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Source: Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
23 March 2011



UN Report Raises Concerns about the Humanitarian Consequences
of Israeli policies in East Jerusalem and the Increasing Isolation of the City from the oPt


Jerusalem — Today, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) launched a new report on East Jerusalem. This is the first UN report to offer a comprehensive review of both the humanitarian consequences of Israeli policies for Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem, and the increasing isolation of East Jerusalem from the remainder of the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt).

Mr. Maxwell Gaylard, the United Nations Humanitarian and Resident Coordinator for the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) said, “This comprehensive report highlights the humanitarian vulnerability of Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem in accessing basic services such as education and health, exercising their right to plan and develop their communities and in freely choosing to live in East Jerusalem as an integral part of the occupied Palestinian territory.”

The “East Jerusalem: Key Humanitarian Concerns” report documents the humanitarian impact of Israeli policies on the estimated 270,000 Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem, which risk undermining the Palestinian presence in East Jerusalem in the long term. The report also describes how East Jerusalem, traditionally the hub of Palestinian healthcare, education, social, economic and religious activity, has become increasingly isolated from the rest of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Restrictive access policies and the Barrier are compounding this separation of East Jerusalem.

In observing the situation, Mr. Gaylard said, “Despite these difficulties, East Jerusalem continues to be the center of life for Palestinians throughout the oPt. Access by Palestinians to the city from throughout the Palestinian territory is essential to maintain Palestinian life in East Jerusalem.”

The Report concludes that the Government of Israel, as the occupying power, is responsible under international law for meeting the humanitarian needs of Palestinians in East Jerusalem and the remainder of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. East Jerusalem Palestinians must be able to exercise their fundamental rights, including the rights to freedom of movement, work, housing, health, education and freedom of worship. Jerusalem is a city holy to three faiths and critical for two peoples, as well as a symbol for many around the world. Respect for the rights of all under international law must be upheld, so that the city can live and flourish in peace.

For more information please contact:

Reena Ghelani, OCHA, ghelani@un.org , +972 (0) 54 33 11 805
Judith Harel, OCHA, harel@un.org, +972 (0) 54 33 11 807
Tahrir Hijazi, OCHA hijazit@un.org, + 972 (0) 54 33 11 824


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