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The Note of the Secretary General on the Economic and Social Repercussions of the Israeli Occupation on the Living Conditions of the Palestinian People in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including occupied East Jerusalem, and the Arab Population in the Occupied Syrian Golan.

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The Note of the Secretary General on the Economic and Social Repercussions of the Israeli Occupation on the Living Conditions of the Palestinian People in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including occupied East Jerusalem, and the Arab Population in the Occupied Syrian Golan

Prepared by the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia

Presented by Tarik Alami

Director, Emerging and Conflict Related Issues Division

Economic and Social Council

Substantive Session

July 2013

legislative mandate
Legislative Mandate

ECOSOC Resolution 2012/23:

  • Concern over Israeli practices that violate international humanitarian law
    • Movement restrictions [including the Gaza blockade]
    • Violence against civilians
    • Incarceration of Palestinians, including children under harsh conditions
    • Destruction of homes and properties, and agricultural lands and orchards
    • Expansion of Israeli settlements
    • Construction of the wall
    • Exploitation of natural resources

GA Resolution 67/229:

  • Reaffirms the inalienable rights of the peoples under Israeli occupation over their natural resources
    • Demanding a halt to the exploitation, damage, or endangerment of natural resources
    • Stressing the illegality of the wall and the Israeli settlements
    • Calling upon Israel to desist from altering the character and status of the occupied territory, including East Jerusalem
    • Calling for the cessation of all actions harming the envireonment
    • Calling for the cessation of the destruction of Palestinian vital infrastructure

Inputs and contributions by:

UNCTAD, UNRWA, OCHA, ILO, FAO, WHO, UNSCO, UNEP, UNESCO, OHCHR, UNFPA, DPA

legislative mandate1
Legislative Mandate

“… there is no presently applicable international legal framework that captures the extent to which the interests and wellbeing of the civilian population are severely jeopardized, perhaps irreversibly, if the occupation lasts longer than five years…”

Richard Falk

UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967

opt israeli policies
OPT: Israeli Policies
  • Policies and practices which “amount to de facto segregation”
    • Two entirely separate Israeli legal systems and sets of institutions
    • Unequal use of roads and infrastructure
    • Unequal access to basic services and water resources
    • A matrix of military orders applied only to Palestinians
  • Discrimination against Palestinians
    • Planning and construction permits
    • Land expropriation and demolition of houses
    • Revocation of residency permits and social benefits of Palestinians
  • Palestinian construction effectively allowed on 1% of Area C (60% of the West Bank)
    • Palestinians forced to build without permits
  • Residency status of 265,000 Palestinians since 1967
slide6

The Occupied Palestinian Territory

b. Excessive Use of Force and Detentions

opt excessive use of force and detentions
OPT: Excessive Use of Force and Detentions
  • 268 Palestinians including 42 children killed 4483 others were injured (30 March 2011 - 29 March 2012)
  • 14-21 November 2012 Israeli military offensive against the Gaza Strip:
    • At least 99 Palestinian civilians killed
    • 13 women and 33 children
opt excessive use of force and detentions1
OPT: Excessive Use of Force and Detentions
  • 4713 Palestinian security prisoners in Israeli prisons (Feb 2013)
    • 253 children
    • Denial of due process rights
    • Physical and psychological pressure to sign confessions
    • Cases amount to torture
  • Palestinian child prisoners: institutionalized ill-treatment
    • 87% of denied bail
    • Solitary confinement for 12%
    • Discrimination between Palestinian and Israeli child prisoners

UNICEF: “In no other country are children systematically tried by juvenile military courts”

Israel’s frequent use of administrative detention amounts to a policy of widespread and systematic arbitrary detention.

slide9

The Occupied Palestinian Territory

c. Home Demolitions, Property Confiscation and Population Displacement

opt home demolitions property confiscation and population displacement
OPT: Home Demolitions, Property Confiscation and Population Displacement
  • November 2012 offensive: displacement of 3,000 Palestinians whose homes had been destroyed or severely damaged.
  • 189 Palestinian homes demolished in Area C and East Jerusalem in 2012: displacement of 815 people
  • Emergency shelters and other emergency items demolished/confiscated
  • 93,100 East Jerusalemites at potential risk of displacement
  • Plans to “relocate” approximately 27,000 Bedouin and herding Palestinians living in Area C

The Israeli government supports forced eviction of Palestinians and takeover of their homes by settlers in East Jerusalem

opt home demolitions property confiscation and population displacement1
OPT: Home Demolitions, Property Confiscation and Population Displacement

Since 1967, Israel has seized over 40 per cent of the West Bank and placed it within the jurisdictional boundaries of settlement councils

prohibiting Palestinian access to that land.

slide12

The Occupied Palestinian Territory

d. Israeli Settlements and Settler Violence

opt israeli settlements and settler violence
OPT: Israeli Settlements and Settler Violence
  • 536,932 settlers (2011) in 150 settlements and 100 unauthorized outposts in the oPt
  • Setter growth rate: 5.3% (1.8% for

the Israeli population as a whole).

  • Israeli settlers now represent

approximately 19% of the West Bank

population.

  • E1 settlement plan:
    • several thousand housing units
    • completely sever East Jerusalem

from the rest of the West Bank

    • Sever northern and southern West Bank
slide14

OPT: Israeli Settlements and Settler Violence

  • Aim at forcing Palestinians off their land
  • Increase in “racist violence and acts of vandalism”
  • Settler perpetrators enjoy impunity
  • Attacks against mosques, churches and burial grounds
  • 355 settler violence incidents recorded in 2012
  • 5,832 trees destroyed/uprooted (March 2012 - January 2013)
  • Israeli military focuses on dispersing Palestinians

In a single night, Israeli settlers uprooted 210 olive trees in a Palestinian village near Nablus

opt home demolitions property confiscation and population displacement2
OPT: Home Demolitions, Property Confiscation and Population Displacement

Impunity:

Of 162 monitored police investigations of cases of vandalism of Palestinian-owned trees in the West Bank since 2005, only one resulted in an indictment.

slide17

The Occupied Palestinian Territory

f. Mobility Restrictions and Closure Policies

slide18

The Gaza Strip: Blockade and Access Restrictions

  • Blockade imposed by Israel on the Gaza Strip since June 2007:
    • collective punishment in direct violation of article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention
    • 1.6 million people ‘locked in’
  • Most fundamental parameters of Israel’s blockade remain in place
    • Movement of Palestinians in and out difficult and largely banned
    • Limited access of humanitarian assistance
    • Importation of basic construction materials heavily  restricted
  • Buffer zone with in the Strip
    • Denying Palestinians access to 35% of the Strip’s agricultural land
  • Sea areas beyond 3 nautical miles barred for Palestinians
    • Denial of access to 85% maritime areas (under Oslo Agreements)
    • 80% decline in catch

Map Courtesy of OCHA-OPT

Map Courtesy of OCHA-OPT

slide19

Mobility Restrictions in the West Bank:

  • Closed Areas/Natural Reserves
  • Road Obstacles
  • The Wall
  • Restricted Roads
  • Settlements
  • 40% (settlements) + 18% (firing zones) + (10% wall)
  • = 68% of West Bank off limits to Palestinians
  • By the end of 2012:
    • 542obstacles hindering Palestinian movement
    • 180,000 Palestinians have to use 2 to 5 times longer detours
  • Segregated roads within Hebron
  • Palestinians with West Bank IDs require special entry permits to access East Jerusalem
  • 60,000 Palestinians in the Jordan Valley and Dead Sea remain de facto isolated

Fragmentation

slide20

The Occupied Palestinian Territory

g. Impact on Natural Resources and the Environment

opt impact on natural resources and the environment
OPT: Impact on Natural Resources and the Environment

Ramallah receives more annual rainfall than London

In the West Bank:

  • Israel controls Palestinian water resources:
    • 11% allocated to the Palestinians
    • Installing, upgrading, protecting denied by Israel
    • The Wall damaged/destroyed vital water resources or made them inaccessible
    • 33 water and 16 sanitation infrastructure demolished (first 9 months of 2012)

70 litres/day for a Palestinian v/s 450 litres/day for an Israeli settler

In the Gaza Strip:

  • The blockade and military strikes increase pressure on water resources:
    • 90-95% of ground water unfit for human consumption
    • Gaza will have no drinkable water in 15 years
slide22

Moving on to the economic and social impact of the occupation…

OPT: Impact on Natural Resources and the Environment

  • Impact of the Blockade on sanitation infrastructure in the Gaza Strip:
  • 89 million litres of untreated sewage discharged into the sea every day
  • 84% of 40,000 cesspits in use in Gaza manually emptied
  • In 2012, 3 children drowned in
  • pools of open sewage
  • In the West Bank:
  • Israeli refusal of permits to develop sanitation infrastructure:
    • 31% of Palestinians are connected to the sewage network
    • 40-50 million cubic metres of untreated sewage into natural drainages annually
  • Israeli settlements and industries dump wastewater and solid waste
  • The wall impacted natural habitats :
    • Very rare floral and faunal species potentially disappearing altogether
    • 22 animal species under threat of extinction

Map Courtesy of OCHA-OPT

slide23

The Occupied Palestinian Territory

h. Social and Economic Indicators

opt social and economic indicators
OPT: Social and Economic Indicators

West Bank and Gaza Strip:

  • Economic growth: unsustainable and restrained
  • Unemployment: 22.9% (Q4 2012)
  • Average real wages 8.4% lower than their level five years earlier
  • 25.8% below the poverty line (2011)
  • 12.9% below the deep poverty line (2011)

East Jerusalem:

  • 78% (84% of children) below the poverty line –worst rates on record
  • More than 5,000 Palestinian businesses closed down since 1999
opt social and economic indicators1
OPT: Social and Economic Indicators

The November 2012 offensive on Gaza (and blockade):

  • 40% of essential drug items 50% of medical consumables out of stock
  • 13 primary health care centers and 2 hospitals partially damaged, 1 field hospital directly hit
  • 25,000 to 50,000 people will need some form of psychological intervention to address the long-term effects of the offensive

40% of Palestinian households are food insecure or vulnerable to food insecurity

  • Anaemia: 58.6% of school children, 68.1% infants (9-12 months), 36.8% of pregnant women in (Gaza)
  • Stunting (chronic malnutrition): 10% of children under five in (Gaza)
  • Iron deficiency anaemia: 50% of children under 2 years of age (West Bank and the Gaza Strip)
opt social and economic indicators2
OPT: Social and Economic Indicators

In Gaza:

  • 250 new schools needed
  • 87% of UNRWA schools operate double shifts
  • Shipping containers utilized as classrooms
  • 286 schools, kindergartens…etc. damaged or destroyed

In the West Bank:

  • Shortage or inadequate school infrastructure
  • 38 schools received verbal and written stop-work/demolition orders
  • Access to school hindered by physical obstacles, threats and harassment by the Israeli army and settlers
the occupied syrian golan
The Occupied Syrian Golan
  • Israeli incentives and services for settlers residing in the occupied Syrian Golan
  • 5 Syrian villages deprived of physical space for organic growth:
    • New construction not authorized
    • Houses are either renovated or new floors are added
    • 11,000 Syrian citizens live in 1,200 houses in Majdal Shams
  • Inequality regarding access to land, housing and basic services
  • 750 cubic metres of water/dunam for Israeli settlements v/s 200 cubic metres/dunam for Syrians
  • Cost of water to the Syrian farmers 400% more than to the cost to the settlers
  • Family ties for Syrians interrupted due to the Israeli Citizenship Law

Israel to authorize drilling for oil on the occupied Golan Heights

recommendation
Recommendation

The international community should:

  • Exert all efforts to ensure the implementation of international law and relevant UN resolutions
  • Support initiatives that seek to end the Israeli violations of international law in the occupied territories, especially Israeli settlement activities