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04 Mar 2017 description

Statement by Chris Gunness, UNRWA Spokesperson

Today, 3 March 2017, an UNRWA security mission conducted a preliminary inspection to ascertain the extent of the damage to UNRWA’s installations in Ein El Hilweh camp in southern Lebanon, following several days of clashes in the camp.

The inspection revealed that five UNRWA installations - three schools, one Relief and Social Services Office and the Camp Services Office have been entered and used by armed actors, contrary to the inviolability of United Nations premises.

04 Mar 2017 description

GENEVA (3 March 2017) – Two United Nations Independent Experts are calling on the Israeli Government to fully respect the fundamental rights and freedoms of human rights defenders and organizations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

The UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, Michael Lynk, and the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights defenders, Michel Forst, say human rights defenders in the region have been facing escalating restrictions by Israel on their activities.

04 Mar 2017 description

The Security Council would organize its work in March around the theme “Preventing conflict in Africa”, Matthew Rycroft (United Kingdom), its President for that month, said at a Headquarters press conference today.

Outlining the Council’s priorities, he said it would first dispatch a mission to the Lake Chad Basin area, where members would visit Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria from 2 to 7 March. The objective was to examine the threat posed by Boko Haram and the humanitarian crisis in the subregion, he added.

03 Mar 2017 description

The end year dashboard summarizes the progress made by partners involved in the Lebanon Crisis Response and highlights trends affecting people in need. Partners in Lebanon are working to: 1) Ensure displaced populations and other vulnerable groups have access to adequate shelter; 2) improve living conditions within temporary settlements and poor urban areas with high ratio of displaced populations and vulnerable groups; and 3) Ensure Lebanese public & private institutions are aware and responsive to the shelter situation of displaced populations and other vulnerable groups.

02 Mar 2017 description

Israeli forces continue systematic crimes in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) (23 February- 01 March 2017)

 A Palestinian civilian was killed by Israeli settlers, south of Hebron.

  • 6 civilians, including 3 children and a young woman, were wounded in the West Bank while a child was wounded in the Gaza Strip.

  • Israeli warplanes carried out 8 airstrikes, launching 23 missiles against civil objects and military sites belonging to the Palestinian armed groups.

02 Mar 2017 description

"I condemn yesterday's firing of a rocket from Gaza towards Israel. This is the third such incident in the past 30 days after a period of almost four months of quiet. Such provocations seek only to undermine peace.

I call on all responsible parties to exercise maximum restraint, avoid escalation and prevent incidents that jeopardize the lives of Palestinians and Israelis."

ENDS

01 Mar 2017 description

HIGHLIGHTS

  • UN-led peace talks commence in Geneva on February 23

  • Up to 10,000 people flee from opposition-held areas of Dar’a amid recent clashes

  • Insecurity prompts UN to suspend cross-border assistance via the Bab alHawa,
    Ramtha border crossings

  • Relief agencies express concern regarding recent attacks on health infrastructure and personnel

KEY DEVELOPMENTS

01 Mar 2017 description

The Principality of Liechtenstein has contributed CHF 100,000 (approximately US$ 100,100) to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in support of the Agency’s core programmes and services across its five fields of operations, encompassing education, health care, relief and social services, protection, camp improvement and infrastructure, and microfinance.

01 Mar 2017 description

As Gaza enters its eleventh year of the Israeli blockade, the Palestinian territory is suffering record levels of unemployment with an increasing number of people sliding into abject poverty. In response, the European Commission and its humanitarian partner organisations are providing start-up funds and skills training to help people resume work and become self-sufficient. The support has enabled people like Wisram, Wafa and Jasmin to set up small businesses, sparking hope for the future.

01 Mar 2017 description

The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) launched airstrikes and intensified artillery shelling across the Gaza Strip on Monday, 27 February 2017, targeting military training sites, agricultural lands, and open areas. Explosions shook civilian properties near the targets, spreading fear and panic among residents, especially children. This is Israel’s second escalation in attacks this month. The international community continues to remain silent on the attacks and to accept impunity for IOF’s actions.

01 Mar 2017 description

Highlights

  • Thanks to donor support, WFP assisted 470,000 food insecure non-refugees in Gaza and the West Bank in January through cash-based transfers (CBT), using an electronic voucher redeemable in local shops, and direct food assistance. Women and children accounted for 70 percent of those assisted.

  • Despite reaching 180,000 people, funding constraints forced WFP to reduce its voucher value by 20 percent in January.

Operational Updates

Country Background & Strategy

01 Mar 2017 description

Administrative Detention With Minimal Judicial Oversight

(Jerusalem, March 1, 2017) – Israel has been detaining Palestinian residents of Gaza under an obscure law that strips away meaningful judicial review and due process rights, Al Mezan Center for Human Rights and Human Rights Watch said today.

28 Feb 2017 description

MIDDLE EAST

Syria

In March, Council members expect to receive briefings on the humanitarian and political situation in Syria as well as on the use and production of chemical weapons.

Key Recent Developments

28 Feb 2017 description

The dashboard summarizes the progress made by partners involved in the Lebanon Crisis Response and highlights trends affecting people in need. The Energy & Water sector in Lebanon is working to: OUTCOME 1) Ensure access to sufficient electricity; OUTCOME 2) Ensure access to safe water; OUTCOME 3) Ensure access to sanitation and stormwater drainage services; OUTCOME 4) Ensure mitigation of environmental impacts; OUTCOME 5) Maintain hygienic conditions; OUTCOME 6) Ensure contingency and prepardness.

28 Feb 2017 description

The Refugee Outreach Volunteer programme, initiated in April 2016, complements and extends existing UNHCR coverage to refugees in 47 provinces through its presence and its partners (127 community centres/partner offices/outreach teams).

OPERATIONAL CONTEXT

28 Feb 2017 description

In January and February 2017, Israeli authorities demolished water supply infrastructure in two areas in the West Bank. In the southern West Bank, authorities demolished seven water cisterns used by farmers and shepherds near the Palestinian village of Tuqu’, Bethlehem District, and another cistern in the South Hebron Hills community of Khashm a-Daraj. In the Jordan Valley, authorities demolished a pipe that provided water to Palestinian farming and shepherding communities in the northern Jordan Valley.

28 Feb 2017 description

Understanding the scale and enduring nature of the forced displacement and transfer of Palestinians as well as the means by which Israel has pursued, and continues to pursue, this displacement is essential.

28 Feb 2017 description

Statement by Sami Mshasha, UNRWA Spokesperson

UNRWA strongly condemns the ongoing armed violence that erupted in the Ein El-Hilweh Palestine Refugee camp in Lebanon, on 23 February 2017.

Recurrent armed violence continues to impact the civilian population in the Camp, including children.

There are reports of injuries to civilians and damage to shelters as a result of the weekend’s clashes. An UNRWA installation is reported as sustaining minor damage and the unauthorized entry of armed actors into one UNRWA school was reported.