2015 Strategic Response Plan
occupied Palestinian territory
Covering 1 January to 30 June 2015
Key achievements toward Strategic Objectives
• 1.3 million people received food and cash-based support.
• 73% of families whose homes are subject to demolition or destruction due to natural disasters or conflict received immediate Shelter/NFIs assistance in Gaza.
• 97% of people who received legal aid from Legal Task Force members temporarily protected from demolitions due to legal proceedings in Israeli courts.
• 72% of WASH demolition incidents in the West Bank received a response.
• 486,348 vulnerable people in West Bank and Gaza provided with access to quality and affordable essential health care.
• 192,936 girls and boys directly affected by occupation or conflict-related violence, including grave violations against children, provided with child protection interventions and psychosocial support.
• 282,031 girls and boys provided with improved access to protective, inclusive, child friendly quality education.
• The humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip continues to deteriorate, one year after the 2014 conflict. Reconstruction and recovery have not taken place at the level needed and the chronic lack of energy continues to undermine basic service provision.
• Humanitarian access remains constrained, in the Gaza Strip, Area C of the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
• Uneven use of data on needs and response that is gender and age disaggregated is limiting humanitarian actors' ability to carry out targeted humanitarian programming for the most vulnerable groups.
• While overall funding has been good, key parts of their response remain critically underfunded such as livelihoods support.
• Some indicators in the monitoring framework were found to be obsolete or difficult to measure, and were therefore updated as part of the process of producing this Periodic Monitoring Report.
• Efforts by donors and HCT members to maintain humanitarian space to enable humanitarian operations to deliver to the most vulnerable people are most important. The Government of Israel and relevant Palestinian authorities should fulfil their responsibilities to facilitate the work of humanitarian organizations.
• Information management and capturing information on specific vulnerabilities to inform a more nuanced and targeted humanitarian response, as well as allowing humanitarians to monitor effectiveness, should be a priority for the next programme cycle.
• Identify practical measures to address cluster capacity needs in relation to gender focused programming with support from the Humanitarian Gender Advisor and UN Women.
• Ensure that a clear and robust monitoring framework is developed alongside the Humanitarian Response Plan, with clearly assigned monitoring responsibilities and timelines.
• Donors are encouraged to continue funding the SRP in a manner consistent with the priorities outlined in cluster plans, including expanding contributions to the Humantiarian Pool Fund (HPF).
• Intensify support for the recovery and reconstruction of Gaza in political and financial terms to help reduce the humanitarian caseload, particulary IDPs.
Humanitarian context and needs
Despite a limited relaxation of access restrictions by the Israeli authorities and a general decline in violent confrontations and civilian casualties during the first half of 2015, the major drivers of humanitarian vulnerability across the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) remained. In addition to the protection threats affecting Palestinians in the context of the prolonged occupation, there has been no progress on the main political fronts, i.e. Israeli-Palestinian negotiations towards a realization of the two-state vision, and the consolidation of the Palestinian Government of National Consensus (GNC) ending the internal divide. Furthermore, there is a pervasive crisis of accountability, with no effective remedy for the vast majority of alleged violations of international law, to ensure justice for the victims and to prevent future violations.
In the Gaza Strip, the land, sea and air blockade imposed by Israel, citing security concerns has continued to affect the living conditions of 1.8 million Palestinians. Since the beginning of the year, the Israeli authorities have significantly increased the number of exit permits issued to Palestinians from Gaza, however, those eligible for such permits still constitute a small minority, primarily patients, businesspeople and staff of international organizations. Limited exit permits are not however, a substitute for the need to lift the blockade. The isolation of Gaza has been exacerbated since October 2014 by the almost continuous closure of the passenger crossing with Egypt (Rafah) by the Egyptian authorities, in the context of armed clashes in the Sinai.
For the first time since the imposition of the blockade, the Israeli authorities allowed the marketing of Gazan goods in the West Bank, and to a very small extent also in Israel. Although limited, this had a positive impact on the economy. The controlled import of restricted building materials under the temporary Gaza Reconstruction Mechanism (GRM) has continued, with 92,867 people having bought all or some of the materials needed for repair of their houses and another 10,374 people ready to purchase materials. However, 100,000 people remain internally displaced and continue to live in precarious conditions with host families, in rented apartments, prefabricated units, tents and makeshift shelters, or in the rubble of their previous homes. Lack of reconstruction affects not only physical infrastructure, but also the social fabric. Continuation of these conditions raises significant protection concerns including increase in rates of gender based violence, early marriage for adolescent girls, and school drop out. Similarly, maternal and neonatal mortality rates in Gaza are showing a significant increase.
Finally, the lack of progress towards the consolidation of the Palestinian GNC has prolonged the hardship of civil servants employed by the Hamas authorities, who have not received their salaries for more than a year, and slowed down reconstruction efforts.
While regular protests and clashes between Palestinians and Israeli forces continued, the first half of 2015 witnessed a significant decline in civilian casualties. Thirteen Palestinian civilians were killed by Israeli forces, down from 38 in the previous six months, while the number of Palestinian injuries (952) declined by almost 80 per cent. There has also been a significant decline in Palestinian attacks against Israelis and resulting casualties. However, the proportion of Palestinian injuries caused by live ammunition by Israeli forces, mostly in crowd control situations, was nearly the same as in the second half of 2014 (around 20 per cent), maintaining previous concerns about excessive use of force. A high number (62 per cent) of those injured by live ammunition or rubber coated metal bullets were children, with one Palestinian child killed. Incidents of attacks against schools decreased when compared to the same period in 2014 (46 incidents compared to 104). Refugee camps are spaces of heightened protection threat.
In March 2015, the Israeli authorities lifted the permit requirement for men over 55 and women over 50 to enter East Jerusalem and Israel and expanded this exception to additional age categories during the Fridays of Ramadan (June-July). However, significant restrictions on access to services in East Jerusalem, as well as access to livelihoods in areas isolated by the Barrier, continue to be of concern. Various Israeli practices affecting Palestinian communities in Area C and East Jerusalem continued to undermine their living conditions and acts as a "push factor". These practices include restrictions on access to grazing land and arable land, the sea and markets; denial of access to basic infrastructure; rejection of applications for building permits; and demolition or threat of demolition to homes, schools and animal shelters. In the first half of 2015, the Israeli authorities demolished or dismantled 286 structures in these areas displacing 291 people, roughly one quarter of whom were Palestine refugees. 126 of the demolished structures were agricultural — more than double the number of agricultural structures demolished in all of 2014 (69). Some 7,000 Bedouins living in 46 residential areas in the hills to the east of Jerusalem and in the central West Bank (the vast majority of them Palestine refugees) have remained at risk of forcible transfer (which constitutes a grave breach of international humanitarian law) due to a "relocation" plan advanced by the Israeli authorities.