Occupied Palestinian Territory
The situation in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) as a whole remains a protracted protection crisis with humanitarian and development consequences. The prolonged and entrenched nature of the Israeli occupation has resulted in the long-term denial of the most basic rights of the Palestinian people. Besides the humanitarian situation in the besieged Gaza Strip and the de-development, the situation in the areas under full Israeli control, namely Area C and East Jerusalem, as well as in Hebron H2 remain extremely volatile. Palestinians in these areas routinely experience violations of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and International Human Rights Law (IHRL). These violations contribute to a coercive environment that is causing progressive isolation and deprivation. Palestinians in these areas are at increased risk of forcible transfer due to recurrent violations of international law, including systematic settlement expansion, restrictions on development and access to local resources, settler violence, home demolitions, property confiscation and evictions due to discriminatory planning regimes, regulations and legislation.
Protracted conflict, restricted access to basic services, and the adverse health and socioeconomic effects of the pandemic have generated significant humanitarian needs in the West Bank and Gaza. Nearly 2.1 million Palestinians—approximately 40 percent of the combined population of the West Bank and Gaza—are estimated to be in need of humanitarian assistance in 2022, according to the UN.
In 2022, we have witnessed the shrinking of our humanitarian operating space and the reduction of our ability to respond to the needs on the ground, both due to the decrease in humanitarian funding and the restriction of humanitarian and development operations particularly in Area C and East Jerusalem by the State of Israel.
Description of the mission
Première Urgence Internationale is present in the Occupied Palestinian Territory since 2002, and in the Gaza Strip since 2009.
Our overall objective is to provide assistance and protection to the most vulnerable Palestinians, exposed to the risks of forced displacement and violations of international humanitarian law. In doing so, PUI contributes to protecting their rights, improving access to basic humanitarian services and building resilience among the most vulnerable groups by applying an integrated multi-sectoral approach based on the needs, vulnerabilities and priorities of individuals, specific groups and communities.
Premiere Urgence Internationale in action
In 2022, Première Urgence Internationale maintain its activities to protect the most vulnerable Palestinian populations in response to attacks by settlers in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem. PUI teams have also piloted a new Psychosocial Support intervention, focusing on community engagement around self and collective care:
– To improve participants’ mental health and psychosocial wellbeing through the strengthening of their knowledge and capacities around dealing with ongoing distress in isolated Palestinian communities in Area C; at risk of settlers’ attacks.
– To boost group resilience and reinforce positive coping mechanisms by empowering diverse community members to act as agents of change within their communities;
– To further enrich and complement PUI’s ongoing material and protective response to settler violence.
In the Gaza Strip, our teams are mobilised in three main areas. They provide support to communities working in the access restricted areas on land and sea through a rapid response mechanism, particularly farmers and fishers affected by the blockade and the destruction of their livelihoods.
PUI approach to environmental protection aims to conserve natural resources and, where possible, to repair damage and reverse trends. As well as meeting immediate needs such as food and livelihood support, we also work with farmers and fishers to help them adjust to climate change and build resilience for the future.
On the cultural level, cooperation with scientific and academic partners has made it possible to set up a programme around several cultural heritag sites in Gaza: INTIQAL. Our INTIQAL program sets in motion a virtuous circle by linking the themes of heritage preservation, long-term economic development, and cultural and social development, allowing multiple benefits in terms of sustainable development, strengthening the resilience of local populations and the promotion of Palestinian cultural heritage at local and international levels
Advocacy remains a key issue for our teams in the protection of Palestinian rights, both locally and internationally.
Palestinian heritage at risk: heavy seasonal rains threaten the remains of several sites
Due to heavy seasonal rains and climatic changes, long-term protection measures are needed to protect the remains of the monastery of Saint Hilarion, Al Bureij and the Roman necropolis.
Première Urgence Internationale deploys emergency aid to Gaza after the Israeli strikes
Following the Israeli air strikes in Gaza, which left 46 people dead and 360 injured, Première Urgence Internationale has set up an emergency response to help the population, which is already facing a very worrying humanitarian situation.