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Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
1 December 2011
KEY HUMANITARIAN CONCERNS
1. Israel’s unilateral annexation of East Jerusalem and the surrounding West Bank hinterland contravenes international law.
It is not recognized by the international community which considers East Jerusalem an integral part of the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt),
(see, among others, Security Council resolutions 252, 267, 471, 476 and 478).
2. Since1967, Israeli measures have altered the status of East Jerusalem and affected the residency status of Palestinians, their access to basic services, and their ability to plan and develop their communities.
Combined, these measures place pressure on Palestinians and act as
push factors’, which significantly increase their humanitarian vulnerability. In the long term, failure to address these factors risks undermining the Palestinian presence in East Jerusalem.
3. Israeli-imposed movement and access restrictions impede Palestinians’ access to East Jerusalem health facilities
, which provide routine, specialised and emergency health services unavailable elsewhere in the oPt. Physical and bureaucratic obstacles also hamper the ability of Palestinian medical staff and students to access their workplaces in East Jerusalem, to the detriment of patients and hospitals.
4. Israeli measures are increasingly cutting off East Jerusalem – the focus of Palestinian political, commercial, religious and cultural life, and a hub for medical and educational services – from the rest of the oPt.
The Barrier is compounding the separation of East Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank, dividing Palestinian neighbourhoods and suburbs from each other and from the urban centre, and separating rural communities from their land in the Jerusalem hinterland.
5. Israeli settlement activity in East Jerusalem is illegal and occurs at the expense of land and resources for Palestinian construction and development
. Settlement expansion inside and around Palestinian neighborhoods leaves residents at risk of forced eviction, displacement and dispossession.
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