Are there Israeli settlements in the West Bank?
Palestinian civilians across the oPt have been subjected to threats to their lives, physical safety and liberty from conflict-related violence, and from policies and practices related to the administration of the Israeli occupation. The Gaza Strip has witnessed three major escalations of hostilities in the last ten years, with the 2014 conflict recording the highest loss of civilian life in a single escalation since 1967.
How much of the West Bank is under Israeli control?
Although the 2014 ceasefire has largely held, pervasive insecurity and the threat of violence continues. In the West Bank, the violence that erupted in late 2015 has continued at a reduced level, with perpetrators or alleged perpetrators of attacks or attempted attacks against Israelis representing the majority of Palestinian fatalities. The forced displacement and dispossession of Palestinians across the oPt takes place in the context of Israel’s prolonged occupation, compounded by escalations in hostilities between Israel and Palestinian armed groups in the Gaza Strip.
What is Israel’s claim to the West Bank?
The 2014 conflict resulted in the highest rate of internal displacement since 1967, displacing 100,000, of whom about 29,000 are still awaiting the reconstruction of their homes (as of July2017). Throughout the West Bank, many Palestinians are at risk of forcible transfer due to a coercive environment generated by Israeli policies and practices, which create pressure on residents to leave their communities and which are often implemented against the backdrop of the expansion of nearby Israeli settlements.
These practices include the demolition of homes, schools and livelihoods on the grounds of the lack of building permits, which are almost impossible to obtain; 2016 recorded the highest number of demolitions in the West Bank since OCHA started recording this trend in 2009, followed by a significant decline in the first half of 2017. Other pressures include promotion of plans to relocate Palestinian Bedouin communities to urban townships;
restrictions on access to natural resources; the denial
of basic service infrastructure; and the lack of secure
MOVEMENT AND ACCESS RESTRICTIONS
Citing security considerations, Israel restricts Palestinian
movement within the oPt, including between the Gaza Strip
and the West Bank, through a combination of physical obstacles
(such as the Barrier and checkpoints) and bureaucratic
constraints (particularly permits, and the designation of areas
as restricted or closed). While the restrictions on Gaza have
continued, the volume of produce entering and leaving Gaza
has risen significantly since the 2014 hostilities. The number of
Palestinians allowed to leave Gaza by the Israeli authorities,
also increased after the 2014 hostilities, but has been again in
decline since the second half of 2016. The isolation of Gaza
has also been exacerbated since 2014 by Egypt’s closure of
the Rafah crossing. In the West Bank, in recent years, the
Israeli authorities have eased some long-standing restrictions,
improving Palestinian access to key urban hubs.
physical and administrative obstacles continue to restrict
Palestinians from entering East Jerusalem, areas isolated by the
Barrier, ‘firing zones’, the Israeli-controlled parts of Hebron
city (H2), and land around or within Israeli settlements. In
addition, temporary travel restrictions have been imposed,
whereby Israeli forces block one or more of the main entries of
communities where the perpetrators of attacks against Israelis
live or from where stone and Molotov cocktails are regularly
thrown at Israeli vehicles.