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Friday, 02 June 2017 10:11

UN: Israeli rule 'key cause' of Palestinian hardship

JERUSALEM: Fifty years after Israel occupied the Palestinian territories, its policies in the West Bank and Gaza are at the root of Palestinian hardship, the United Nations said Wednesday.

"Occupation policies and practices remain the key cause of humanitarian needs in the occupied Palestinian territories," the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a report.

West Bank and Gaza residents suffer from a lack of basic security and restrictions on humanitarian work.

"At its heart, the crisis is one of a lack of protection for Palestinian civilians - from violence, from displacement, from restrictions on access to services and livelihoods, and from other rights violations."

Israel occupied the West Bank and the Gaza Strip during the 1967 Six-Day War. Repeated efforts to negotiate a solution to the conflict and establish an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel have stalled.

A wave of unrest that broke out in October 2015 has claimed the lives of 266 Palestinians according to an AFP tally.


OCHA's 15-page Humanitarian Overview for 2016 notes a sharp fall in bloodshed over the year compared to 2015.

However, Israeli demolitions of Palestinian homes in the West Bank, including annexed east Jerusalem, had peaked, it said.

"In the West Bank, more Palestinians were displaced in 2016 (1,601, including 759 children) due to demolitions of their homes by the Israeli authorities than in any year since OCHA began recording the phenomenon in 2009," it said.

In the Gaza Strip, where unemployment is among the highest in the world, a strict Israeli blockade has been in force for over a decade.

"Israeli restrictions on the entry of national staff of aid organisations to and from Gaza intensified in 2016, with 31 percent of permit applications to enter or exit Gaza denied," OCHA said.

That is up from an average of four percent in 2015, it added.

Darul Ihsan Media Desk

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