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Source: Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
3 August 2016


The major drivers of humanitarian vulnerability in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) remained unchanged in the reporting period. The situation is characterized by a protracted occupation, which has entered its 50th year, the systematic denial of Palestinian rights, and continuing conflict, punctuated by frequent outbreaks of violence.

Although attacks and clashes in the West Bank (WB) declined significantly during the second quarter of 2016, 65 Palestinians have been killed in 2016 so far, the majority recorded in the context of attacks or alleged attacks against Israelis. Concerns remain of possible excessive use of force and extrajudicial executions by Israeli forces in their response to attacks or suspected attacks by Palestinians, in addition to a lack of accountability in these cases. Following several attacks, Israel increased restrictions on Palestinian movement throughout the WB, including the suspension of over 80,000 permits issued to Palestinians to access East Jerusalem for Friday prayers during Ramadan and for family visits to Israel.

There was a decline in the number of Palestinian structures demolished in Area C and EastJerusalem for lack of building permits, relative to the first quarter; however, the 628 structures demolished so far in 2016, up to the end ofJune, exceed the total for all of 2015 (523), as does the number of Palestinians displaced to date: 917 versus 640 in all of 2015. The number of donor-funded, humanitarian assistance structures demolished or confiscated up to the end ofJune (187) also surpasses the number (107) in all of 2015. This practice takes place in the context of an unlawful and discriminatory planning regime implemented by Israel. Bedouin and herding communities in Area C remain the most vulnerable and continue to face a high risk of individual and mass forcible transfer due to a coercive environment that creates pressure on residents to leave their communities.

In the Gaza Strip (GS), the August 2014 ceasefire has largely held and the blockade imposed by Israel since 2007 remains in place. While some measures were relaxed, cement imports into the GS for the private sector were halted completely between 3 April and 27 May. The expansion of the fishing zone on 3 April was short-lived and Israel reintroduced limitations on fishing along the southern Gaza coast from 9 to 6 nautical miles on 26 June. The Egyptian-controlled Rafah crossing also remained closed in both directions for most of the reporting period.

Although no displacement has taken place since the ceasefire, an estimated 13,000 families, or 65,000 people, remain displaced. Some 24% of the approximately 18,000 homes destroyed or severely damaged have been reconstructed or repaired, another 27% are under construction and funding is confirmed for repair or reconstruction of a further 18% during 2016. Growth in the construction sector has resulted in a 21% increase in real GDP in the GS between Q1 2015 and Q1 2016, although the World Bank does not anticipate that the Gaza economy will rebound to pre-2014 levels before 2018.

The internal Palestinian divide continues to exacerbate the humanitarian situation. The lack of a resolution to the longstanding salary crisis affects tens of thousands of public employees in the GS and impairs the delivery of basic services, which are also crippled by electricity shortages. The electricity supply deteriorated during the reporting period due to recurrent shortages of fuel to run the Gaza Power Plant and disruptions to the electricity supply from Israel and Egypt.

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