Question of Palestine home || Permalink || About UNISPAL || Search

Follow UNISPAL RSS Twitter

Source: Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
31 August 2005


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 - AUGUST 2005
BERTINI COMMITMENTS


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.ochaopt.org.

Context

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan appointed Ms Catherine Bertini as his Personal Humanitarian Envoy to address the huimanitarian 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
• Ambulances will wait no more than 30 minutes at checkpoints.
• Mechanisms will be set in place to ensure patients, seeking critical medical services (child delivery, dialysis, chemotherapy), can pass all checkpoints quickly.
Water
• Problems relating to water deliveries in Palestinian towns and villages will be addressed to ensure that daily provision of adequate amounts of water can be
supplied by Palestinian water tankers.
Facilitation for International Humanitarian Organisations
• The government of Israel will fully facilitate the activities of international organisations, with particular reference to UNRWA.
• The government of Israel agreed to review and strengthen the liaison arrangements between international agencies and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).
Additional Commitments
On previous occasions, the government of Israel has made the following commitments, which were confirmed to the mission:
• The fishing zone for Palestinian boats off the Gaza coast will be extended to 12 nautical miles
• Olive farmers will be allowed access to their fields
• Increased shipments will be allowed at Karni crossing in the Gaza Strip
• The number of permits for Palestinian workers in Israel will be increased

Executive Summary

Health
Palestinian ambulance operators reported a total of at least 24 access incidents in August 2005 (compared to 18 in July 2005), in which the provision of first aid and/or medical evacuations were delayed, obstructed and/or prevented by the IDF. A further two incidents were reported by the Palestinian MoH in the Gaza Strip though have not been included in the total because delay times were not known.1 The number of incidents reported a year ago in August 2004 was 31. The majority of the reports were from the Gaza Strip and the northern West Bank where Israel imposed additional movement restrictions during the disengagement.

Water
Closure measures, including checkpoints and earth mounds, continue to have a severe affect on water transport; closures often result in the inability of water tankers to reach their destination.

Facilitation for International Humanitarian Organisations
In August 2005, international relief agencies filed at least 88 reports (compared to 71 in July 2005) 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 Israeli forces of international humanitarian organisations’ mandates, privileges and immunities. In August 2004, 108 incidents were reported.

Additional commitments
The total number of containers entering and exiting goods at Karni in August 2005 is currently not available.

The average daily crossing (accounting for the days entrance could have been permitted and excluding weekends days: Friday and Saturday) for Palestinian workers, traders and those entering Erez industrial estate in July 2005 was: 281 workers; 168 traders; 201 Erez industrial estate. This is compared to 1,767, 175 and 233 respectively in July 2005.

Gaza Strip fishermen are consistently denied the right to fish up to the 12 nautical mile limit, as was agreed by the Israeli government.

_____________
1 In order for delays to ambulance providers to be reported under the Bertini Commitments they must in excess of 30 minutes.


















Follow UNISPAL RSS Twitter