AN INVESTIGATION ON THE HUMANITARIAN IMPLICATIONS OF ISRAELI-PALETINIAN CONFLICTS.
1.1 Background of the study
According to a United Nations, the ongoing violent displacement and the persistent threats of more assaults on the Gaza Strip have resulted in a significant public health emergency (Giacaman , 2018). This assessment comes in the wake of the recent escalation of violence in the area, which has tragically led to the deaths of at least 12 health professionals and has impacted 24 health institutions in Gaza. According to Mofokeng (2023), the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to health, it is imperative for all parties involved in the war and their international counterparts to guarantee expeditious and unhindered provision of crucial humanitarian provisions, including sustenance, water, medication, fuel, and power. According to Mofokeng (2023), the medical infrastructure in Gaza has suffered irreversible damage, resulting in healthcare personnel operating under challenging circumstances characterised by restricted access to medical supplies and inadequate conditions that hinder their ability to provide healthcare services in a timely and high-quality manner. According to the expert, despite being subjected to bombing, many actors like as humanitarian workers, medics, civil society, human rights groups, and journalists persist in their efforts inside the territory.
The World Health Organization (2023) has recorded over 111 instances of assaults on healthcare facilities in the occupied Palestinian territory, with 48 of these incidents occurring in the Gaza Strip. These attacks have tragically led to the loss of life for at least 12 healthcare personnel. According to Alashqar (2019), it has been said that Israel is impeding the access of vital provisions, such as sustenance, potable water, gasoline, pharmaceuticals, medical disposables, and equipment, to the Gaza Strip.
Asi (2022) made a statement that, the Gaza Strip is now seeing persistent shelling and extensive destruction. The healthcare industry inside the enclave is now under significant strain, reaching a critical juncture. Mofokeng (2023) urged the international community to promptly act in order to avert the exacerbation of war and safeguard and uphold the universal right to health. This may be achieved by advocating for the establishment of humanitarian corridors, ensuring the protection of healthcare infrastructure, and safeguarding the well-being of healthcare personnel. According to the expert, there is an immediate need for essential provisions such as food, water, housing, fuel, emergency healthcare, psychosocial assistance, and psychological first aid among Palestinian households.
The expert emphasised the need of considering the contextual factors surrounding the recent increase and manifestation of violence in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories. According to her statement, the mentioned incident symbolises a significant and continuous manifestation of severe structural, systemic, and enduring violence endured by Palestinians on a daily basis during the period of occupation. Mofokeng expressed the urgent need for a ceasefire and appealed to Member States to refrain from engaging in war rhetoric(Giacaman, 2018).
The displacement of the Palestinian people has persisted for a period exceeding 75 years. According to the speaker, the Palestinian region that is now under occupation has experienced military control for a period exceeding 56 years. This occupation has resulted in several negative consequences such as a lack of responsibility, continuous displacement and destruction, limitations on travel, and the implementation of a discriminatory system based on race(Mosleh, Dalal, Aljeesh & Svanström, 2018). The Gaza Strip, an area spanning around 139 square miles (360 square kilometres), comparable in size to the urban expanse of Detroit, was already confronted with a significant humanitarian catastrophe before to the commencement of the present conflicts. Due to a prolonged sixteen-year blockade imposed by Israel, a significant majority of the population, around 95 percent, has limited access to clean water. Furthermore, over half of the inhabitants in the Gaza Strip rely on humanitarian aid to meet their basic service requirements. Moreover, it is worth noting that around 80 percent of the population residing in Gaza is classified as refugees according to international law. Furthermore, Palestinians as a whole constitute the most significant stateless group globally (Saleh, 2020). According to UN Secretary-General António Guterres, the situation in Gaza has deteriorated significantly after Hamas's unexpected assault, reaching a perilous nadir. Based on the data provided by Gaza's health ministry, it has been reported that Israel's response has resulted in the loss of life for a minimum of 2,778 individuals and caused injuries to around 9,700 others as of October 17th (Tanous , 2023). Furthermore, the assault carried out by Hamas resulted in the loss of over 1,400 Israeli lives and caused injuries to around 3,400 individuals. In the year before the conflict, the year 2023 had already saw the highest number of casualties among Palestinians residing in Gaza, marking the most fatal year in over twenty years. The region has been subjected to a comprehensive blockade by Israel, resulting in the cessation of power and water services, as well as the obstruction of the importation of essential supplies like as food, fuel, and medication. In the absence of fuel, the only power plant in Gaza has ceased operations, resulting in a loss of electricity. The Israeli military has conducted air attacks resulting in the destruction of residential areas, educational institutions, and places of worship. However, it is important to note that the Israeli military has said its objective is to target weapons storage facilities and infrastructure that are used or controlled by Hamas fighters (Tanous, 2023). Nevertheless, it is worth noting that the Israeli air raids, which specifically aim at residential structures and medical institutions, have led to a significant number of civilian deaths.
In the present circumstances, the health system in Gaza has reached a critical juncture, as stated by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Hospitals are compelled to implement fuel and medicinal supply rationing measures. The two primary healthcare facilities in the northern region of Gaza have already surpassed their maximum capacity, while hospitals in the southern region are also seeing an influx of patients. On October 12, the energy minister of Israel made a statement indicating that the provision of power, gasoline, and water to Gaza would be contingent upon the release of all hostages, numbering at least 199 individuals, being held by Hamas (Tanous , 2023). Therefore, the study investigates the humanitarian implications of Israeli-Paletinian conflicts.
1.2 Statement of the problem
The repeated instances of violence in the regions of Gaza and the West Bank have had a significant impact on the social and material welfare of the Palestinian population. The impairment of support networks and livelihood systems has a detrimental effect on individuals' capacity to mitigate the adverse consequences of violence on their overall welfare and to refrain from adopting unfavourable coping mechanisms. The imposition of measures of control by the occupying authority is constrained by its obligations to uphold civic life and guarantee a decent quality of living (Tanous, 2023). Restrictions that are of a permanent or enduring nature and result in significant humanitarian ramifications for the civilian populace, encompassing but not limited to political instability, environmental factors, healthcare crises, population displacement, food scarcity, malnutrition, and inadequate access to essential services, cannot be regarded as meaningful and proportionate. Consequently, such restrictions are in violation of international law. The United Nations has initiated a rapid appeal amounting to $294 million in order to effectively respond to the humanitarian needs of those living in Gaza and the West Bank. In the region of Gaza, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) are actively involved in the provision of crucial commodities and services, including but not limited to medical supplies, gasoline, and emergency aid (Mofokeng, 2023). Various prominent organisations, including as the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, which include the Palestine Red Crescent Society and Doctors Without Borders, are actively providing humanitarian assistance to those impacted by the ongoing war. Hence, the need to investigate the humanitarian implications of Israeli-Paletinian conflicts.
1.3 Objective of the study
The broad objective of the study is to investigate the humanitarian implications of Israeli-Paletinian conflicts. The specific objectives is as follows
i. Determine the extent Israel-Palestine conflict contributed to human displacement in Gaza.
ii. Determine the extent Israel-Palestine conflict contributed to death pull in Gaza
iii. Ascertain the impact of Israel-Palestine conflict affected the health status of residents of Gaza.
1.4 Research Questions
The following questions have been prepared for the study
i. What is the extent Israel-Palestine conflict contributed to human displacement in Gaza.
ii. What is the extent Israel-Palestine conflict contributed to death pull in Gaza.
iii. What is the impact of Israel-Palestine conflict affected the health status of residents of Gaza.
1.5 Significance of the study
The findings of the study will be significant to both the Israeli and paletinian government as it will reveal the extent to which the crisis between both states have affected their people as lives have been lost and people displaced from their homes and therefore find a compromising ground to resolve the issues between them.
The findings of the study will be significant to the academic community as it will contribute to the existing literature.
1.6 Scope of the study
The study focuses on the humanitarian implications of Israeli-Paletinian conflicts. Hence, the study will determine the extent Israel-Palestine conflict contributed to human displacement in Gaza, determine the extent Israel-Palestine conflict contributed to death pull in Gaza and ascertain the impact of Israel-Palestine conflict affected the health status of residents of Gaza.
1.7 Limitation of the study
Like in every human endeavour, the researchers encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. Insufficient funds tend to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire, and interview), which is why the researcher resorted to a moderate choice of sample size. More so, the researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. As a result, the amount of time spent on research will be reduced
1.8 Definition of terms
Humanitarian: concerned with or seeking to promote human welfare.