"As is" reference - not a United Nations document
IN CRISIS-AFFECTED AND FRAGILE SITUATIONS
Global Programme Annual Report 2014
This report gives a synopsis of the results achieved in 2014 at the country-level through UNDP implemented programmes, including through the Global Focal Point, in assisting 38 crisis-affected countries to deal with the legacy of violence, increase safety and security for all, build confidence through accessible and effective justice and security institutions, and improve the delivery of justice and security for women. Serving the UN System through rule of law, key policy developments and response to crises are also highlighted.
WAR AND DISPLACEMENT IN GAZA
The changing and challenging political context in the West Bank and Gaza has impacted UNDP-UN Women Joint Rule of Law Programme (JRP). However, adaptation and repurposing ensure the continuation of support and service delivery.
In January 2014, the Government of Palestine acceded to the Rome Statute and accepted the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC) over any crimes committed “in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, since June 13, 2014.” In April 2014, Hamas and the PLO announced a reconcilation deal and their agreement to form a unity government. In response, Israel reneged on releasing the fourth tranche of Palestinian pre-Oslo prisoners in March 2014 and unilaterally suspended US-led peace negotiations in April 2014.6 In addition, Israel witheld taxes collected on behalf of the Palestinian Authority which delayed salary payments to civil servants in the West Bank and Gaza causing protests and demonstrations. (The UN Secretary-General has repeatedly called on Israel to resume the transfer of tax revenues which are due to the Palestinian Authority as per the Paris Protocol!)
On 8 July 2014 Israel launched a military offensive 'Operation Protective Edge'. The attack involved bombing and ground fighting and lasted for seven weeks, resulting in more than 2,131 Palestinians deaths (of which 1,473 civilians of whom 501 were children and 257 were women) and 71 Israelis (of which 66 were soliders and 4 civilians)8.
The offensive caused massive structural destruction and displacement of Palestinians, further exacerbating the pre-existing Gaza housing shortage. In Sept 2014, there were 62,598 internally displaced persons (IDP) sheltering in 19 UNRWA schools, and one government school (housing 5,300 IDPs) supported by UNRWA. It is estimated that some 40,000 to 50,000 people remain with host families.'
An open-ended ceasefire announced on 26 August 2014 remains in effect, which has allowed for the provision of immediate humanitarian assistance. In the aftermath of the conflict UNDP/ PAPP and UN Women scaled-up their efforts to support the rule of law sector in the Gaza Strip. The agencies were immediately able to address the urgent legal and protection needs that emerged in the wake of the conflict as well as support to the process of national reconciliation.
Prior to the July 2014 attack, the rule of law sector in the Gaza Strip faced a wide array of challenges but the conflict brought the formal justice system to a complete standstill. In July 2014, UNDP, in conjunction with 18 legal aid clinics provided legal assistance to thousands of Palestinians. However, they have not been able to meet the increased demand for legal services brought about by the conflict.
The structural damage caused by the conflict have resulted in significant property rights and utilities access disputes. In some instances, families have returned to their houses only to find them occupied by others who refuse to leave because they have nowhere else to go. Such scenarios have prompted the need for new laws and agreements regarding temporary accommodation and land/ property titles. There is an urgent need to provide representation of poor and vulnerable community members before local government bodies to secure available water and electricity supplies. Also, to ensure that longer-term reconstruction efforts provide amenities that are equally accessible to the poor and vulnerable.
The war had a dramatic impact upon women, children and family life in general. According to the Gaza Initial Rapid Assessment (IRA)'°, in almost all municipalities, respondents identified incidents of SGBV, domestic violence, child abuse/violence against children or family disputes as a significant concern and reported that these forms of violence increased after the beginning of the conflict. Additionally, displacement due to the conflict has negatively impacted women's security and their access to services.”
Civil society organizations in Gaza have identified the need for greater documentation of human rights violations, including against women and girls, and for careful assessment and articulation of the needs and priorities of these groups linked to the reporting and monitoring framework provided by UNSCR 1325 mechanisms as top priorities.
In the wake of the conflict, UNDP, through the Joint Programme, Strengthening the Rule of Law in the oPt: Justice and Security for the Palestinian People (1 May 2014 - 30 April 2017), has increased its support to the judicial sector, paying particular attention to women and children, property/housing concerns and productive processes of national reconciliation. These measures included the establishment of emergency legal support, a quick impact facility to repair legal facilities and clinics, strengthening of human rights organizations and gender sensitivity workshops.
6)SG report on the peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine, S/2014/650 (4 Sept 2014) available at http://www.securitycouncilreport.org/atf/cf/%7B65BFCF9B-6D27-4E9C-8CD3-CF6E4FF96FF9%7D/s_2014_650.pdf
7)UN press release, SG concerned over PLO's decision to suspend security coordination with Israel, Calls for resumption of tax transfers, peace talks, available at: http://www.un.org/press/en/2015/sgsm16568.doc.htm
8)http://www.ochaoptorg/documents/ocha_opt sitrep_04_09 2014.pdf
9)OCHA/Protection of Civilians/ Weekly update 16 -22 Sept 2014,• available at http://unispaLun.org/UNISPALNSF/0/AFA14328D4E84FDC85257D620051AA89
10)Gaza Initial Rapid Assessment, 27 August 2014
11) See NRC ‘Overview of the Housing Situation in Gaza’, March 2013, p.21 which noted that, “women reported a number of incidences of violence in the home, particularly related to living with extended family