ACAPS Thematic Report: Palestine - Social impacts of the humanitarian situation, 19 October 2021

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Recurrent episodes of violence in Gaza and the West Bank have affected Palestinians’ social and material wellbeing. Disruption of support networks and livelihood systems affects people’s ability to prevent negative impacts of the violence on their wellbeing and to avoid resorting to negative coping strategies.
This report approaches the analysis of the humanitarian situation in Palestine with a focus on social impacts. Drawing from frameworks of social impact analysis, it goes beyond the sectoral approach of the humanitarian system and places the focus on social and material wellbeing. It analyses the impact of recurrent conflict and escalation of hostilities on key categories of social and material wellbeing of the Palestinian population, taking into account how the immediate impact of the conflict interacts with pre-existing social and economic factors, recurrent episodes of violence, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the ability to cope. The report furthermore outlines vulnerabilities of specific population groups to these impacts, and response capacity of national and international actors.
Background: an increase in tensions and violence in the West Bank and East Jerusalem in April resulted in an escalation in hostilities from 10-21 May 2021 (ICG 14/05/2021). Palestinian armed group Hamas fired rockets into Israel and the Israeli army carried out airstrikes and artillery attacks in densely populated civilian areas of the Gaza Strip (OHCHR 27/05/2021; Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor 01/09/2021). 260 Palestinians, including 66 children, were killed and thousands of houses, livelihood structures, and critical infrastructure were destroyed during the escalation (OCHA 08/09/2021 and 06/06/2021; Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor 01/09/2021). In the West Bank, 26 Palestinians were killed in protests during the escalation. In Israel, Hamas rockets killed 13 people, including two children, and damage to civilian infrastructure and houses was reported (OCHA 04/06/2021; OHCHR 29/07/2021).