A) Middle East Region: (1) Iraq, (2) Palestinian Territories
2) Palestinian Territories
(a) The siege of the Gaza Strip intensified during the second half of January, due to the Israeli elections. Between 17 and 22 January, Israeli Defense Forces razed a significant portion of agricultural lands in the Gaza Strip and demolished several houses in Rafah and Beit Lahia. Similar reports have been received from al Zietoun area in Gaza city and Nazlet Issa/Tulkarm, an important trade point between West Bank and Israeli Arabs.
(b) The construction of the security wall in the Tulkarm and Qalqiliah areas continues. Despite assurances by the Israeli authorities, the farmers who own land inside the security zone have not been issued special permits. These lands are considered the most fertile in the occupied Palestinian territories and the main source of vegetables in the Palestinian markets.
(c) Despite insecurity, WFP distributed 2,085 tons of food to over 33,800 households in the West Bank and Gaza areas from 16 to 31 January. Food assistance was delivered in collaboration with PARC, MSA, CRS and CHF. In the West Bank, WFP is supporting a number of FFW projects to encourage the farmers to cultivate and protect the land and support the renovation of school buildings.