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Source: Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
31 December 2004


UNITED NATIONS

OFFICE FOR THE COORDINATION OF HUMANITARIAN AFFAIRS

P.O. Box 38712 East Jerusalem
Phone: (972) 2 – 5829962 / 5825853, Fax: (972) 2 – 5825841
ochaopt@un.org, www.ochaopt.org


HUMANITARIAN MONITORING REPORT - DECEMBER 2004



The Humanitarian Monitoring Report is produced monthly by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). It draws on information from the Access, Closure and Information System (ACIS) and other data sources that humanitarian agencies have submitted to OCHA. The report is provided to the Task Force on Project Implementation (TFPI) as a basis for discussions with the government of Israel. It is available on the website www.reliefweb.int/hic-opt.

Context
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan appointed Ms Catherine Bertini as his Personal Humanitarian Envoy to address the humanitarian needs arising from the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict since September 2000. Ms Bertini was requested to assess the nature and scale of the humanitarian needs, and to clarify the respective responsibilities of all actors involved.

This report monitors the humanitarian commitments made by the government of Israel to Ms Bertini during a mission to the region from 12 to 19 August 2002. It concluded that there were serious humanitarian problems linked to the ongoing conflict and, specifically, to the measures implemented by the government of Israel to safeguard its citizens from Palestinian attacks.

These security measures, including curfews, closures and roadblocks, led to a crisis of access and mobility, instigating a drastic decline in the Palestinian economy. A large part of the Palestinian population has difficulty accessing basic services such as health and education. Humanitarian service providers, such as UN agencies, NGOs, the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) and Palestinian Ministry of Health (MoH) ambulances, have experienced problems providing assistance and services to beneficiaries.

Commitments made by Israel
Health
Water
Facilitation for International Humanitarian Organisations
Additional Commitments
On previous occasions, the government of Israel has made the following commitments, which were confirmed to the mission:
Executive Summary

Health
Palestinian ambulance operators reported a total of at least 25 access incidents in December 2004 (compared to 20 in November) in which the provision of first aid and/or medical evacuations were delayed, obstructed and/or prevented by the IDF. The fewest numbers of incidents were reported in November and December 2004, both far below the year’s high of 93 incidents reported in May. On average, 46 incidents were reported each month.

Water
Palestinians continued to have difficulties accessing water and, in some areas, the water supply was reduced.

Facilitation for International Humanitarian Organisations
In December 2004, international relief agencies filed at least 49 reports in which the delivery of aid and/or the movement of personnel were obstructed by the IDF or Israeli Border Police. Most incidents reported included delays and disrespect by the IDF of international humanitarian organisations’ mandates, privileges and immunities. A fewer number of incidents were reported in December than in most months in 2004. The highest number of incidents, 166, was reported in March, followed by 154 and 151 in April and May 2004 respectively.

Additional commitments
The total number of containers entering the Gaza Strip in December 2004 increased with 7,506 units arriving from Israel and elsewhere compared to 5,331 in November and 5,754 in October1. The largest number of imports was reported in December 2004. The fewest number of imports was recorded in June – 1,626.

The number of containers exiting the Gaza Strip in December 2004 also increased. In total 1,380 containers were exported, compared to 793 in November, 615 for October and 475 in September. December figures were the second highest for the year 2004 after January when 1,830 containers were exported. May, with 239 imports, was the month with the lowest number of containers.

On average in 2004, 5,391 containers were imported each month and 946 were exported.

The movement of Gaza Strip fishermen remained subject to strict restrictions.


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1Trade figures are reported by Palestinian officials at Karni to OCHA. These figures represent the most accurate figures available to OCHA at the time of publication.
















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