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Weather and natural disasters
In addition to humanitarian needs stemming from conflict-related policies, people in the occupied Palestinian territory face difficult weather conditions and emergencies, and may also suffer from natural disasters. In this territory, such contingencies may include storms, floods, frosts, droughts, desertification and earthquakes, among others.
For additional information, please access our Winter Storm Portal, which supports response agencies to report needs and provide prompt response.
Articles, statements and press releases
An oPt Humanitarian Fund success story: Israel exercises direct control over the 20 per cent of Hebron City, known as H2, which is home to approximately 40,000 Palestinians and a few hundred Israeli settlers living in five settlement compounds. Policies and practices implemented by the Israeli authorities, citing security concerns, have resulted in the forcible transfer of Palestinians from their homes in Hebron city, reducing a once thriving area to a ‘ghost town’. The living conditions of those Palestinians who remain in the closed and restricted areas have been gradually undermined, including with regard to basic services and sources of livelihood.
The occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) is vulnerable to manmade and natural disasters. The most recent overall assessment of risks in the oPt identified the following main risks: natural hazards, including earthquakes, floods, droughts and landslides; and manmade hazards, including conflict escalation, severe stress on natural resources, environmental degradation, and rapid and unregulated urbanization.
In the Gaza Strip, another winter season brings with it the threat of temporary displacement, property losses and health risks due to flooding and poor housing conditions. Insufficient funding, import restrictions, the ongoing energy crisis and the limited capacity of the Palestinian Civil Defense (PCD) are key factors that hinder the ability of the relevant actors to reduce vulnerability and respond effectively.
As the rainy season approaches, thousands of families in the Gaza Strip will once again be at risk of temporary displacement and the destruction of assets due to flooding. The winter weather conditions are expected to exacerbate the already fragile living conditions and livelihoods of large segments of the Palestinian population. The Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) cluster and its partners have identified flood risk areas throughout the Gaza Strip, potentially affecting nearly 500,000 people, as well as 64 schools and 10 health centres.
In Gaza, some 60,000 people remain internally displaced after losing their homes in the 2014 escalation of hostilities. A minority of them continue to live in vulnerable housing conditions. The Shelter Cluster has identified some 900 families (approximately 4,500 people) living in caravans in temporary displacement sites who are particularly exposed to the extreme weather conditions, a concern ahead of the approaching winter.