More Palestinians killed than any year since1967, Says United Nations

By Valentina Ieri

UNITED NATIONS (IPS) – In 2014, the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt) saw the worst escalation of hostilities since 1967, said a report by the United Nations Office of Coordination and Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), released on March 26.

The report, Fragmented Lives, said that the Gaza strip’s 1.8 million civilians were directly affected by the war. Over 1,500 were killed, more than 11,000 injured and 100,000 remain displaced. Meanwhile, settlement expansion and the forced displacement of Palestinians in Area C and East Jerusalem are continuing.

“The crisis stems from the prolonged occupation, and recurrent hostilities, alongside a system of policies that undermine the ability of Palestinians to live normal, self-sustaining lives and realize the full spectrum of their right to self-determination,” the report stated.

UNOCHA, who have detailed key humanitarian concerns in the oPt for the past four years, reports that about 4,000,000 Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza strip remain under an Israeli military occupation that prevents them from exercising many of their basic human rights.

The U.N. Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for the territory, James Rawley, told U.N. media that the economic and social problems are expanding from Gaza to East Jerusalem.

“A record number of 1,215 Palestinians were displaced due to home demolitions by Israeli authorities, while settlement and settler activity continued, in contravention of international law, and contributed to humanitarian vulnerability of affected Palestinian communities,” he noted.

The report was released on the same day as Robert Serry, the U.N. Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, briefed the U.N. Security Council about peace negotiations.

Nearing the end of his mandate, Serry expressed his disappointment at the failure of the negotiations between Israel and Palestine. Serry pointed out that a two-state solution cannot be forced by the international community, but can only succeed if both parties are willing and committed to such a peaceful solution.

“I must tell you, I am disheartened by seeing what has happened in these seven years, and these past three negotiations. If the parties wish to live in peace with each other, then there is no other alternative, and it is time to really think of a two state solution,” Serry said in comments to the press.

Serry urged the Security Council to revive talks, saying a greater focus should be put on Gaza.

“Gaza first, doesn’t mean Gaza only. But I don’t see how, this shattered piece (of land) can be ‘pieced’ together without addressing it now as a priority issue.”

Follow Valentina Ieri on Twitter @Valeieri

Licensed from IPS


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2 Responses

  1. The comments above from the U.N. report and quoted officials speak for themselves and succinctly summarize the human rights situation in the Occupied Territories and underscore both the inability of the U.N. to implement adequate remedial measures and the necessity for international intervention via the International Criminal Court and the imposition of economic sanctions upon Israel.

    The only question is how much more severe will the humanitarian situation have to get before the world community acts with sufficient measures to restrain the Likud-led government from continuing its systematic violations of the civil rights of the Palestinian people.

  2. “Serry pointed out that a two-state solution cannot be forced by the international community, but can only succeed if both parties are willing and committed to such a peaceful solution.” Serry sounds like any American president since 1967, suddendly. If Israel’s Netanyahoo has no more resolve for peace and a two-state solution for the Palestinians than what he has shown “missing in words and action” all along his three previous mandates as PM, it’s high time that the international community puts all, serious and no-way-around pressure on the peace negociation process. Enough of the fake hypocritical diversion in the Palestine-Israel peace negociations with Israel being the one supposed to bring the process to its proper ending, human and democratic, accompanied with economical retribution for the Palestinian losses since December 1948. And that doesn’t even include the third territory partitioned by the UN for the Palestinians (without consulting them for the whole partition), the one along the Lebanese border, that Israel stole in the beginning…

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