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Source: Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
20 December 2006


Access and Protection

CONTEXT:

In November, the United Nations and participating NGOs appealed for more than US$453 million for emergency humanitarian assistance to meet increasing Palestinian needs in 2007. The largest emergency appeal ever launched in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) is borne out of the continued fiscal crisis facing the Palestinian Authority (PA), rising poverty and increasing movement restrictions on the Palestinian population by the Government of Israel (GoI). A ceasefire was declared at the end of November in the Gaza Strip following five months of Israeli military operations. The deal came after a month of increased hostilities in the Gaza Strip including a six-day long Israel Defense Forces (IDF) incursion into the Palestinian town of Beit Hanoun which resulted in high numbers of Palestinian civilian deaths and extensive damage to infrastructure. On 8 November a barrage of IDF artillery shells hit six Palestinian homes in Beit Hanoun, killing 19 Palestinian civilians and injuring more than 54 others. A special session of the UN Human Rights Council on 17 November called for a high level fact-finding commission to be sent to Beit Hanoun to investigate the incident. In the West Bank, IDF operations and Israeli settler violence continued, resulting in Palestinian casualties and increasing numbers of Palestinian arrests in the West Bank. A general strike of PA employees also continued during November in the West Bank in protest against the non-payment of their salaries. Agreements were made in November with some of the striking groups, reducing the impact of the strike.

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