The humanitarian situation in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) during the first five months of 2013 remained unchanged as the key drivers of vulnerability remained in place. The protracted crisis in the oPt is compounded by recurrent conflict (especially in Gaza) and natural disasters, which increase humanitarian needs. For example, the escalation in hostilities in Gaza and southern Israel in November 2012, and the severe storm that hit the oPt in January 2013 both exacerbated pre-existing vulnerabilities, and in some cases generated new needs.
So far in 2013, a number of worrying trends have emerged, which point to a potential increase in instability. In the West Bank, in the first five months of 2013, 2,527 Palestinians were injured and eight Palestinians (mostly males) were killed, by Israeli forces, largely in the context of demonstrations and resulting clashes, compared to 1,442 Palestinians injured and three Palestinians killed during the same period in 2012. In Gaza, the 21 November 2012 agreement that ended the escalation in hostilities has come under strain. After an extended period of calm in early 2013, Palestinian factions resumed the firing of rockets at southern Israel, and Israel adopted a series of measures that have negatively impacted civilians, including the intermittent closure of the Kerem Shalom crossing to goods, temporary heightened restrictions on the movement of people across the Erez Crossing and a temporary further reduction of the fishing zone. These measures have raised concerns among the humanitarian community regarding Israel's obligations under international humanitarian law. There is also uncertainty regarding the remaining restrictions imposed on land and sea areas (the Access Restricted Areas) and serious concerns have been raised regarding the methods of enforcing these access restrictions.
At mid-year, while there have been some project adjustments, overall requirements remain largely unchanged. The CAP 2013 currently requests US$400.8 millionto implement 167 projects in the Gaza Strip and in the West Bank (particularly Area C, the Seam Zone and East Jerusalem) and continues to focus on the two strategic priorities outlined in the 2012-2013 Common Humanitarian Action Plan (CHAP).
The CAP is currently 55% funded, which is comparable to the mid-year funding level of the 2012 CAP (59%). Progress towards the strategic objectives has been mixed, and although this is often linked to cluster/sector funding levels, there is sometimes also a correlation with non-funding related challenges.
A key priority for the coming period will be strengthening the links between humanitarian and development programming in the oPt, as the UN Country Team moves towards finalizing the first UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) for Palestine for 2014-2016. It is envisaged that programming under the CAP 2014 will take into account development efforts contained in the UNDAF 2014-2016, which has in turn factored in national development plans and the comparative advantages of UN agencies.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.