For many Palestinians in the West Bank, Israeli measures have severely restricted people’s access to land, jobs and basic services, leaving refugees particularly vulnerable.
UNRWA works to protect refugees and safeguard their basic rights and freedoms. Poverty and unemployment levels are higher among West Bank refugees than non-refugees, and they are also more likely to lack access to sufficient food.
Here we highlight the difficulties facing vulnerable groups, including a Bedouin community and a family badly affected by the Barrier.
West Bank farmers struggle to access own land
“We sometimes spend all day behind the barriers,” Ismail, a farmer in the West Bank village of Biddu says. “You can waste hours waiting to cross both ways.”
Read Ismail's story
“Animals in a zoo have a bigger cage than one they’re putting our family in”
Construction has already begun, with a long slash of exposed hillside visible for miles around. For Omar Hajajeh and his family, the bare earth is a sign of their uncertain future.
Read Omar's story
Summer camp supports Bedouin communities facing demolition threat
“It’s not easy living here. You never know what will happen tomorrow,” says N. Abu Dahuk, a community play worker at the Jahalin School in the Bedouin community of Khan al Ahmar, in the West Bank. The school is under imminent threat of demolition.
Read about the Bedouin school
Gated community: life inside the West Bank Barrier
The West Bank Barrier snakes around the villages of Biddu, Beit Surik and Beit Ijza, north west of Jerusalem, separating them from four nearby settlements – and much of their land.
Read the gated community's story
Barrier casts shadow over West Bank life
Ruquya al Hajj Abdullah is a 68-year-old grandmother living in al Walaja. She is one of many Walaja residents who have lost trees and access to their lands because of the West Bank Barrier, the planned route of which will completely encircle the village.
Read Ruquya's story
West Bank Bedouin facing crisis
The Bedouin community of Um Al Khayr near Hebron lives mere metres away from the Israeli settlement of Karmel. Though they share a hilltop on the other side of a high wire fence, life for the residents of these two communities is a world apart.
Read the story of Um Al Khayr
Family struggles in seam zone limbo
“I want to study to be a doctor,” 10-year-old Sally Mas’ud says, beaming. But Sally’s family live in the West Bank seam zone, between the Green Line and the Barrier, and access restrictions place increasing strains on her education.
Read Sally’s story
ECHO and UNRWA
For the past 18 years, ECHO has supported UNRWA through a variety of programmes.
Since 1992, the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid department (ECHO) has funded relief to millions of victims of both natural disasters and man-made crises outside the EU. Aid is channeled impartially, straight to victims, regardless of their race, religion and political beliefs. For more information about ECHO’s assistance to the Palestinians and its humanitarian aid worldwide, visit the ECHO website.