Humanitarian Crisis Deepens in West Bank

Israeli soldiers in the occupied West Bank. (Mamoun Wazwaz/MaanImages)

The weekly UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reports really ought to be obligatory reading for anyone wishing to grasp the comprehensive brutality of the Israeli occupation. According to its latest report, the dispossession of Palestinian land and resources, house demolitions, arbitrary IDF raids and detentions, and settler violence are sharply on the rise. “During April four Palestinians, including two boys, were killed by [the Israeli army] and another 145 were injured by Israeli soldiers and settlers. The number of Palestinians injured rose by 40 percent compared with the 2008 monthly average,” the report says. A further 391 children (including 6 girls) have been incarcerated by the occupation forces, a 20 percent increase between December 2008 and February 2009.

Commenting on the humanitarian situation in Gaza, the report states that “April saw the lowest number of truckloads entering per month into Gaza (2,656) since the beginning of 2009. This number represents an 18% decrease compared to the monthly average during the first quarter of the year (3,228) and only one-quarter the amount of truckloads that entered Gaza in May 2007 (10,921), one month before the Hamas take-over and the beginning of the blockade.”

Here’s Mel Frykberg‘s (IPS) summary of the findings:

RAMALLAH, May 28 (IPS) – “I heard voices, I turned around to look, and saw a group of Israeli settlers assaulting my brother Hammad,” says Abdallah Wahadin, 82, a Palestinian farmer from Beit Ummar near the southern West Bank city of Hebron.

“Three of them surrounded me, while a fourth threw a rock at the back of my head. Lots of blood ran down onto my clothes. Other settlers then joined them,” Wahadin told the Israeli rights group B’Tselem.

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