 refugees in three UNRWA-conventioned Jerusalem hospitals had received secondary health care in 2003. Most such patients will no longer be able to access the city when the barrier is completed. 4

Natural resources, water and environment

42. Mekorot, the Israeli public corporation that supplies about 80 per cent of Israel’s water, 42 has consolidated control over most surface and underground water in the occupied Palestinian territory since 1967. 43 Palestinians under Israeli occupation are increasingly growing dependent on water purchased from Mekorot, especially in areas affected by the barrier and other land confiscations, as in the case of the town of Nabi Elyas, where Israeli authorities refuse to connect a well to the local network. 44

43. Palestinian water networks in the occupied Palestinian territory sustained significant damage due to the Israeli army’s military activities. In the Gaza Strip, Bayt Hanun sustained damage to water infrastructure worth $250,000, 45 while 120 private rooftop water tanks and 17 private water wells used for drinking water and irrigation were also destroyed. 46 In Rafah, the Israeli army destroyed 17 out of 30 kilometres of water pipes, and 15 out of 20 kilometres of sewage pipes, valued at $713,900. 47 The consequent mixing of water and sewerage has spawned waterborne diseases. Some 70 per cent of common illnesses in the area stem from water pollution, 48 and traces of polio have been detected in the Gaza Strip water supply.49

44. The Israeli army has buried rubble in sites risking pollution, especially in sand dune areas, which are natural infiltration for the Gaza aquifer. 50

45. Poor and deteriorated waste disposal infrastructure also threatens environmental health. Hebron’s raw sewage flows cause both immediate health problems and potential long-term contamination of the western aquifer. 51 In Salfit, liquid, gas, and solid wastes left by the 17 settlements in the district are causing pollution to the environment, agriculture and water. Industrial waste is often discharged into Palestinian land without treatment. Untreated wastewater may contain many pollutants, especially heavy metals, which increase the risk of intoxication and epidemics such as hepatitis A or infectious diarrhoea. 52

Public health

46. The destruction of water and sanitation infrastructure has resulted in decreased average per capita availability of water, as well as in contaminated drinking water causing increased gastrointestinal infections, especially among children. 53

47. Power and water cuts during prolonged curfews, which curtail access to clean water, have increased the number of diarrhoea cases. Overcrowding in schools during incursions in Rafah led to an outbreak of chickenpox among young children. 53 A severe outbreak of mumps afflicted Nablus-area camps and villages from autumn 2003 until August 2004, affecting 2,190 children, 73 per cent of whom had previously been vaccinated. 4

48. UNRWA is also seeing an epidemiological shift characterized by increased incidences of non-communicable diseases, such as diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular diseases and cancers, which place an additional burden on UNRWA’s scarce human and financial resources. 4 Moreover, 45.3 per cent of households have had difficulty accessing health services for financial reasons, 40.1 per cent owing to Israeli closures, 38.3 per cent because of military checkpoints, and 8.9 per cent because of the barrier. 54 In barrier-affected areas, 73.7 per cent of Palestinians living in “closed areas” reported difficulty accessing health facilities and services. 55 Over the last four years, access to physical therapy services for the 322,000 residents in the Gaza Strip’s middle area has become nearly impossible. 56

49. There has been a decrease in immunization coverage in some pocket areas of the occupied Palestinian territory, while less than two thirds of children vaccinated against measles have acquired immunity. 53 Israeli restrictions on Palestinian Ministry of Health vehicles and staff have limited outreach services, i.e., immunization in remote areas is now being provided only on an exceptional basis with United Nations logistical and material support. 57

50. One per thousand birth deliveries of women in the occupied Palestinian territory took place at Israeli checkpoints and 4.1 per cent of deliveries were at home. Since September 2000, nearly 70 births at Israeli military checkpoints have resulted in the death of mother and/or child. Even when the maternal and infant outcomes are positive, the resulting humiliation and trauma inflicted on women in distress during labour have potentially longer-term psychological consequences. 4

51. Increasing psychological distress among the population is reflected in the growing number of patients seeking care for mental health problems. 53

52. The nutritional status of the population has deteriorated. About 15 per cent of children suffer goitre or present signs of iodine deficiency, thus exposing a large number of children to mental retardation. 57 Seventy per cent of children have vitamin A deficiencies or are “borderline” cases. 57 Stunting (low height for age) reached 9.0 per cent and wasting (low weight for height) 2.5 per cent among Palestinian children due to poor nutrition. 58

53. Food insecurity also has affected women’s and children’s health adversely. Preliminary results of a study conducted by UNRWA revealed that over 60 per cent of children below 2 years of age, 36 per cent of pregnant women, and over 43 per cent of nursing mothers in the Gaza Strip are anaemic. 4

Food

54. Overall food consumption of Palestinian households has fallen by 25 to 30 per cent since September 2000. 2 Approximately 1.3 million people in the occupied Palestinian territory, or 38 per cent of the population, are food insecure, while a further 26 per cent of the population is at risk of becoming food insecure. 59 A quarter of Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip are unable to feed themselves adequately, even with food aid. 55 Sixteen per cent of the Palestinian population is affected by subsistence poverty; with monthly consumption of less than $48, they cannot afford to consume the minimum caloric intake as established by FAO and WHO. 60

55. The coping strategies adopted by the most vulnerable and affected groups of the population, including the chronic poor and the “new poor”, have been exhausted and become unsustainable. Palestinian households have resorted to purchasing food through credit with shopkeepers and neighbours, forgoing payment of utilities, and selling assets. Others cope through receiving assistance from relatives. In some instances, Palestinians have used extreme coping mechanisms such as withdrawing children from schools. 59

Youth and education

56. Children are the most affected by the conflict, showing critical signs of distress. Thirty-six per cent of parents reported aggressive behaviour among their children, 31 per cent noticed low achievement in school, 25 per cent reported that their children are bedwetting, and 28 per cent reported regular nightmares. All four signs of distress are most prevalent in refugee camps and among poorer households in the Gaza Strip. 57

57. Family life and health is being threatened in far-reaching ways. There is growing evidence that chronic anxiety, low self-esteem and feeling a loss of control have overcome the population in the occupied Palestinian territory, negatively affecting family relationships and life: 30.8 per cent of children are reported to have been exposed to some type of violence, 68 per cent had experienced physical and/or verbal violence in the home environment and 30 per cent coming from teachers. Given the implications for later adult behaviour by people who were abused as children, these findings could bode ill for future family and social stability. 61

58. According to a study of Palestinian public perceptions of their living conditions, 54 per cent of economic hardship-case households, compared to 23 per cent above the poverty line, were reported to be experiencing chronic low school achievement among their children. 61

59. Owing to ongoing closures and curfews, more than 226,000 children in 580 schools find attending school impossible, irregular or very risky. In the West Bank and Gaza 272 UNRWA schools were closed for a collective total of 391 school days in the 2003/04 academic year. Teachers lost over 56,000 teaching days. The disruptions in schooling in the West Bank in three consecutive academic years have led to a further deterioration in students’ achievement. In UNRWA schools, exam pass rates declined dramatically between 2000/01 and 2003/04. The mathematics pass rate for sixth grade dropped from 68.7 per cent to 33.6 per cent, while the science pass rate for fourth grade dropped from 71.5 per cent to 38 per cent. Movement restrictions also affect quality of learning, since education authorities are pressured to recruit teachers who live close to schools rather than those who are best qualified for the teaching posts. 62

60. During the past three years, Palestinian universities have lost an estimated $4.85 million worth of infrastructure, teaching and learning facilities, equipment and library books. The overall university dropout rate has increased by 7 per cent in 2004 because families were unable to afford university fees. 2

Economic indicators

61. Geographic fragmentation, including the isolation of occupied East Jerusalem, has separated economic actors from each other, and deteriorated the economic status of Palestinians and the general economy of the occupied Palestinian territory. Land scarcity (where 40 per cent of the population living in the Gaza Strip live on 6 per cent of the land), a high population growth rate of at least 3.4 per cent and a young population (of which 45.8 per cent are under 15 years old) pose further challenges to social and economic development efforts. 63

62. Israeli movement restrictions continue to play a major role in the ongoing socio-economic deterioration in the occupied Palestinian territory. World Bank estimates for the overall economic performance show that in 2004, Palestinian gross domestic product (GDP) was lower by 20 per cent compared to 1999 while GDP per capita was lower by 37 per cent. In dollar terms, GDP estimates dropped from $4.1 billion in 1999 to $3.3 billion in 2004, while GDP per capita fell from $1,493 to $934 over the same period. 64 According to the World Bank, this contraction in the economy has continued despite unprecedented per capita levels of international aid disbursed to the occupied Palestinian territory in the past four years. 65

63. The labour market is still in crisis. Despite a period of employment growth in 2003, the number of unemployed remained three times higher in the third quarter of 2004 than in September 2000. According to the data of the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, the number of Palestinians employed in Israel and Israeli settlements has declined by 97,000 since late 2000. 66 Taking into account discouraged workers who have given up looking for work, 67 the adjusted unemployment rate in the third quarter of 2004 stood at 32.6 per cent, which is a 3 per cent rise compared to the third quarter of the previous year. 68 About one in three employed persons works for the Palestinian Authority, UNRWA or non-governmental organizations. 69

64. Rural communities have adapted to making a living by engaging in agriculture and trade activities close to home. 70 However, this is limited to short-term coping and cannot recuperate economic conditions prior to September 2000. Agriculture is largely for subsistence, and trade activity will not be sustained if local customers lose their outside incomes or if access to urban centres fails to improve. The shift from waged labour to informal, unpaid family labour and self-employment provides poor-quality work and does not contribute to stabilization or expansion of employment. 22

65. The fragmentation of economic life has taken its toll on the Palestinian population. Every working individual supports 6.4 non-employed persons. Furthermore, poor households amounted to 58.1 per cent in the occupied Palestinian territory. There are more than 2.2 million poor Palestinians; approximately 1.27 million in the West Bank and 945,000 in the Gaza Strip. 2

66. After plummeting in the first two years of the intifada as a result of depleted private savings and political instability,71 private investment grew by 5 per cent in 2003 owing to economic stabilization observed towards the end of 2002. 72 This moderate recovery was again stalled in 2004.73

67. Reliance on Israel has not stopped despite strict movement restrictions and the completion of the barrier in the northern West Bank. On the contrary, the West Bank rural economy continues to depend on Israel for access to export and labour markets albeit at a reduced level. 74 In January 2004, the ratio of imports to exports through Karni crossing was 3:1. By June 2004 it rose to 12:1, significantly increasing in the transfer of income from the Gaza Strip to Israel. 21

68. The Palestinian loss of agricultural outputs due to land confiscations and access impediments reached $320 million. 75 With 45 per cent of Palestinian agricultural land (89,826 hectares) cultivated with olive trees, Israeli closures and Israeli settler harassment of olive harvesting and transport cost untold millions in harvest and product sales. 76

69. Of the estimated 1.3 million people living in the Gaza Strip, an estimated 40,000 live from fishing. The Israeli authorities have hampered the Gaza fishing industry by closing 40 per cent of Gaza’s coastline to its fishermen, and restricting fishing to six nautical miles of the coast, despite the 20-mile limit set out in the Oslo Accords. 21 As a result, most of the fishermen have seen their incomes drop by 70 per cent. Over-fishing also has resulted from coping strategies, as Palestinians resorted to exploiting the sea after losing jobs in Israel. 77

70. The Israeli planned route for the barrier effectively removes Rachel’s Tomb and the surrounding neighbourhood from Bethlehem into Jerusalem’s expanded boundaries. This has spelled the demise of once thriving Palestinian commercial and tourism areas. In addition, intense closure, barrier construction and consequent depression in tourism and the general economy, has prompted 9.3 per cent of Bethlehem’s Christian community to emigrate in the last four years. 78

Status of women

71. Female-headed households display an incidence of poverty 1.3 times higher than households headed by men. Community and family disapproval of women’s work in the absence of male breadwinners is a major obstacle to women seeking wage employment. 79

72. In spite of high-level educational attainment, women remained marginalized in the labour market. The generally positive correlation between female education and labour force participation was not applicable to the occupied Palestinian territory. Those factors, coupled with the large numbers of male Palestinian prisoners, the high number of persons killed in conflict and the destruction of homes, placed increased pressure on the care economy, and specifically on women, the primary providers of care. 80

Access to humanitarian assistance

73. UNRWA incurred approximately $31 million in losses and additional costs between October 2000 and September 2004 in the occupied Palestinian territory as a result of Israeli measures, including restrictions on the movement of people and goods, which were imposed on the grounds of security.

74. UNRWA incurred over $500,000 in extra costs owing to the relocation of international staff to Jerusalem and Amman from August to December 2004. In the Gaza Strip, UNRWA was forced to suspend food distribution twice in 2004 owing to heightened security measures, affecting approximately two thirds of the refugee population. 4

75. Damage to UNRWA facilities in the occupied Palestinian territory caused by the Israeli army in 2004 amounted to approximately $141,000. Facilities that have been damaged include schools, clinics, and food distribution centres. 4

76. The number of Jerusalem entry permits issued by the Israeli authorities to UNRWA staff members has decreased. At the end of 2004, 262 of 478 employees, or 55 per cent of employees, held valid entry permits compared to 83 per cent at the end of 2003. Moreover, 93 staff members continue to be denied permits for “security” reasons. The short validity of permits, which are valid only for either one or three months, combined with delays in reissuing valid permits, resulted in serious disruptions to Agency operations. 4 The total cost of lost working hours in the Gaza Strip in 2004 was $1.83 million. 4

77. The Israeli authorities banned the movement of humanitarian goods from Israel into Gaza through Erez crossing. Karni crossing was then designated the sole crossing point for humanitarian goods coming into the Gaza Strip. The Israeli-imposed “back-to-back” haulage system on vehicles transporting goods impedes the delivery of humanitarian assistance. Costs have increased considerably following a suicide attack at Ashdod port in mid-March 2004. Additional costs to UNRWA due to port operations and Karni crossing fees, for the period between October 2000 and the end of December 2004 alone, are almost $8 million. 4

III. Occupied Syrian Golan


78. There are currently about 20,000 Israeli settlers in 44 settlements in the occupied Syrian Golan. Following a decision by the Israeli authorities, this population is expected to increase by 15,000 over the next three years. Israeli authorities already have authorized nine new settlements and the expansion of existing ones, requiring the expropriation of 35 hectares of land and the uprooting of 1,800 apple and cherry trees in Mas’adah village, which has been declared a military zone. 81

79. The Israeli Mekorot company pumps 400-500 million cubic metres of water annually from the occupied Golan, supplying Israeli water networks to the south and serving local settlers with seven times more water than that allocated to Syrian citizens. 82 Discrimination against the Arab population continues in the form of taxes at higher rates than Israeli settlers on water use, television licences, housing, income and property, health insurance, local council and national insurance taxes and value-added taxes. Israel also taxes the harvests of Syrian farmers. 83

80. The Israeli authorities have continued to lay anti-personnel landmines on 100 hectares of land along the Golan border strip, banning farmers from cultivating their lands, and uprooting trees. 84

81. The occupied Syrian villages do not have hospitals and suffer from a chronic shortage of health centres and clinics, particularly affecting women and children. 85 Syrian Arabs have to pay for all health services, including primary health care, which was free of charge prior to the occupation. 85

82. Israeli authorities continued to impose the Hebrew-language requirements on Syrian pupils and teach exclusively Jewish history and Hebrew literature. 86

83. Israel is the only market accessible to Syrian Arab farmers, and the closure of the West Bank and Gaza Strip has eliminated 30 per cent of the consumer market for their produce. 87 Apple production declined from 25,000 tons in 2002, to 15,000 tons in 2003, with a reduction of cultivated land from 5,000 to 2,000 hectares. Land appropriation and institutional discrimination, including prohibiting Syrian Arabs from digging wells or collecting snow for irrigation, are forcing Syrian farmers to abandon their livelihoods. 83

84. Syrian workers in the occupied Syrian Golan continue to suffer from unemployment and job insecurity. Those in temporary work are under constant threat of dismissal. Governmental and public institutions hire Israeli settlers exclusively and reject employment of Syrian citizens on the pretext of Hebrew language criteria or for security reasons. 88

85. Students visiting their families in the occupied Syrian Golan during holidays endured weekly police interrogations. 85 Israeli authorities have raided Syrian Arab homes at night and arrested young people on charges of resisting the occupation by writing slogans, organizing demonstrations, commemorating national events or distributing publications. In 2004, Israel arrested 19 Syrian Arabs, holding them under poor conditions in distant Israeli prisons. 89 Five were sentenced to 27 years of imprisonment, and one to 15 years.90

86. At least 11 Syrian Arabs remain in Israeli prisons for resisting the occupation. 91 Their visitors cannot have direct contact with them, and when visiting their relatives in prison, Syrian Arab women undergo invasive personal searches and/or are made to stand for long hours before being allowed in the prison. 85

87. Israel has reportedly buried nuclear waste in insecure containers close to the Syrian border in the Golan, leading to fears of depleted uranium leakage and future ecological catastrophe. To date, Israel has refused to comply with relevant international conventions or allow the International Atomic Energy Agency to monitor its nuclear reactors or waste-storage sites. 92

IV. Conclusion


88. Investment in the occupied Palestinian territory is projected to remain flat according to the World Bank’s recently developed “status quo scenario”, which assumes no significant change in closures, the completion of the barrier, continuing decline in the number of workers in Israel and a reduction of donor assistance. Thus, unemployment would increase to 37 per cent by 2008 as the domestic economy cannot replace jobs lost in Israel and the growing labour force. Real GDP and GDI (gross domestic income) per capita would decline by a further 17 per cent and 20 per cent, respectively, by 2008, with poverty afflicting 62 per cent of the population. 93 The World Bank has estimated that even a further increase of international assistance to the occupied Palestinian territory would do little to arrest the current process of overall economic decline. 94

89. The deterioration in the economic situation, poverty, a worsening health and nutritional status of women and children, difficult access to health services and educational facilities will render the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals by 2015 extremely difficult.

90. The sustainable option for creating better conditions to address the current economic and social deprivation, as well as to ensure a life of dignity and rights for the Palestinian and Syrian civilians under occupation, lies in ending the occupation of the Palestinian territory, as well as the Syrian Golan. This highlights the urgent need to accelerate the peace process to achieve a comprehensive, just and lasting solution to the Middle East problem.

Notes

1 United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75, No. 973.

2 OCHA, Humanitarian Information Fact Sheet, January 2005.

3 Razing Rafah: Mass Home Demolitions in the Gaza Strip (New York, Human Rights Watch, October 2004), p. 76.

4 UNRWA contribution to report, 3 March 2005.

5 Idem, December 2004; citing DCI-PS November, 2004, B’Tselem sources.

6 SG/SM/9857, 5 May 2005; SG/SM/9569, 1 November 2004 and SG/SM/9571, 1 November 2004.

7 Palestinian National Information Center, http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/RWB.NSF/db900SID/ VBOL-6A4KEC?Open Document&rc=3&emid=ACOS-635PFR.

8 http://www.btselem.org/english/Administrative_Detention/Statistics.asp.

9 http://www.btselem.org/english/statistics/Minors_in_IDF_Detention.asp.

10 UNICEF contribution to report, December 2004.

11 Report of the Palestinian Ministry of Prison Affairs, as reported in “300 Palestinian Children in Israeli Prisons”, WAFA (7 November 2004), http://english.wafa.ps/body.asp?field=tech_news&id=1839.

12 Instead of receiving the proper medical treatment, these children are prescribed paracetamol for every disease. Report of the Palestinian Ministry of Prison Affairs, as reported in “300 Palestinian Children in Israeli Prisons”, WAFA (7 November 2004), http://english.wafa.ps/ body.asp?field=tech_news&id=1839.

13 Through No Fault of Their Own: Punitive House Demolitions during the al-Aqsa Intifada (Jerusalem, B’Tselem, November 2004), p. 15.

14 OCHA, Humanitarian Update — December 2004 , p. 4, according to the Jerusalem Center for Social and Economic Rights.

15 Palestinian National Information Center, http://www.pnic.gov.ps/arabic/quds/arabic/viol/ quds_viol_01-2005.html.

16 “Report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories”, note by the Secretary-General, A/59/381, 23 September 2004, p. 18.

17 OCHA contribution to report, 3 March 2005.

18 Including claims that such destruction clears the path of improvised explosive devices; however, the army has used rear-mounted “rippers” that afforded no frontal protection for the bulldozers or their drivers. Tearing up paved roads also creates loose debris that could facilitate the concealment of explosives and booby-traps. Razing Rafah: Mass Home Demolitions in the Gaza Strip, p. 11, 93 (Rafah Municipality Assessment, 9 June 2004).

19 UNCTAD, “UNCTAD Report on Palestinian Economy Calls for Intensified Donor Commitment to Development”, 29 September 2004, at http://www.unctad.org/palestine and http://domino.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/9a798adbf322aff38525617b006d88d7/16a51bf9fefed2d285256f1f004cf535!OpenDocument.

20 OCHA, “Preliminary Humanitarian Situation Report: Operation ‘Forward Shield’” (August 2004).

21 OCHA contribution to report, 21 December 2004.

22 UNSCO contribution to report, 23 December 2004.

23 Palestinian Red Crescent Society, http://www.palestinercs.org/ Presentation%20PowerPoint%20Curfew%20Tracking%20July%202002_files/frame.htm.

24 Statistics published by the Israeli Interior Ministry’s Population Registry on 9 January 2005, cited in Ha’aretz, 10 January 2005, at http://www.haaretzdaily.com/hasen/spages/524998.html; also in Geoffrey Aronson, “Settlers Losing the Battle for Gaza Settlements”, Report on Israeli Settlements in the Occupied Territories , vol. 15, No. 1, at http://www.fmep.org/reports/2005/ Jan-Feb/v15n1.html.

25 Negotiations Support Unit, Negotiations Affairs Department, “Update on Recent Israeli Settlement Activity June 15-August 24 2004”, 24 August 2004, p. 2.

26 Americans for Peace Now, Yediot Ahronot, 28 July 2004, cited in Middle East Peace Report, vol. 6, Issue 3, 2 August 2004.

27 Negotiations Support Unit, Negotiations Affairs Department, “Update on Recent Israeli Settlement Activity June 15-August 24 2004”, 24 August 2004, pp. 1-2. It should be noted that the E-1 plan aims at linking the West Bank settlements with those of occupied East Jerusalem as well as with Israel.

28 Negotiations Support Unit, Negotiations Affairs Department, “Update on Recent Israeli Settlement Activity June 15-August 24 2004”, 24 August 2004, p. 1.

29 Ha’aretz , 22 March 2005. Following the Israeli Government’s approval, this plan was referred to the West Bank’s Supreme Planning Council in February. Final approval from the Council is needed for the implementation of the plan.

30 Ha’aretz, 10 January 2005.

31 “Israel plans 6,000 West Bank settlement homes-report”, Reuters, 25 February 2005, at http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/L25597642.htm; “APN Attacks Plan for 6,000+ New Settlement Houses, Authorization for 120 Illegal Outposts”, Americans for Peace Now, at http://www.peacenow.org/updates.asp?rid=0&cid=337 (accessed on 1 March 2005).

32 Ha’aretz , 14 March 2005. This Israeli-commissioned report by attorney Talia Sasson concludes that all settler outposts are illegal and that the Israeli Government supported and budgeted these outposts, which — according to the Sasson report — amount to 105.

33 “ARIJ Christmas Message”, at http://www.arij.org/Christmas%202004/index.htm.

34 Negotiations Support Unit, Negotiations Affairs Department, “Update on Recent Israeli Settlement Activity June 15-August 24 2004”, 24 August 2004, p. 3.

35 Conal Urquhart, “Gaza Strip settlers may go to West Bank”, The Guardian (17 November 2004), http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,1352889,00.html.

36 Geoffrey Aronson, “Settlers Losing the Battle for Gaza Settlements”, op. cit.

37 OCHA, Preliminary Analysis of the Humanitarian Implications of February 2005 Barrier Projections , 8 March 2005.

38 Humanitarian Emergency Policy Group, OCHA, UNRWA, The Humanitarian Impact of the West Bank Barrier on Palestinian Communities Update No. 4 (Jerusalem, OCHA, 1 September 2004), p. 3, and OCHA contribution to report, 21 December 2004.

39 A 2004 survey indicated that 64.2 per cent of families object to a family member marrying a spouse living on the other side of the barrier, “‘State’ inside the ‘Wall’” (Bethlehem, Ma`an Development Centre, 2004), p. 2.

40 OCHA, Preliminary Analysis of the Humanitarian Implications of February 2005 Barrier Projections , 8 March 2005. There are approximately 230,000 Palestinians with East Jerusalem residency permits.

41 Humanitarian Emergency Policy Group, OCHA, UNRWA, The Humanitarian Impact of the West Bank Barrier on Palestinian Communities Update No. 4 (Jerusalem, OCHA, 1 September 2004), p. 28, and OCHA contribution to report, 21 December 2004.

42 Humanitarian Emergency Policy Group, OCHA, UNRWA, The Humanitarian Impact of the West Bank Barrier on Palestinian Communities Update No. 4 (Jerusalem, OCHA, 1 September 2004), at note 16, p. 35.

43 Report of Special Rapporteur Giorgio Giacomelli on the human rights situation in the occupied Palestinian Arab territories since 1967, E/CN.4/2000/25 [Arabic], 15 March 2000, p. 11, paras. 24-25. In the Bethlehem area, some additional agricultural land is now included in the barrier-created enclaves, but separates farmers from much of their surrounding agricultural land and water sources for agriculture, which serve as back-up during the dry season and when the Israeli-owned Mekorot pipelines are not functioning. Humanitarian Emergency Policy Group, OCHA, UNRWA, The Humanitarian Impact of the West Bank Barrier on Palestinian Communities Update No. 4 (Jerusalem, OCHA, 1 September 2004), p. 23.

44 UNRWA, UNRWA Case Study: Reports on the West Bank Barrier, 31 July 2004 at http://domino.un.org/unispal.nsf/0/9c463d6eff83545885256ee700513b91?OpenDocument.

45 International Management Group (IMG) estimates, in OCHA, “Preliminary Humanitarian Situation Report: Operation ‘Forward Shield’”, at http://domino.un.org/unispal.nsf/0/ 5e4e866e111a903085256f01004f6bae?OpenDocument.

46 Palestinian Hydrology Group, in coordination with Palestinian Water Authority, “Water and Sanitation, Hygiene (WaSH) Monitoring Project: Impact of the Current Crisis in the West Bank and Gaza Strip” Survey Report #12, August 2004, p. 2, available at http://www.phg.org/campaign.

47 Rafah Municipality, Damage Assessment, 9 June 2004, in Razing Rafah: Mass Home Demolitions in the Gaza Strip (New York: Human Rights Watch, October 2004), p. 76.

48 Razing Rafah: Mass Home Demolitions in the Gaza Strip (New York: Human Rights Watch, October 2004), p. 92. UNRWA and OCHA, Rafah Humanitarian Needs Assessment, 6 June 2004.

49 Razing Rafah , op. cit., p. 92. Human Rights Watch interview with Joachim Paul, UNICEF, Gaza City, 12 July 2004.

50 “Technical Paper IV — Settlements”, in Stagnation or Revival? Israeli Disengagement and Palestinian Economic Prospects (Jerusalem, World Bank, 1 December 2004), p. 1, available at http://www.worldbank.org/ps and http://web.worldbank.org /WBSITE/EXTERNAL/ COUNTRIES/MENAEXT/WESTBANKGAZAEXTN/0,contentMDK:20209926~pagePK:
141137~piPK:217854~theSitePK:294365,00.html., note 22, p. 6.

51 “USAID constructs wastewater plant”, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) press release, 14 January 2005, p. 1, at http://www.notes.reliefweb.int/w/rwb.nsf/0/ 77f1a2148ac3497f49256f8a0017bfab?OpenDocument.

52 Médecins du Monde, The Ultimate Barrier, February 2005, p. 19.

53 WHO contribution to report, 24 December 2004.

54 54 Caritas Jerusalem, “Main Findings of the Survey on the Impact of Israeli Measures on the Economic Conditions of the Palestinian Households”, press release, 1 October 2004; “The Humanitarian Impact of the West Bank Barrier on Palestinian Communities”, at Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation, http://www.hcef.org/hcef/index.cfm/mod/news/ID/16/ SubMod/NewsView/NewsID/1175.cfm, p. 2.

55 UNFPA contribution to report, January 2005.

56 Robyn Long, “OPT: Caring for Gaza’s Disabled”, American Near East Refugee Aid (ANERA), 11 January 2005, at http://www.notes.reliefweb.int/w/rwb.nsf/0/01d024a0c141360549256 f87001c109d?OpenDocument.

57 UNICEF contribution to report, December 2004.

58 UNICEF, “Early Years”, at http://www.unicef.org/oPt/children.html.

59 WFP contribution to report, 21 December 2004.

60 World Bank, 2004, Poverty in West Bank and Gaza after three years of economic crisis.

61 UNICEF contribution to report, December 2004; citing “Study on Palestinian Public Perceptions on Their Living Conditions”, Institut Universitaire des Études du Développement, Geneva, Report 7 (July 2004).

62 UNRWA contribution report, 3 March 2005; also, UNICEF contribution to report, December 2004.

63 UNFPA contribution to report, January 2005. UNICEF cites a 3.9 per cent growth rate in “At a Glance: occupied Palestinian territory”, at www.unicef.org/infobycountry/opt_statisdtics.html.

64 Office of the United Nations Special Coordinator in the Occupied Territories UNSCO contribution to report, 23 December 2004, citing: World Bank, Disengagement, the Palestinian economy and the settlements , 23 June 2004 (table 1, p. 30).

65 Ibid., citing: World Bank, Stagnation or Revival?, p. 42.

66 UNSCO contribution to report, 23 December 2004, citing: World Bank, Four Years — Intifada, Closures and Palestinian Economic Crisis: An Assessment . October 2004, p. 14.

67 UNSCO contribution to report, 23 December 2004. This definition includes discouraged workers who are not actively looking for work.

68 Ibid. The standard unemployment rate, standing at 26.8 per cent, also increased by 3 percentage points compared with the same period the previous year. This standard definition includes unemployed persons 15 years and over who did not work at all during the reference week and who were available for work and actively seeking a job during the reference week. Persons who work in Israel and were absent from work owing to closure are considered unemployed as are those people who are waiting to return back to their work in Israel and settlements.

69 Ibid. According to PCBS labour force data, this represents an increase in the proportion of people employed in the public sector compared with 2003 (29 per cent) and with pre- intifada (23 per cent).

70 UNSCO contribution to report, 23 December 2004. According to a recent study, in 18 of the 30 sample communities, agriculture which was not the main activity in any of the communities before September 2000, became the main economic activity in 2004. About 56 per cent of the household in these communities engaged in agriculture for subsistence only. Economic Adaptation and Fragmentation in the Rural West Bank (unpublished) .

71 UNSCO contribution to report, 23 December 2004. In 2000, private investments dropped by more than 30 per cent and another 40 per cent in 2001 (see World Bank, Four years — Intifada, Closure and Palestinian Economic Crisis, An Assessment , October 2004, p. 24).

72 This “fragile recovery” in 2003 was insufficient to bring the capital base to its pre- intifada levels (ibid., p. 24).

73 UNSCO contribution to report, 23 December 2004, citing: World Bank, Stagnation or Revival?, p. 6.

74 UNSCO field research found that the only rural enterprises that continue to employ relatively large numbers of workers are those that still have access to formal Israel markets. These include cucumber farms, textile workshops and stonecutting factories (UNSCO, Economic Adaptation and Fragmentation).

75 World Bank, Stagnation or Revival? Israeli Disengagement and Palestinian Economic Prospects (December 2004), cited in UNSCO contribution, 23 December 2005, p. 2.

76 In 2003, 10,000 metric tons of Palestinian olive oil, valued at $35 million went unsold. OCHA contribution to the report.

77 OCHA, “OCHA Humanitarian Update Occupied Palestinian Territories Oct 2004”, 30 October 2004, p. 3, at http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/RWB.NSF/db900SID/MHII-6V3TX?OpenDocument.

78 OCHA contribution to report, 21 December 2004; and UNSCO/OCHA, Costs of Conflict: The Changing Face of Bethlehem (Jerusalem, United Nations, December 2004), p. 11.

79 Report of the Secretary-General on the situation of and assistance to Palestinian women (E/CN.6/2005/4) of 10 December 2004, para. 13.

80 Ibid., para. 14.

81 “Report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories”, note by the Secretary-General (A/59/381) of 23 September 2004, para. 91.

82 Ibid., para. 92.

83 Ibid., para. 97.

84 Ibid., para. 94.

85 Ibid., para. 99.

86 Ibid., para. 96.

87 Shahada Nasr Allah (in Arabic) “Report on the 2004 Apple Season in the Golan” (Majdal Shams: Agricultural Services Center, Golan Development, 2005), at Golan for Development Organization website, http://www.jawlan.org/reports/applereport2004.htm.

88 Ibid., para. 98.

89 “Prison Administration Continues Its Arbitrary Measures” (in Arabic), 2 March 2005, at Golan for Development Organization website, http://www.jawlan.org/news/news.asp?sn=644.

90 See A/59/381, para. 93.

91 Golan for Development Organization website, http://www.jawlan.org/prisoners/prisoners.htm.

92 Ibid, para. 95. See also General Assembly resolution 59/106 of 16 December 2004, “The risk of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East”, and United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 729, No. 10485.

93 UNSCO contribution to report, 23 December 2004, citing: World Bank, Stagnation or Revival?, p. 7.

94 Idem, pp. 31-36.


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