Occupied Palestinian territory

Las restricciones de Israel a la ayuda humanitaria cuestan 3,2 millones de euros al añoThe restrictions imposed by Israel on movement and access of humanitarian assistance and development cooperation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory cost more than 3.2 million per year, according to the Association of International Organizations for Development (Asociación de Agencias Internacionales de Desarrollo – AIDA).

In the report submitted, "Obstruction of assistance hampers aid to the Palestinian Occupied Territory", organizations are calling on the international community to urge Israel to "break" the obstacles to humanitarian personnel and goods they provide and ensure free movement in order to reach communities in need.

The AIDA is a coalition of 84 international aid and development organizations, which comprise the non-profit organizations: Action Against Hunger (Acción contra el Hambre, Intermón Oxfam, Medecins du Monde, Mobilization for Peace (MPDL – Movimiento por la Paz) , HelpAge International Spain and International Solidarity (Solidaridad Internacional).

These organizations assert that, as one in four Palestinians live below the poverty line, these restrictions further isolate communities that need urgent help, and make them more vulnerable to paying this price.

"These restrictions are devastating to the real opportunities that the population of Gaza has for recovery. Close to 80% of the population in Franja depend on humanitarian assistance and our own time and money is wasted because they our staff and goods are not able to enter and leave Gaza freely", says Boris Aristín, coordinator of Medecins du Monde in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and a member of the Executive Committee of AIDA.

Although restrictions on access to Gaza are well documented, the lack of access and the additional costs arising from this situation also affect major assistance programs in certain areas of the West Bank.

Lack of food

Humanitarian organizations assert that the barriers in the so-called Seam zone (known as the military area between the Green Line and the Wall) and the Bedouin and shepherd communities in the Jordan Valley and south of Hebron, have contributed to making this population as vulnerable as that in Gaza. 79% of the homes of Bedouins and shepherds in the Jordan valley confirm that there is not enough available food, according to a study conducted by the UNRWA organization, UNICEF and WFP.

"We see huge obstacles in the implementation of simple measures that can improve the lives of children and their families in areas lagging behind in medical facilities and schools and in rural areas where their living is earned through agriculture. It is unacceptable that aid should only reach a certain point, aid should simply find its way to those who need it most," said Diego Gutiérrez, from the organization Action Against Hunger (Acción contra el Hambre).

For example, in Barta, where 3,600 people live in the Seam zone surrounded by an electrified fence, AIDA members were not admitted for a few hours to assess community needs. "Barta is not an isolated case," confirmed Iria Folgueira, head of the Mobilization for Peace Mission (MPDL-Movimiento por la Paz) in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

“There are numerous examples of people who can not access the services they need, and the humanitarian community cannot help them because we are subjected to restrictions," adds Iria Folgueira.

The requirements of the administrative record of both the Palestinian Authorities and Hamas are being reported as a barrier to effective humanitarian assistance, as they require more and more time on part of organizations that make up the AIDA.

Download the entire report (in English)

The Association of International Development Agencies (Association of International Development Agencies, AIDA) is a forum of 84 non-profit international organizations that share a common interest in the effective promotion of humanitarian and development programs in the occupied Palestinian territory.

Organisations involved in AIDA among others: Action Against Hunger (Acción contra el Hambre), Intermón Oxfam, Medecins du Monde, HelpAge International Spain, International Solidarity (Solidaridad Internacional). and Mobilization for Peace (MPDL – Movimiento por la Paz).

Translation of the photo caption: A Palestinian student who is passing the checkpoint in the town of Belen.