Common Grounds

OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN TERRITORY Fragmented Lives: Humanitarian Overview 2016

May 31, 2017

United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs occupied Palestinian territory


As the 50th anniversary of Israeli occupation approaches, OCHA’s 2016 Annual Report for the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), released today, underscores that occupation policies and practices remain the key cause of humanitarian needs in the oPt. The internal Palestinian political divide is also a serious contributing factor.

Click here to read the full report


This is the sixth year in which the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has detailed the key humanitarian concerns in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt). The purpose of the report is to provide a trend analysis of some of the key indicators underlying  humanitarian vulnerabilities in the oPt in a given year.


The humanitarian context of oPt is unique amongst today’s humanitarian crises and remains directly tied to the impact of the Israeli occupation, now in its 50th year. The occupation denies Palestinians control over basic aspects of daily life, whether they live in the Gaza Strip or in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Their ability to move unimpeded within their own country, to exit and return, to develop large parts of their territory, build on their own land, access natural resources or develop their economy is largely determined by the Israeli military. The prolonged occupation, with no end in sight, cultivates a sense of hopelessness and frustration that drives continued conflict and impacts both Palestinians and Israelis.


Israel’s occupation is a key driver of humanitarian need, to which the international community responds. At the end of 2016, 4.8 million Palestinians were estimated to be affected by this situation, with 2 millionin need of humanitarian assistance and protection. The vast majority of Palestinians in need are exposed to conflict and violence, displacementand restricted access to livelihoods and essential services, such as water, healthcare, shelter and education. To fund a range of interventions to meet these needs, the 2017 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) for the oPt, launched in December 2016, appealed for US$ 547 million.


As in previous years, the Humanitarian Overview for 2016 is structured around the key concerns and advocacy priorities identified by humanitarian partners in the oPt: Life, Liberty & Security, which includes Palestinian and Israeli casualties from conflict-related violence, settler violence and the detention of Palestinians; Forced Displacement, driven by escalations of hostilities in Gaza and by a coercive environment generated by Israeli policies and practices in the West Bank; Movement & Access, focusing on the physical and administrative restrictions placed on the movement of Palestinian people and goods through out the oPt; and Humanitarian Space, detailing the obstacles that restrict the access of personnel and materials needed for humanitarian projects. Accountability, a cross-cutting theme, essential to reduce future vulnerability, is addressed throughout the report.




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