UNSG report on the repercussions of the Israeli occupation in Palestine and the Golan: intensified repression, human suffering, and a fragmented Palestinian economy dependent on Israel - ESCWA
Press release

28 Jul 2022

Beirut, Lebanon

UNSG report on the repercussions of the Israeli occupation in Palestine and the Golan: intensified repression, human suffering, and a fragmented Palestinian economy dependent on Israel

Palestinian women with her child

Beirut, 28 July 2022--The United Nations reaffirmed that the policies and practices of Israel in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including repression against individuals and organizations, settlement expansion in the West Bank including East Jerusalem and the Gaza blockade, had prevented development, triggered humanitarian crises and fragmented the Palestinian economy, which had become dependent on Israel and reliant on foreign aid.

This came in a report prepared annually by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) on the economic and social repercussions of the Israeli occupation on the living conditions of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan, issued as a Secretary-General’s note to the United Nations Economic and Social Council.

The report reviews Israeli policies and practices in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, and the resulting socioeconomic situation and impact on development prospects.  It also highlights that these policies and practices entail violations of international law, especially discriminatory practices and others that may amount to forcible transfer or collective punishment, or lead to the deprivation of Palestinians and Syrians living under occupation of their rights, including the expansion of illegal settlements. The report also indicates that Israel has intensified its repression of Palestinians and civil society organizations, especially those that express dissent against the occupation, document violations of international law, accuse Israel of apartheid or advocate for sanctions.

The report reaffirms the impossibility of achieving sustainable development in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, and warns of an expected deterioration, as more than half of Palestinians living under occupation have become in need of humanitarian assistance. It also highlights the dire living conditions in Gaza and how the 15-year blockade of the Strip and the recurrent Israeli military escalations, the last of which was in May 2021, have caused intense suffering.

According to the report, average gross domestic product (GDP) per capita in Gaza remains  52% lower than it had been in 2005, and unemployment hovers around 47%, while more than 60% of Gazans live below the poverty line and about 62% suffer from food insecurity.

The report also indicates that the system of policies and practices imposed by Israel has systematically  stripped the Palestinian economy from many elements that are vital for its healthy operation, rendering it highly dependent on Israel and foreign aid, which has been consistently declining in recent years.

The report reiterates the illegality of Israel’s annexation of the occupied Syrian Golan and Israel’s violations of the rights of Syrian citizens and discrimination against them. It concludes that adherence to international law and ensuring that no party enjoys impunity are prerequisites for achieving peace and justice for all peoples of the region.

Tarik Alami, Leader of the Governance and Conflict Prevention Cluster at ESCWA, presented the report to the Economic and Social Council on 22 July 2022. Representatives of the Council’s member States, as well as representatives of the State of Palestine and the Syrian Arab Republic discussed its findings and proposed a draft resolution on it. The report will also be presented to the United Nations General Assembly during its next session for further consideration.

The full report is available at https://undocs.org/A/77/90 

 

Photo: iStock/vichinterlang
 

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About ESCWA

One of five United Nations regional commissions, ESCWA supports inclusive and sustainable economic and social development in Arab States, and works on enhancing regional integration.

For more information:

- Ms. Maryam Sleiman, Public Information Assistant, +961-81-769-888; email: sleiman2@un.org
- Ms. Rania Harb, Public Information Assistant, +961-70-008-879; email: harb1@un.org

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