OCHA: “Israel Restricting Palestinian Access To Basic Services”
Wednesday October 03, 2012 08:51 by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC & Agencies
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the occupied Palestinian territory (OCHA) issued a new report accusing Israel of continuing its serious violations against the Palestinian people, and of preventing access to basic services.
OCHA said that the majority of these restrictions were enforced during the first four years of the Al-Aqsa Intifada (September 28, 2000), and added that most of these restrictions are still in place despite the significant improvement of the security situation.
Quoting the report, Israeli daily, Haaretz, reported that despite recent easing of certain restrictions on main roads and junctions in the West Bank, Israel is still denying the Palestinians access to basic services, their lands and livelihoods, and that these restrictions are obstructing health and education services, in addition to access to water resources.
OCHA said that Israel, as an occupying force, has the moral and legal obligation to provide the Palestinians with the needed services, and has the obligation to ensure they can enjoy their fundamental rights.
OCHA further reported that Israel’s settlements in the West Bank are part of the Israeli restrictions and violations that hinder the freedom of movement of the Palestinian people, especially when taking into consideration that Israel’s settlements are illegal under International Law, and are largely built on privately-owned Palestinian lands.
As for home demolitions carried out by Israel, OCHA said that %45 of the Palestinian homes that were demolished in the last two years, are located in Area “C” under Israeli security and administrative rule, leading to the displacement of more than 820 Palestinians.
Furthermore, OCHA demanded Israel to act and fulfill its international obligations, and to open all central and main roads linking between different Palestinian cities and districts in the West Bank.
It also demanded Israel to allow the Palestinians access to areas that became isolated behind the illegal Annexation Wall, and to allow them access to their lands and orchards.
OCHA also stated that Israel must lift all restrictions imposed on Palestinian traffic, and to allow the Palestinians full access to the Old City of Hebron and the Jordan Valley.
It is worth mentioning that on November 1st, an international committee will be arriving in Palestine to investigate Israel’s settlement activities in the occupied West Bank, including in occupied East Jerusalem, and the impacts of these violations on the Palestinian people.
Several Israeli officials previously stated that Israel will not cooperate with the delegates, and claimed that Israel is trying to ease the suffering of the Palestinians, but certain restrictions “are essential” to provide protection for the settlers and the soldiers.