A senior United Nations official has decried the Israeli authorities’ ongoing obstruction of humanitarian assistance to Palestinians in the occupied West Bank.
“Targeting the most vulnerable of the vulnerable and preventing them from receiving relief – especially as winter sets in – is unacceptable and runs counter to Israel’s obligations as an occupying power,” said Robert Piper, UN coordinator for humanitarian aid and development activities.
“Sadly,” he added, “we are seeing more and more of this.”
— Brigitte Herremans (@BriHerremans) November 11, 2016
On November 7, Israeli occupation forces seized nine donor-funded tents in Khirbet Tell Al-Himma in the northern Jordan Valley, structures that had been provided as humanitarian aid, following earlier demolitions in the same community on September 27.
Meanwhile, according to the UN, “Israeli settlers have recently established a new settlement outpost” nearby, “and have been impeding access of Khirbet Tell Al-Himma herders to some of their traditional grazing areas.”
The UN notes how “there has been a dramatic rise in demolitions by Israel of donor-funded humanitarian assistance” in 2016 to date, “with 286 such structures demolished or seized so far this year – a 165 per cent increase from the total in 2015.”
— Robert Piper (@UN_Piper) November 11, 2016
Israel’s targeting of humanitarian aid comes “in the context of a dramatic rise in the overall demolition rate for 2016”, a level “which exceeds any year since the UN began systematic monitoring in 2009.”
By the end of October, Israeli occupation forces had demolished 986 structures in the West Bank since the start of the year, compared to 548 for the whole of 2015. In fact, the total to date for 2016 represents over 20 per cent of all demolitions – some 4,744 – since 2009.
“Through a combination of law, policy and practice, Israel is building an increasingly coercive environment in Area C of the West Bank,” Piper said. “This is both illegal and creating an entirely new reality on the ground.”
(MEMO, PC, Social Media)