Women walking next to a military barrier in the West Bank. Photo by Y. Lein
The occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) is made up of two geographic areas: the West Bank including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip. In both areas, Israel maintains a complex system of restrictions on movement and access.
Movement and access restrictions increase poverty and fragment the Palestinian territory. Humanitarian agencies should help mitigate the impacts on Palestinian communities, but these restrictions also affect the movement and access of international organizations operating in the oPt. The restrictions mean that aid workers and related goods cannot move freely between the communities they serve, impeding humanitarian and development work in the territory.
In June 2011, AIDA conducted a survey of its members to assess and quantify the impact these restrictions have on the effectiveness of aid delivery to communities in the oPt. The overall objectives of the study were to gain a better understanding of both the scale and types of restrictions that AIDA members face with regards to access and movement, and to make initial findings on the impact of these restrictions on costs and on the ability of AIDA members to deliver aid and development programs in the territory.
Case Studies excerpts:
AIDA member War Child Holland has a strong commitment to improving the lives of children and their families in Silwan. As settlements continue to expand on the village’s land, children are regularly exposed to violent confrontations with the Israeli military, border police, and the settlers who want Palestinian residents of the village out. Restrictions on movement and access for the Palestinian residents of Silwan are tight, and the volatile situation makes aid and development efforts difficult to carry out.
“Children living in Silwan have no space to grow and play, they are essentially living under house arrest. It is many times difficult for us to access the village due to police closures. War Child aims to defend the rights of children living in Silwan together with local partners, but every time we cannot access the village our project there is set back,” said Ghada Aruri, Advocacy and Communications Advisor for War Child Holland.