UN official dismayed at Israeli obstruction of humanitarian aid for Palestinians

Israeli soldiers search a Palestinian's car at the Hawera checkpoint outside the town of Nablus in the West Bank. Photo: IRIN/Kobi Wolf (file)

20 September 2013 – A senior United Nations relief official today expressed deep concern that Israeli forces prevented the provision of humanitarian assistance to a Palestinian community in urgent need in the occupied West Bank.

Israeli forces seized a vehicle carrying tents from an international humanitarian organization destined for the community of Makhul, where 48 Palestinians, including 16 children, are in urgent need of emergency shelter following repeated demolitions this week by the Israeli authorities.

The forces also confronted members of the humanitarian and diplomatic communities who were present on site, according to information provided by the Office of the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process (UNSCO).

“The United Nations and its partners remain committed to providing humanitarian assistance to populations in immediate need,” said Deputy Special Coordinator James W. Rawley, who is also UN Humanitarian Coordinator for the occupied Palestinian territory.

He added that the international humanitarian community would continue efforts to mitigate the humanitarian impact, including displacement and loss of livelihoods, of demolitions which have been on the rise over recent months in the West Bank.

“I call upon the Israeli authorities to live up to their obligations as occupying Power to protect those communities under their responsibility, including to halt demolitions of Palestinian homes and property,” said Mr. Rawley.

“The displacement of a whole Palestinian community in the occupied Palestinian territory is a very disappointing development at such a delicate moment where we look forward to positive measures on the ground,” he added.


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