Israeli settlements in the West Bank are having a severe humanitarian impact on rural Palestinian areas, according to a report by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). The report, titled “The Humanitarian Impact of Israeli Infrastructure in the West Bank” said that the settlements disconnect Palestinians from agricultural land and limit their movement, restricting access to markets and water resources. In the southern Hebron Hills area a conflict between Israeli settlers and Palestinians over land and water resources is apparent. Palestinian residents in interviews with IRIN described the harsh impact the settlements have on their daily lives. In the small village of Um al Khir, near the Carmel settlement, the residents receive water through an old military above-ground network of thin pipes which, they say, does not meet their needs and which they cannot refurbish. They supplement this with expensive water brought in by tankers. The Israeli settlers are connected to the mains network. Furthermore, the report states, West Bank Palestinian water consumption per person is considerably lower than standards set by the World Health Organisation. Israel, as opposed to the international community, does not view its settlements as a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention as it maintains the West Bank is not occupied land.
UN REPORT HIGHLIGHTS RESOURCES IMBALANCE IN WEST BANK
Israeli settlements in the West Bank are having a severe humanitarian impact on rural Palestinian areas, according to a report by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)