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Source: Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
28 February 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 - FEBRUARY 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.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 15 access incidents in February 2005 (the same number reported in January 2005; 72 incidents were reported in February 2004). While access for health operators has improved, there are still reports where women have given birth at checkpoints due to delays or denials of access by Israeli officials.

Water
The effect of closure measures, including checkpoints, earth mounds and curfews had a severe effect on water transport (due to a blocked location) for at least six communities in the West Bank; additional communities were affected to a lesser degree (for example, delays ranging from one hour to six hours on water transport were experienced). Damaged infrastructure was also reported.

Facilitation for International Humanitarian Organisations
In February 2005, international relief agencies filed at least 36 reports (compared to 50 reports in January 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 IDF of international humanitarian organisations’ mandates, privileges and immunities.

Additional commitments
The total number of containers entering the Gaza Strip in February 2005 was 2,749 (compared to 2,919 in January); no imports or exports were allowed the first six days of the month. The total number of containers exiting the Gaza Strip was 551 (compared to 545 in January 2005). The import figures reported in both January and February 2005 are among the lowest reported in a year. February 2005 imports are approximately 58 percent of the February 2004 figure, which was 4,738. The export figures are also among the lowest reported in a year and less than half of the exports reported in February 2004: 1,258.

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

















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