INVESTIGATION INTO THE HUMANITARIAN CRISIS CAUSED BY THE ISRAELI PALESTINIAN CRISIS.
1.1 Background of the study
The recent indiscriminate assault carried out by Hamas in Israel, which perhaps constitutes war crimes, has resulted in a significant escalation of violence and punitive actions against Palestinians. The current state of affairs is a cause for great concern, especially in light of the comprehensive restrictions placed by Israel on the two million Palestinians living in Gaza. These measures have resulted in a complete lack of access to essential resources such as food, water, power, fuel, and medication for the affected population (Giacaman, 2018). The act of conducting indiscriminate bombings, implementing closures, and causing famine among the civilian population of Gaza is in blatant violation of international humanitarian law and may be classified as war crimes. The commission of war crimes by an individual can never serve as a valid justification for the perpetration of atrocities by another party. It is imperative to undertake all necessary actions to promptly secure a cessation of hostilities from all involved parties, implement tangible strategies to release civilian captives, safeguard the Palestinian populace from excessive retaliation actions by Israel, and facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance into the Gaza region.
The Gaza Strip, now inhabited by a population of two million Palestinians, endures persistent devastation and significant human hardship. It has been characterised as "the largest open-air prison" globally and a "laboratory" where Israel conducts experiments to enhance methods of control and governance (Asi et al., 2022). The emergence of the Gaza Strip as a geopolitical entity may be attributed to the process of Israeli settler colonial expansion and the subsequent fragmentation of Palestine. The Gaza Strip may be seen as a physical manifestation of the settler colonial aspiration for the absence of Palestinians, as discussed by Mosleh et al. (2018). The manner in which Israel handles the Gaza Strip, including the continuous blockade and military attacks, illustrates the settlers' readiness to suppress any political action or belief that recognises the presence of the native inhabitants [Giacaman, 2018]. Since 2007, Israel has implemented a comprehensive embargo on the Gaza Strip, including restrictions on land, air, and sea access. This blockade has had profound and ongoing detrimental consequences on the socio-economic conditions and overall well-being of the population residing in Gaza. The first conflict of the Israeli-Palestinian and larger Arab-Israeli disputes began in the year 1948. The event in question is commonly known among Palestinians as Al Nakba, which is an Arabic term meaning "the Catastrophe." This term signifies a significant day when numerous Palestinians were forced to leave their homes, either through expulsion or voluntary departure, resulting in their displacement and subsequent status as refugees in the neighbouring Arab countries. This event marked the beginning of a long-lasting and ongoing state of displacement from their homeland for the Palestinian people [Giacaman, 2018]. The Nakba serves as a prominent illustration of settler colonial incursion, characterised by the assertion of sovereignty by a group of settlers over indigenous territory, accompanied by the removal and displacement of the pre-existing native population. Following the aforementioned incident, Palestine, particularly the Gaza strip, has been subjected to recurrent armed conflicts, regular aerial assaults, and military invasions, leading to a substantial loss of life, injuries, displacement of people, and extensive damage to healthcare facilities and infrastructure (Alashqar, 2019). The Nakba, a significant event in Palestinian history, has had a lasting impact on the formation of the Palestinian national identity and continues to shape the everyday realities of Palestinian individuals [Tanous, 2022]. Presently, it can be seen that almost 75% of the people residing in Gaza is officially recognised as refugees, with a significant majority of this demographic being dependent on humanitarian assistance for their sustenance. Therefore, the researcher sought to investigate the challenges in managing the israeli palestinian crisis.
1.2 Statement of the problem
The region of Palestine has been the site of several armed conflicts and popular uprisings, known as intifadas, in response to the presence of military forces. These events have contributed to the exacerbation of a severe humanitarian crisis in the area. According to Saleh (2020), a total of over 4,000 Palestinians lost their lives and over 17,000 sustained injuries during four significant Israeli military interventions that took place in the years 2006, 2008-2009, 2012, 2014, and 2022-2023. During the period spanning from 2018 to 2020, a series of weekly Palestinian rallies were organised along the border with Israel, often referred to as the "Great Marches of Return." These events commemorated the 70th anniversary of the Nakba and aimed to reaffirm the Palestinians' entitlement to repatriation to their original residences and territories. These events have resulted in a continuous influx of victims, leading to almost 35,000 Palestinians sustaining injuries (Mosleh, 2018). One notable characteristic seen during the Great Marches of Return was the deliberate infliction of injuries upon demonstrators by Israeli snipers, who were instructed to specifically target the extremities, abdominal regions, and pelvic areas of individuals. This strategy might be seen as an endeavour to undermine the Palestinian healthcare infrastructure and the whole Palestinian society, therefore shedding attention on the extensive socioeconomic hardships and consequences that injuries and amputations impose on the lives of Palestinians. According to Tanous (2022), a conflict lasting 11 days in May 2021 resulted in the loss of over 200 Palestinian lives in Gaza, with more than 60 of them being minors. Hence, the investigate the humanitarian crisis caused by the israeli palestinian crisis.
1.3 Objective of the study
The broad objective of the study is to investigate the humanitarian crisis caused by the Israeli- Palestinian crisis. The specific objectives is as follows
i. Assess the level of internal displacement of residents as a result of the Israeli- Palestinian crisis in Gaza
ii. Find out the humanitarian needs of persons affected by the Israeli- Palestinian crisis.
iii. Investigate the constraint of the humanitarian agencies in attending to persons affected by the Israeli- Palestinian crisis.
1.4 Research Questions
The following questions will guide the study
i. What is the level of internal displacement of residents as a result of the Israeli- Palestinian crisis in Gaza?
ii. What are the humanitarian needs of persons affected by the Israeli- Palestinian crisis?
iii. What are the constraint of the humanitarian agencies in attending to persons affected by the Israeli- Palestinian crisis?
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 crisis caused by the israeli palestinian crisis. Hence, the study will assess the level of internal displacement of residents as a result of the Israeli- Palestinian crisis in Gaza, find out the humanitarian needs of persons affected by the Israeli- Palestinian crisis and investigate the constraint of the humanitarian agencies in attending to persons affected by the Israeli- Palestinian crisis.
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.