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Source: Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
30 September 2012




The Monthly Humanitarian Monitor





September 2012



September overview

As this issue of the Humanitarian Monitor goes to press, the annual olive harvest, which began on 6 October, is once again being undermined by access restrictions and settler violence. Since the beginning
of October, nearly 1,000 trees were vandalized by Israeli settlers and hundreds of Palestinian farmers were denied, or faced restrictions on their access to their olive groves located behind the Barrier or near settlements. The olive oil industry is one of the mainstays of the Palestinian economy and supports the livelihoods of approximately 80,000 families. Events in September, covered in this issue, highlight some additional challenges that Palestinians face in sustaining their livelihoods.

The increase in basic commodities’ prices in recent months, particularly fuel, triggered popular demonstrations across the West Bank in early September. Protestors burnt tires, blocked main roads and clashed with Palestinian security forces; at least 75 people were injured and widespread destruction to public buildings was reported.

Commenting on the decline in the economic situation and the PA’s fiscal crisis at the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC) meeting in New York in September, the World Bank stressed that “sustainable Palestinian economic growth will be challenging absent [the] fundamental and significant changes that [will] remove the impediments caused by the dissection of the Palestinian territories - impediments which constrain investment, raise costs and hinder economic cohesion”.

The ongoing restriction on the transfer of goods to and from the Gaza Strip is just one such impediment. This month, in the run-up to the AHLC meeting, the Israeli authorities announced the approval of 11 UN projects addressing significant gaps in the areas of housing, education, water and sanitation, electricity and agriculture. Alongside these approvals, agencies were informed that 18 other projects, valued at USD 35 million, are temporarily rejected “due to security considerations related to their location”. The need for Israeli approval of reconstruction projects pertains to the ongoing Israeli ban on the import of basic construction materials. Although since 2010 an exception to this ban was made for international organizations, the lengthy approval process has significantly hindered project implementation; the recent approvals had been under review for an average of 19 months.

This month witnessed the first transfer of commercial goods manufactured in the Gaza Strip to the West Bank since 2007, consisting of four truckloads of furniture. Additionally, the UN World Food Program (WFP) was also able to transfer seven truckloads of locally produced date bars for their school-feeding programme in the West Bank. Albeit welcome, approvals were given on an exceptional basis; the general ban on the transfer of goods to the West Bank and Israel (the two main markets for Gaza products) remains in place, undermining the potential for private sector growth in Gaza.

This ban on transfer of commercial goods is one component of Israel’s official “separation policy” between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. This month, the Israeli Supreme Court upheld the legality of this policy in the context of the rejection of a petition filed by five female students from the Gaza Strip, who had been refused permission to enter the West Bank to complete their master’s degrees. In its submission to the Court, the Government of Israel explained that the “separation policy” is based on both security and political considerations.

The impact of access restrictions imposed by the Israeli authorities within the oPt was further illustrated in Hebron city, where construction of a new road barrier in the Israeli controlled section of the city (H2) began this month. According to the Israeli authorities, the barrier is being built to prevent Palestinian children from “bothering Israeli settlers” accessing the Al Ibrahimi Mosque/ Cave of the Patriarchs. A field visit by OCHA and local partners indicated that, once completed, the new barrier will force approximately 70 families in the area to take long detours, using alternative routes, in order to access services and livelihoods. The humanitarian community, including UN agencies and NGOs, is trying to address the humanitarian needs of Palestinian communities generated by these and other movement and access restrictions. However, their ability to implement programmes is hindered by certain policies and access restrictions. According to new data generated from an online survey, in 2012 there was an average of 105 access incidents involving UN and INGO staff per month, compared to an average of 45 incidents captured by the regular mechanism, based on selfreporting by affected staff. Access incidents include delays at checkpoints and demands to search UN vehicles, contrary to the Convention on UN Privileges and Immunities.

Access restrictions are a major cause of vulnerability across the oPt. These restrictions have both an immediate and a cumulative impact, resulting in unemployment, food insecurity, property losses and aid dependency. As the occupying power, Israel is responsible for the welfare of the Palestinian population under its control in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. While international law allows Israel to restrict Palestinians’ right to freedom of movement to address legitimate security needs, it can do so only “to the extent strictly required by the exigencies of the situation”, in a non-discriminatory manner and taking into account other legal obligations.

GAZA: 11 UN PROJECTS AND TWO SHIPMENTS
OF GOODS TO THE WEST BANK APPROVED

The restrictive regime for the movement of goods to and from Gaza
continues to undermine access to services and livelihoods

The Israeli authorities announced this month a number of approvals concerning the entry and exit of certain goods to and from Gaza. While these approvals are a step in the right direction, they also highlight the restrictive nature of the current access regime, which impedes the implementation of humanitarian and development projects and the reactivation of Gaza’s productive capacity. On 20 September, the Israeli government’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) announced the approval of 11 UN projects and two components of another, valued at USD 39.3 million. These include a housing project in Khan Younis (449 units), six schools, three water and sanitation infrastructure projects, one electricity project, and one agricultural land rehabilitation project in northern Gaza (Um Nasser village). Albeit limited to specific areas and number of beneficiaries, the implementation of these projects will address significant humanitarian gaps.

Notwithstanding these approvals, earlier in the month, COGAT informed UN agencies and one INGO that 18 other projects, including 13 schools and five community infrastructure projects, valued at USD 35 million, are temporarily rejected “due to security considerations related to their location”. Consequently, the implementing agencies were requested to identify alternative locations and resubmit the projects for consideration.

The need for Israeli approval of reconstruction projects relates to the ongoing ban on the import of basic construction materials through the official crossings between Israel and the Gaza Strip, that has been in place since the imposition of the blockade in 2007. Israel has agreed to a general exception for materials relating to projects carried out by international organizations and pre-approved by COGAT. This ongoing ban has forced the private sector in Gaza to rely on building materials smuggled in through the tunnels under the border with Egypt.

Whilst an exception is made for international organizations, the review system put in place by Israel to have these projects approved has resulted in significant delays in the implementation of essential projects, thus extending the hardship faced by intended beneficiaries. The projects approved in September, for example, had been under COGAT review for an average period of 19 months. Similar to the previous package of approvals (in March 2012), the recent announcement occurred in advance of the high-level Ad-Hoc Liaison Committee meeting. This seems to confirm an official Israeli document, disclosed earlier this year through a Freedom of Information petition, indicating that the timing of project approvals is subject to political considerations. The slow pace of approval is also significantly impeding international agencies’s ability to address the basic needs of a rapidly growing and highly vulnerable population. UN projections indicate that by the year 2020, the population of Gaza will expand to 2.1 million. Services and infrastructure will have to be increased in order to address the basic needs of this enlarged population; electricity production will need to double, 800 new hospital beds and 440 new schools will be required and water and sanitation infrastructure will need to be significantly improved. For example, UNRWA, will need to build at least 5 primary schools per year just to maintain the existing education service of double shifts with a ceiling of 40 students per classroom. Since February 2010, UNRWA has only managed to build an average of 4 schools per year, largely due to delays in approvals from the Israeli authorities.

Notably, this month also witnessed the first commercial transfer from the Gaza Strip to the West Bank since the imposition of the blockade in 2007. A private sector company was allowed to deliver four truckloads of Gaza-made furniture (school chairs and desks) to the West Bank. This consignment was ordered by the PA Ministry of Education for use in their West Bank schools , and it is hoped that this would be the first of a series of tenders for school equipment. In addition, this month WFP was granted approval to transfer seven truckloads carrying 77 metric tons of date bars produced in Gaza for their school-feeding programme in the West Bank.

Since the easing of the blockade in June 2010, Israel has allowed only limited types of exports (almost exclusively agricultural produce) to Europe. At the same time, the West Bank and Israel, which constitute the natural markets for Gazan products, have remained largely inaccessible due to the blockade. In addition, the Israeli authorities - citing security concerns - limit the pallet height of each export consignment to one meter, rather than the standard 1.6 meters, requiring the use of additional trucks to carry the same volume of goods. This significantly increases transport costs and decreases the competitiveness of Gazan traders. Overall, this month’s exceptional authorization of the two shipments to the West Bank is a positive step. This important precedent must be built upon if transfers are to have a significant impact on the economic situation in the oPt and especially on the recovery of Gaza’s legitimate private sector.




POPULAR DEMONSTRATIONS AGAINST HIGH COST
OF LIVING IN THE WEST BANK RESULT IN CASUALTIES

Palestinians highlight restrictions on economic growth relating
to the ‘Oslo’ economic protocol

The increase in basic commodities’ prices in recent months, including fuel, triggered demonstrations across the West Bank in early September. Protestors burnt tires, blocked main roads and clashed with Palestinian security forces. At least 75 people were injured (including demonstrators and policemen) and widespread destruction to public buildings was reported, including municipality offices, and police and fire stations. In addition, taxi, bus and truck drivers declared a strike throughout the West Bank, impacting access to a range of services, including schools and places of work. On 6 September, a Palestinian man attempted to set himself and his daughter on fire in protest against the increases in the cost of living; the Palestinian police intervened and prevented serious injury.

Demonstrators across the West Bank demanded that the Palestinian Authority (PA) subsidize the price of basic products, curb price increases and pay public employees’ salaries on time. Significantly, some protestors also called for the abolition of the ‘Paris Protocol’, signed in 1994 by the Government of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization in the context of the Oslo Accords, which governs economic relations between Israel and the PA. The Paris Protocol stipulates that the PA’s Valued Added Tax (VAT) rate cannot be more than two percentage points lower than the Israeli rate, and that the price of gasoline must be within 15 percent of its rate in Israel. Recent increases in Israel have compelled the PA to raise the VAT rate and gasoline prices in the oPt.

On the occasion of the latest Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC) meeting in New York in September, a number of reports were published which provide an economic background to the recent unrest. In its report, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned that ‘the Palestinian economy is facing serious risks, with a slowdown in growth and rise in unemployment in both Gaza and the West Bank’ as a result of ‘lower donor aid …, the global economic slowdown, and the absence of further easing of restrictions on internal movement and exports.’

According to the IMF, real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the West Bank declined to 5 percent in 2011 and the first quarter of 2012, from an annual average rate of 9 percent during the period 2008-10. The slowdown was particularly marked in Gaza, where growth declined to 6 percent in the first quarter of 2012, compared to over 20 percent in 2010-11. Overall, unemployment in the oPt rose to 22 percent in the first half of 2012, up from 20 percent in the same period last year: in the West Bank, the figure is 19 percent (up from 16 percent); in Gaza there was a one percent rise to 30 percent. Youth unemployment was particularly high at 28 percent in the West Bank and 45 percent in Gaza during the first half of 2012.

Inflation, one of the triggers of the recent unrest, has remained at 2 to 3 percent during the first half of 2012, with inflation in the West Bank (5 percent) significantly higher than Gaza (1 percent). Overall CPI (consumer price index) has risen by 13 percent in the West Bank and 2 percent in Gaza since 2009. However, in the same period, nominal wages have only increased by 1.5 percent in the West Bank and by 0.5 percent in Gaza.

Following the disturbances, the PA announced that it would enforce a price freeze on a number of basic food commodities, reduce the prices of diesel, cooking gas, and kerosene to their August levels and reduce VAT. The cost of these measures will be offset by decreased spending in certain ministries, deductions in the salaries of high-level officials, and freezing new recruitment and promotions in government institutions until further notice. The PA currently has a financing gap of at least US$ 400 million for the remainder of 2012.

Rising living costs in the oPt

Taxi drivers in Ramallah and Nablus share their stories

Ahmad Dabour (Abu Murad) is a Palestinian refugee residing in Al Jalazun Refugee Camp. His household includes his wife and three daughters, one of whom is divorced and has three children of her own. Since 2002, he has worked as a taxi driver in Ramallah city.

“My daily income is about NIS 300 (USD 75); half of this amount goes towards fuel and the remaining part is divided between me (1/3) and the taxi office (2/3). This means that my actual daily income ranges between NIS 65 and NIS 75, at best,” Abu Murad said.

According to Abu Marad, his monthly income is not enough to cover his family needs, including electricity and water bills and other daily costs. In order to cover expenses, including college fees for one of his daughters, Abu Murad took out a loan for USD 3,000 from a local lending organization, leaving him with a monthly payment of USD 105. For the past three months, however, he has been unable to make the payment. His family largely depends on buying on credit from small shops in the refugee camp.

For Abu Murad, and some of his co-workers, the financial crisis has deepened following rises in living costs, such as the doubling of fuel prices over the past 10 years, the recent increases in taxation imposed by the PA Ministry of Transportation, and the rise in traffic violation fines issued by the PA traffic police. “When I started working as a taxi driver in 2002, fuel cost NIS 3.5 per liter; it now costs NIS 7 per liter. Meanwhile, passenger rates have not increased at the same rate.”

Like Abu Murad, Talal Dwikat, a 38-year-old resident of Beita village in Nablus, feels his financial situation has grown desperate. Talal is a father of seven children, four of whom are enrolled in schools. For the past eight years he has been working as a taxi driver, transporting people back and forth between the cities of Nablus and Ramallah. Roughly half of Talal’s monthly income goes to cover the cost of fuel. A large portion of the remaining half goes towards other expenses, including car maintenance and taxes. He estimates that only one-fifth of his monthly earnings is personal income, and it is insufficient to meet his family’s needs.

Talal’s coping mechanisms are limited: he has no savings, so he borrows money from people, and his family has been forced to cut down on food expenditures. For example, the family now consumes meat only on a few occasions during the year. Talal notes “unlike the previous ‘Eid, this year I was unable to buy new clothes for my children during ‘Eid al Fitr or take them anywhere to make them happy. I participated in the September strikes because I want to be able to draw a smile on my children’s faces during the next ‘Eid.”


The IMF warned that the current economic situation, combined with the stalemate in the peace process, leads to ‘a high risk of a continued economic slowdown, a rise in unemployment, and social upheaval.’ In its report to the AHLC, the World Bank urged donors to maintain their support to the PA budget, and the PA to continue to move on key reforms to raise domestic revenues and control expenditures. However, the World Bank concluded that ‘even with such measures, the real prospects for progressing on a path towards sustainable Palestinian economic growth will be challenging absent fundamental and significant changes that remove the impediments caused by the dissection of the Palestinian territories - impediments which constrain investment, raise costs and hinder economic cohesion.’ The World Bank again emphasized the importance of Area C to the West Bank: ‘as the only contiguous land in the West Bank connecting 227 separate geographical areas (A and B), Area C is the key to economic cohesion and is the most resource abundant space in the West Bank holding the majority of the territory’s water, agricultural lands, natural resources, and land reserves that provide a foundation for economic growth.’

ACCESS TO SERVICES IN THE H2 AREA
OF HEBRON CITY FURTHER CONSTRAINED

A new road barrier forces 70 families to use long detours to
access basic services

During the last week of September, the Israeli authorities began building a new road barrier in the Israeli-controlled section of Hebron city (H2). It consists of a 1.5 meter high metal fence installed on top of concrete slabs, and there are plans to extend the fence for approximately 500 meters along the so-called ‘Prayers Road’ – the street used by Israeli settlers to access the Al Ibrahimi Mosque/ Cave of the Patriarchs from Kiryat Arba settlement (see Map). On 6 September, the Israeli authorities issued a requisition order seizing the land needed for the construction of the barrier. Palestinian residents of the area responded by filing an objection to the order with the Israeli Civil Administration; the objection was subsequently rejected.

The Israeli District Coordination Liaison (DCL) for Hebron area informed OCHA that the new barrier is needed for “security reasons”, to prevent Palestinian children from “bothering Israeli settlers” walking along the street, and from “stealing the settlers’ bags”.10 According to the Israeli DCL, the barrier will not affect the freedom of movement of Palestinians in the area. However, a field assessment carried out by OCHA and local partners indicates otherwise; once completed, approximately 70 families residing in the in As-Salaymeh neighborhood located to the east of the road barrier will be required to use long detours to reach the western areas of Hebron’s Old City, in order to access basic services and livelihoods. The freedom of movement of residents in this neighbourhood is already constrained due to the ban on the entry of Palestinian vehicles to the ‘Prayers Road’, in effect for the past few years.

A few of the residents who own small businesses in the area and rely on donkey-carts for the transport of commodities expressed concern that the new measure will likely force them to shut down. The barrier will also create an additional challenge to residents’ access to health care centers in the western parts of the city, particularly for the disabled and the seriously ill (see box). Children in the neighborhood will be required to walk longer distances to reach the Al Fayha and Al Ibrahimieh schools, thus increasing their exposure to settler violence or military harassment, already prevalent in the area.11

Unlike other West Bank cities, Hebron was not handed over to the control of the PA in the context of the 1995 Interim Agreement. In an agreement reached two years later, the PA assumed responsibilities for the administration of about 80 percent of Hebron city, while Israel has continued to exercise direct control over the remaining 20 percent (H2). This unique arrangement is rooted in the Israeli Government’s desire to maintain its exclusive control over the five Israeli settlements (with a combined population of a few hundred) established within the boundaries of the city.12

Since then, the Israel authorities have imposed various restrictions on the movement and access of Palestinians in the city, with the stated purpose of protecting the Israeli settlers in the area, as well as other Israeli visitors, and to allow them to lead a normal life. While the entire Palestinian population of H2 is occasionally affected, the approximately 6,000 people living in the areas immediately adjacent to the settlements, including the bulk of the Old City, face a range of restrictions that undermine all aspects of their daily lives.

At present, there are a total of 123 movement obstacles segregating the restricted areas of H2 from the rest of the city, including 18 checkpoints, 12 partial checkpoints and 57 road blocks, among others. Additionally, 512 Palestinian businesses in the restricted areas have been closed by Israeli military orders, and at least 1,100 others have shut down due to the restricted access of customers and suppliers, according to the Hebron Rehabilitation Committee. The extensive access restrictions, compounded by years of systematic harassment by Israeli settlers, have forced a significant number of Palestinians to relocate to other areas of the city.13




Rising concerns among residents of As Salaymah

Mohammed Al Fakhouri (65), a father of six, has lived in As Salaymah since the day he was born, and now runs a traditional ceramic workshop there. Due to the travel ban on the “Prayers Road”, Al Fakhouri relies on donkey carts to bring raw materials to his workshop and to transport his products to sell elsewhere in Hebron. He stated that the new barrier will mean that he will have to transport these materials in person, in small packages, thereby increasing time and costs. “I am worried about my future income and don’t know how to continue running the shop”, he said.

Amer Burqan (40) a father of 10, lost one of his legs in a car accident two years ago. Five times a week he needs to reach the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) clinic located in Wadi at Tuffah in H1, to receive physiotherapy for his other leg, which is partially paralyzed. The construction of the first section the barrier has prevented Burqan from reaching the clinic. “I have recently fixed a small motorbike, which can help me to move independently, but with the closure of the road it became mostly useless”


SUPREME COURT UPHOLDS ISRAEL'S "SEPARATION POLICY"
BETWEEN GAZA AND THE WEST BANK

Five women from Gaza are prevented from pursuing
academic studies in the West bank

In a 2-1 ruling issued this month, the Israeli Supreme Court rejected a petition challenging the Israeli authorities’ refusal to let five women from the Gaza Strip travel to the West Bank to complete their master’s degrees.14 The petition was jointly filed earlier this year by an Israeli and a Palestinian human rights organization (Gisha and Al Mezan) on behalf of the affected women. Four of the women, who are now in their 40s, were forced to discontinue their studies in 2000, following the outbreak of the second Intifada and Israel’s subsequent revocation of travel permits between Gaza and the West Bank. All four hold various positions in civil society organizations promoting democracy and women’s rights. The fifth is a 19 year old woman who was accepted into a law program at Bir Zeit University (see box below). The requirement for a permit from Israel to access universities in the West Bank is one component of the system of control of movement and access between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

In the majority opinion the Court accepted the government’s position that Israel is not obliged to allow Palestinian residents of Gaza to study in the West Bank, and that it may treat them as “enemy citizens” for purposes of passage.15 It also accepted the position that allowing the students to travel would “undermine the ‘separation’ policy which is based on both security and political considerations”. In doing so, the court effectively approved restrictions on civilian travel between Gaza and the West Bank, even where no individual security claims are raised.

Under the system of control of movement and access implemented by Israel since September 2000, movement of people out of Gaza is prohibited, unless a person meets the Israeli criteria for an exceptional permit.16 An official document recently released, following a petition under the Freedom of Information Act, specifies 16 categories of people who are eligible for permits to leave Gaza and enter Israel or the West Bank. These include, among others, patients in need of life-saving treatment, merchants, first-degree relatives of the very ill, journalists, and staff of international organizations. Students enrolled in West Bank universities are not included.17

The permit application process is time consuming, arduous and uncertain. Applications by people meeting the established criteria can be denied on security grounds, with few details provided on the nature of the security concern. The burden of proof always falls on the individual, and often requires a lengthy and costly follow up, when the initial request is denied.

In its announcement in June 2010 regarding the easing of the blockade, Israel committed to ‘streamlining’ the permit system regarding the movement of people for humanitarian purposes, and to consider ‘additional ways to facilitate’ such movement. In practice, there has been only a limited increase in the volume of people allowed to cross. Since the beginning of 2012 a daily average of 152 Palestinians left Gaza through the Erez crossing, up from 106 in the first five months of 2010, before the June 2010 easing announcement. Prior to the start of the second Intifada, however, some 26,000 Palestinians crossed the Erez Crossing every day, the majority of them workers employed in Israel, as well as those travelling for family, educational, social or other reasons.

The “policy of separation” between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank involves not only restrictions on the movement of people but also on the movement of goods, and is a central component of the blockade.


Loujain Sharhabeel Al Zaeem, 19, Gaza
“I was always strongly inspired by my mother and tried to follow her in everything. She has a degree in English literature from Bir Zeit University. I grew up hearing great stories about this university and I decided to study there too. In 201, I finished my secondary school with very high marks and immediately applied to the Law Faculty at Bir Zeit. I applied for an exit permit through a human rights organization and was very disappointed to learn that my application was rejected by the Israeli security authorities. I cannot see any legitimate reason why Israel would stop me from going to the university I want in my country. Israeli students can choose to study at any university they like in Israel. Although I’ve started to study law at Al Azhar University in Gaza and already completed the first year, I would be happy to start again at Bir Zeit.”

QUARTERLY HUMANITARIAN ACCESS UPDATE


ACCESS INCIDENTS AT
CHECKPOINTS AND TERMINALS

During the third quarter of 2012 there was a slight decrease in the number of access incidents at checkpoints and terminals compared to the previous quarter; however, the number of staff affected and hours lost in these incidents increased considerably. Overall, there was an 8 percent decrease in the number of incidents (from 146 to 134), alongside a 10 and 26 percent increase in the number of staff affected in these incidents and the number of staff hours lost, respectively. These increases are partially explained by a series of incidents in the
Jerusalem area on the eve of the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, including several concurrent incidents at the Hizma checkpoint involving 76 staff members from four UN agencies.18

Delays of more than 30 minutes at checkpoints were still the most frequent access incidents involving international NGOs (INGO) staff. In the case of UN staff members, incidents mainly related to the demands by Israeli security personnel at checkpoints to search UN vehicles and requests for additional identification. According to the Convention on UN Privileges and Immunities, to which Israel is a signatory, the property and assets of the UN are immune from searches. Similar to previous periods, most access incidents affecting UN staff (77 percent) were in the Jerusalem area.

PERMITS TO ENTER AND LEAVE GAZA

The number of permit applications submitted by UN agencies and INGOs and the approval rate of these permits by the Israeli authorities decreased considerably this quarter. This is primarily due to the Jewish and Muslim holidays that fell during the reporting period.

The number of UN permit applications for its national staff to enter or leave the Gaza Strip dropped significantly in August/September, during the Muslim holidays of Ramadan and Eid al Fitr, resulting in a 37 percent decline in the overall number of applications made during the reporting period. While the number of INGO permit applications decreased as well, the change was significantly smaller, 135 compared to 148 in the previous quarter (about 9 percent).




The approval rate for both UN and INGO applications by Israeli authorities also decreased, from 87 to 76 percent and from 89 to 62 percent, respectively. This decline largely occurred in September. Similarly, the average processing time for INGO permits increased from 11 to 15 days this quarter, while the average for UN permits remained largely the same.

THE ACCESS SURVEY: INITIAL FINDINGS

As part of ongoing research into the operational challenges affecting humanitarian organizations in the oPt, OCHA carried out an online survey among representatives of UN agencies and INGOs.

Preliminary analysis of the survey results suggests under-reporting of access incidents by UN and NGO staff. According to the survey, in 2012 there was an average of 105 access incidents involving UN and INGO staff per month, compared to an average of 45 incidents captured by the regular reporting mechanism, which is carried out by OCHA and UNRWA and is based on self-reporting by affected staff. The difference is particularly significant in relation to incidents affecting INGO staff.

However, the survey was consistent with the regular monitoring in identifying the most common location for access incidents for UN staff as the Jerusalem area (60 percent of all incidents). In contrast, the geographic distribution of incidents affecting INGO staff as reflected in the two accounts differs: according to the regular monitoring some
65 percent of incidents occur at the Erez Crossing between Gaza and Israel; on the other hand, the survey suggests that incidents are roughly equally distributed across areas (Jerusalem, Gaza, border terminals and the Jordan Valley). These and other findings will be comprehensively presented and analyzed in the context of the full report, to be issued by the end of the year.



















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