A report by Save the Children, an UK children’s charity, brings to light the devastating poverty experienced by Palestinians under direct Israeli control.The report analyzes conditions of Area C portions of the West Bank. These areas are made up of 60% of the West Bank’s territory and are controlled solely by the Israeli military. The suffering caused by the Israeli government stems from a complete lack of approval for needed infrastructure and private repairs.
Restrictions on projects to upgrade houses, sewer treatment, roads and agriculture projects has led to a rapid decline in the living conditions of Area C residents. The prohibitions on farming lands have led to an inability of the people to feed themselves and directly to the malnutrition of children.
According to the report, approximately 79% of families in Area C lack sufficient food, compared with the 61% in Gaza. Diarrhoea rates are at 44%. Within the Area C communities, stunted growth is evident and one in ten are underweight for their age. Half the families surveyed reported an inability to access international aid.
‘Palestinians in the West Bank are widely thought to enjoy a higher standard of living but tragically many families, particularly in Bedouin and herder communities, actually suffer significantly higher levels of malnutrition and poverty,’ said Salam Kanaan, Save the Children’s director in the occupied Palestinian Territories.
Save the Children called on the Israelis to immediately halt all land confiscations and home demolitions and called on the Palestinian Authority to take action in developing services and increasing food security for residents of Area C.