OCHA: Half of West Bank is Off-Limit to Palestinians

12:00 Jan 16 2012 West Bank

JERUSALEM, January 16, 2012 (WAFA) – Almost half of the West Bank land is off-limit for Palestinian use due to its allocation to the Israeli settlement’s local and regional councils, said a report by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) on Monday.

The report, on the humanitarian impact of Israeli settlement policies in the Palestinian Territory, said that 43% of the West Bank land is inaccessible by Palestinians since it was allocated to Israeli settlements’ benefit.

Likewise, 27% of the West Bank land viewed by Israel as public or “state land” has been allocated to settlements rather than for the benefit of the local population, it said.

It stated that “seizure of land for settlement building and future expansion has resulted in the shrinking of space available for Palestinians to sustain their livelihoods and develop adequate housing, basic infrastructure and services.”

The report said that settlement expansion plans have led to extensive demolition of Palestinian homes and the forcible displacement of its residents with 60% of the homes demolished in 2011 were in Area C, which is under full Israeli control.

It said that Israel had set up more than 500 internal checkpoints, roadblocks and other physical obstacles that impede Palestinian movement inside the West Bank, including access of children to schools.

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