UN Annual Humanitarian Overview for the situation in Palestine released News
UN Annual Humanitarian Overview for the situation in Palestine released

[JURIST] The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs [official website] on Thursday released its 2014 Annual Humanitarian Overview [report, PDF], noting that Palestinian civilians continue to face daily threats to their physical safety and liberty, with 2014 holding the highest civilian death toll in the conflict since the annexation of the Palestinian territories in 1967. The report described in detail three areas of concern: forced displacement of Palestinians as a result of the conflict, restrictions on access and movement and deliberate obstruction of humanitarian aid. In 2014 1.8 million people suffered [press release] the repercussions of the escalation in hostilities, which resulted in over 1,500 Palestinian civilian fatalities, and displaced over 100,000 Palestinian residents. The report concludes by reminding all parties to the conflict of their international obligations, including ensuring the protection of civilians and accountability for wrongdoing.

The Israel-Palestine conflict [HRW backgrounder] continues to be a significant international legal issue. Earlier this week, the UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights told the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) Monday that human rights violations “fuel and shape the conflict” [JURIST report] in the occupied Palestinian territories. In November the UNHRC urged Israel to investigate [JURIST report] alleged violations committed by its forces during the recent conflict in Gaza. The 2014 conflict lasted from July 8 to August 26, resulting in more than 100,000 buildings damaged and nearly 2,200 deaths, with a high quantity of civilian casualties. In September Human Rights Watch accused the Israeli military of committing war crimes [JURIST report] by attacking schools where hundreds of displaced Palestinians sought shelter. Also in September the Shurat HaDin of the Israel Law Center asked the International Criminal Court to open an investigation [JURIST report] into alleged war crimes committed by Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal.