In the heart of the Middle East, a region fraught with historical and geopolitical complexities, the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory continues to shape the lives of millions. According to recent data released by the United Nations, a stark picture emerges, revealing the extent of this occupation in facts and figures.
Territory and Access:
The occupied Palestinian territory includes the Gaza Strip spanning 365 km² and the West Bank, which covers approximately 5,655 km², encompassing East Jerusalem. Shockingly, 61% of the West Bank is off-limits for Palestinian use, restricting the daily lives of thousands.
The infamous West Bank separation wall, with a planned length of 712 km, has already reached 65.3% completion. Alarmingly, 85% of this barrier runs inside the West Bank, further limiting Palestinian movement.
Within this complex web, 4.8 million Palestinians reside in the occupied territory, with 1.9 million in Gaza and 2.9 million in the West Bank. This population coexists with approximately 630,000 Israeli settlers residing in 150 settlements established since 1967, and 128 unauthorized “outposts.”
Tragically, conflict-related deaths between 2011 and 2021 reached devastating numbers: 3,572 Palestinians and 198 Israelis lost their lives, including 806 Palestinian children and 14 Israeli children. Moreover, poverty rates stand at 36% in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and a staggering 64% in Gaza.
Access to vital resources such as water remains a pressing concern. Palestinians have per capita access to water consumption well below the international recommendation of 100 liters. Strikingly, Israel controls 85% of Palestinian water sources, exacerbating the scarcity.
Economically, the figures are equally disparate. The per capita GDP in the occupied Palestinian territory stands at US$3,463.3 (2019), significantly lower than the US$43,592 in Israel, highlighting the economic challenges faced by the Palestinians.
Amidst these challenges, 2 million Palestinians struggle with food insecurity, including 0.6 million in the West Bank and 1.4 million in Gaza. These staggering figures underline the daily battle for sustenance faced by countless families.
As the world grapples with this enduring conflict, these statistics serve as a somber reminder of the human cost and the urgent need for peaceful resolution, humanitarian aid, and international cooperation to alleviate the suffering of those caught in the crossfire. The hope for a lasting and just peace in this region remains a global imperative. Read our previous post here 👉 Israel’s Extensive Checkpoint Network Raises Concerns Amidst Ongoing Occupation In The West Bank