Palestine:Humanitarian crisis forecast by UNO and World Bank

The United Nations Organisation and the World Bank have predicted that there will be a humanitarian crisis in Palestine unless urgent measures are taken.

These organisations declare that the daily life of the Palestinians has been severely affected by the situation in the territory, which has led to the UNO spokesperson for peace in the region, Terje Roed-Larsen, to appeal to both sides “to try their hardest to protect civilians and to fully respect the international humanitarian laws and UN Resolutions”.

Such respect has not been shown by Israel, especially in the recent weeks. Shooting civilians in the face as they leave hospitals, beating defenceless elderly women with batons, smashing journalists’ faces into the mud with boots and rifle butts, is not conducive towards respecting humanitarian laws.

Regarding international laws, Israel has systematically refused to abide by United Nations Security Council Resolutions and as such, is a pariah state.

The UN spokesperson declared that the Palestinian suicide attacks were to be condemned but also the “excessive force” used by the Israeli Security Forces and mentioned a triple crisis in the region: “a military crisis between Israelis and Palestinians, a humanitarian crisis in the West Bank and Gaza and a potential crisis in the blue line, between Israel and Lebanon.

Roed-Larsen and the World Bank spokesperson for the West bank and Gaza Strip, Nigel Roberts, condemned the curfew imposed by the Israeli armed forces and the prohibition of free circulation, including ambulances and medical teams, as being the causes of extreme difficulties in living conditions for Palestinian civilians.

These two spokespersons declare that these measures prevent humanitarian aid workers from carrying out their tasks, namely dispensing medical and food aid to those most in need, always the most vulnerable, “more and more people depending on this aid”, said Roberts.

Nigel Roberts also accused Israel of purposefully causing economic hardship among the Palestinian community, blaming the restrictions on freedom of movement, so often imposed by the Israeli authorities, as being responsible for a 30% unemployment rate and a 50% poverty rate among Palestinian communities.

“If the actions which we have seen in Ramallah, Bethlehem, Jenine, Kalkiliya and Nablus continue for much longer, and if the (Israeli) blockade is reinforced, we shall see a progressive increase in unemployment, poverty and anguish”, he added.


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