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OCHA: 90,000 Palestinians are still displaced in Gaza

OCHA 90000 Palestinians still displaced in Gaza

NEW YORK, (PIC)– The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said, in its annual report titled Fragmented Lives: Humanitarian Overview 2015, that an estimated 90,000 Palestinians are still displaced in Gaza largely due to Israel’s 2014 aggression. The report said that the suffering of Gaza population resulting from the 2014 hostilities – with close to 90,000 Palestinians still displaced during the second half of 2015 – was compounded by the Israeli blockade, the almost continuous closure of the Rafah passenger crossing by Egypt, and by internal Palestinian divisions. Although no major displacement occurred in Gaza in 2015, internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the Gaza Strip continue to suffer from the devastating consequences of the 2014 hostilities between Israel and Palestinian armed groups with an estimated 90,000 people still displaced during the second half of 2015. Meanwhile, the report noted that the number of Palestinian structures demolished, or dismantled and confiscated by the Israeli authorities across the West Bank sharply increased in the first four months of 2016, surpassing the figures for all of 2015 (598 vs. 548). Overall, 858 Palestinians, around half of them children (416), were displaced, compared to 787 people in the whole 2015.  In the Gaza Strip, the reconstruction and repair of homes destroyed and damaged during the 2014 hostilities continued during the first quarter of 2016.  However, “Obstacles on the entry into Gaza of the enormous amounts of construction materials needed for the repair and reconstruction of homes has been a major challenge.” Israeli settlements, which have been established and expanded in the occupied West Bank, including occupied Jerusalem, in contravention of international law, underlie many of the concerns highlighted in this report and generate the need for assistance and protection measures by humanitarian actors. The report stated that Palestinian civilians continued to be subjected to threats to their lives, physical safety and liberty from conflict-related violence, and from policies and practices related to the Israeli occupation, including settler violence. While most of 2015 witnessed a relative calm compared to 2014, tension rose in September in occupied Jerusalem, with protests, clashes and violence spreading to the remaining oPt, including to the Access Restricted Areas (ARA) in Gaza in October. Due to the upsurge in violence in the last quarter, 2015 recorded the highest number of casualties among West Bank Palestinians since 2005. In Gaza, the August 2014 ceasefire has largely held, as reflected in the relatively low number of fatalities, although casualties also rose in the final quarter of the year, along with the escalation in the West Bank. As of the end of 2015 there were over 6,000 Palestinians held by the Israeli Prison Service on ‘security’ grounds, the highest such figure since 2010. The number of children among them, 422, was also the highest since August 2008, when this indicator began to be tracked, including six held in administrative detention, without charge. Some 80 per cent of the Palestinian children imprisoned were in pre-trial detention, the majority facing stone-throwing charges. These conditions continued to cause a protracted protection crisis with humanitarian consequences, where Palestinians face a range of threats that undermine their ability to live self-sustaining lives and prevent the enjoyment of their rights, including the right to self-determination.

(Source / 13.06.2016)

Tags: #ICC4Israel

Video of the Week New Clashes Erupt Between Israeli Security Forces, Muslim Worshippers

Temple Mount temporarily closed to Jewish visitors after clashes with police

The Temple Mount was temporarily closed to Jewish visitors on Wednesday at the order of Jerusalem District Commander Yoram Halevy after Jews broke visitation rules at the holy site, police said. The Jewish visitors were expelled from the compound for bringing sacred books to the Mount and trying to pray there. After one of the individuals was cautioned, another took out a holy book, and the group was expelled. Meanwhile, renewed clashes erupted between protesters and Israeli security forces near the Lion's Gate in the Old City, where police used stun grenades against the demonstrators. A regular dynamic has developed involving clashes between Palestinians and Israel Police over the past several days near the Lion's Gate. Dozens of Palestinians are present at the site on a regular basis, urging devotion to the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount and condemning Israel. During Muslim prayer times, particularly the midday and nighttime prayers, hundreds and sometimes even thousands have been gathering there.

There have been outbreaks of violence during these periods, including stone-throwing or physical confrontations with the police. In most of these incidents, the police have been using stun grenades and sponge-tipped bullets to disperse the crowds. In a number of cases, journalists in the area have also suffered violence at the hands of the police. On Tuesday, Hassan Shaalan, a reporter for the Ynet news website, was struck by a policeman even after he identified himself as a member of the press. A group of Jerusalem-based journalists released a statement of condemnation over the incident and called on the police to permit reporters to do their jobs. The Jerusalem Police responded: "This involved an incident that took place in the course of violent disturbances of the peace that occurred in Jerusalem while the police were acting to remove the demonstrators from the street after some of them refused to vacate. The forces working on the scene are under constant threat to their lives. http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.802141

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