The Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation points out a report on conditions on the ground in Palestine due to Israeli Settlement expansion. It took me some time for me to find it, but this report can be downloaded here. In the process I found out about this cool UN news source, IRIN News, humanitarian news and analysis on Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.
Here are some significant points from “The Humanitarian Impacts On Palestinians of Israeli Settlements and Other Infrastructure in the West Bank” by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:
- More than 38% of West Bank territory is effectively off limits or restricted to Palestinians.
- Many of the major roads that traditionally connected Palestinian
urban centres are now reserved for Israeli use.
- A comprehensive system of 85 manned checkpoints and more than 460 physical obstacles regulates or prevents Palestinian vehicles from using those West Bank roads primarily reserved for Israeli use.
The IDF states that closures are necessary to protect Israeli citizens from Palestinian militant attacks since the start of the second Intifada.
The number of physical obstacles in the West Bank has increased by more than 45% since August 2005.
Of particular note is the report on available Water:
- Mekorot, the Israeli Water Company, which sells water to Palestinian towns and public bodies, supplies an estimated 54% of all water to Palestinians in the West Bank. However, during times of shortage, such as in the summer months, the company prioritises settlements over Palestinian communities, often leaving Palestinian communities with a shortfall. In summer months, in particular, residents of a number of cities in the West Bank, such as Hebron,
Bethlehem and Jenin, face water restrictions. (pg. 114)