Friday, August 15, 2008

OCHA's Humanitarian Monitor - how to get it and what you'll find there

I often send folks to the website of the U.N. in Jerusalem, technically the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). E-mail versions of their "Humanitarian Monitor" are available by signing up at the OCHA website - - which also offers the one of the best selections of maps and online presentations.

Here is the link to The Humanitarian Monitor for July 2008 in a new shortened format (eight pages) -

The Monitor provides a monthly analysis of different areas of humanitarian concern for the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt). The tables with monthly figures and indicators for each sector which appeared in the previous format, will be available in a separate annex in OCHA’s website by the third week of every month.

Highlights this month:

· In the West Bank, 221 unarmed civilians, including 44 children, were injured by Israeli security forces during military activities, more than half of them in anti-Barrier demonstrations
· Inter-factional fighting in Gaza resulted in the killing of 14 people including two children, and the injury of 67 others including seven children.
· Hamas security forces raided and closed down over 184 community-based organisations allegedly connected to Fatah, disrupting activities involving thousands of beneficiaries. Some of the closed organisations were subsequently allowed to reopen. In the West Bank, the IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) raided several Islamic institutions in Nablus district and closed some of them, disrupting services to over 3,000 children.
· This month OCHA recorded 41 incidents involving Israeli settlers targeting Palestinians and their property, the highest monthly total since the last olive harvest season.

Gaza crossings: This month saw little tangible dividend from the truce. The amount of commodities remained far below actual needs as the level of imports was 46% below the level in May 2007. Only 990 people succeeded in crossing Rafah (Gaza’s border with Egypt), compared to over 18,000 in May 2007.

Movement and access in the West Bank:
· Two major checkpoints, Wadi Nar/Container and Jab’a, were further entrenched by new renovations and expansions.
· There was a 190% increase in flying-random checkpoints from 76 to 221/week mostly in the Hebron area.
· About 80% of UNRWA attempts to pass their vehicles through the ‘Tunnels’ checkpoint without a search, failed, and resulted in a longer and more expensive re-routing.
· As of the end of July 2008, four years after the ICJ (International Court of Justice) advisory opinion, Barrier construction continues and the permit and gates regime is gradually tightening and expanding over additional areas.

Water crisis: Approximately 200 rural communities in the West Bank with an estimated population of 200,000 are struggling to meet their domestic and livestock water needs.

For comments or suggestions on the format or content of the Humanitarian Monitor please contact Mai Yassin

(The complete report is at)

United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
Mac House
P.O.Box 38712
Tel:++ 972-2-5829962/5853

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