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Sunday, May 13, 2018
QUESTION FROM IMRA:Humanitarian Coordinator calls for protection of Palestinians during demonstrations in the Gaza Strip and West Bank

From: Dr. Aaron Lerner
Sent: Sunday, May 13, 2018 1:43 PM
To: Ofir Feuerstein -Spokesperson United Nations Office for the Coordination
of Humanitarian Affairs occupied Palestinian territory
Subject: QUESTION FROM IMRA Humanitarian Coordinator calls for protection of
Palestinians during demonstrations in the Gaza Strip and West Bank

Dear Mr. Ofir Feuerstein,
“I call on demonstrators to avoid actions that negatively affect the
functioning of Gaza’s main entry point for humanitarian goods.”
The Humanitarian Coordinator, Mr. Jamie McGoldrick

Question: Since The Humanitarian Coordinator, Mr. Jamie McGoldrick does not
want Palestinian protestors to be injured, why doesn’t has call on
demonstrators to refrain from actions beyond peaceful protest?

Best regards,
Dr. Aaron Lerner – IMRA
Tel 054-2316470


From: OCHA oPt
Sent: Sunday, May 13, 2018 11:07 AM
To: imra@netvision.net.il
Subject: Humanitarian Coordinator calls for protection of Palestinians
during demonstrations in the Gaza Strip and West Bank

Humanitarian Coordinator calls for protection of Palestinians during
demonstrations in the Gaza Strip and West Bank

Flash update

The Humanitarian Coordinator, Mr. Jamie McGoldrick, today called for the
protection of Palestinians, particularly children and health workers, in the
context of demonstrations taking place in the occupied Palestinian territory
(oPt) and for demonstrators to refrain from actions that prevent the
functioning of the main entry point for humanitarian goods to the Gaza
Strip.

“With tensions high across Gaza and the West Bank this week, it is crucial
that all efforts be exerted to avoid further deterioration and that
responses by Israeli security forces to Palestinian demonstrators be in line
with their obligations under international law,” said Mr. McGoldrick.
“Children, in particular, should be protected. Where possible, they should
not be the targets of violence and should be kept away from potentially
violent situations.”

The lack of protection for health workers responding to the wounded is an
increasing concern. Between 30 March and 4 May, at least 169 health
personnel were reported injured and 18 ambulances damaged in the Gaza Strip.
“It is inconceivable that first responders lack protective gear and must
risk their own lives in order to provide first aid to the injured,” said Mr.
McGoldrick, “Health workers must be protected at all times and the right to
health respected.”

Following extensive damage to Kerem Shalom Crossing, caused by hundreds of
demonstrators who stormed the Palestinian side of the facility on 11 March,
Mr. McGoldrick stressed: “Humanitarian operations depend on the Kerem Shalom
Crossing to get assistance to those in need in Gaza. I call on demonstrators
to avoid actions that negatively affect the functioning of Gaza’s main entry
point for humanitarian goods and on relevant authorities to quickly repair
any damage.”

In the context of over 9,800 injuries since 30 March, the humanitarian
response in Gaza has been focused on providing immediate life-saving
healthcare, including provision of essential medicines, supplies and the
deployment of emergency medical teams; providing mental health and
psychological support for affected people, especially children; and
monitoring, verifying and documenting possible protection violations.

“Humanitarian actors are responding, both to emerging needs as well as
pre-existing ones, but funding is at an all-time low for this point in the
year,” said Mr. McGoldrick. “The UN Central Emergency Response Fund’s
allocation of $1.26 million for the emergency health response in Gaza is an
important step, one which we hope will be mirrored by additional
contributions by other donors.”

The 2018 Humanitarian Response Plan, which requests US$540 million in
funding, 75 per cent of which is for Gaza, is currently only 16% funded. An
additional $5.3 million is required to meet health, psycho-social and
protection needs emerging since 30 March 2018.

END

Background

Since 30 March 2018, the Gaza Strip has witnessed a significant increase in
Palestinian casualties in the context of demonstrations taking place along
Israel’s perimeter fence with Gaza. The demonstrations have occurred as part
of the ‘Great March of Return’, a series of demonstrations, expected to
continue up to 15 May, with large-scale demonstrations also expected in the
West Bank on 14 and 15 May. Out of thousands of demonstrators in Gaza,
hundreds have approached and attempted to breach the fence, burnt tires,
threw rocks and burning kites and, to a lesser extent, fire bombs at Israeli
forces, who have significantly increased its presence in the area, deploying
tanks and snipers. The large number of casualties among unarmed
demonstrators in Gaza, including a high percentage of demonstrators hit by
live ammunition, has raised real concerns about excessive use of force by
Israeli forces. The Gaza health system, already on the verge of collapse
following years of blockade, internal Palestinian political divisions and
recurrent escalations of hostility, is struggling to cope with the mass
influx of casualties. On 11 May, for the second Friday in a row, hundreds of
Palestinians broke into the Palestinian side of the Kerem Shalom crossing,
the main point for the entry of humanitarian goods, and caused extensive
damage, resulting in the closure of the crossing point until further notice.

United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs occupied
Palestinian territory
________________________________________
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