OCHA report heavily criticises the Israeli occupations impact on Palestinian lives


On Wednesday, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) released its 2016 annual report in which it criticises Israel for being the reason for humanitarian needs in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

The report points out a 37% decrease in number of Palestinians killed by Israelis when compared to 2015. A total of 107 Palestinians were killed by Israelis, while 13 Israelis were killed by Palestinians, a ratio that is close to 10:1.

While the number has decreased the report still warns that “… concerns remain over possible excessive use of force and extrajudicial executions by Israeli forces in their response to certain Palestinian attacks or suspected attacks, particularly after the threat has been neutralized,” and continues to say that “accountability is essential to ensure justice for victims and to prevent future violations.”

Israel is also accused of robbing Palestinians for everyday freedom rights such as the ability to move within their own country, to exit and return, to develop parts of their territory, to build on their own land, access natural resources or develop their own economy, stating all of these are controlled and determined by the Israeli military forces.

While the killing of Palestinians appeared to decrease, the number of people who were forcibly removed from their homes due to demolitions was the highest that the OCHA had recorded since it began its documenting in 2009.

A total of 1601 people, including 759 children, were affected by the demolitions of 1094 homes in 2016. Out of these 1094, 29 houses were demolished as a form of punishment towards Palestinians who allegedly tried to carry out attacks on Israel. This form of collective punish has been broadly condemned because it is both counterproductive as a measure against future attacks, and because it is illegal under international legislation.

OCHA also gave comment to the fact that the situation in Gaza is becoming worse and has previously warned that if nothing is done, Gaza will be uninhabitable by 2020. As it is now most Gaza residents are unable to move freely in and out of the sealed off strip of land.