Palestine: Human rights violations continue rise - Doctors of the World

Palestine: Human rights violations continue rise

Cycle of Violence in Occupied-Palestine Refugee Camps 


Since the start of 2023, more than 1 Palestinian has been killed a day on average: 50 people including 11 children. If this rate continues, then 2023 will experience double the horrific rate of lethal violence in the occupied West Bank in 2022 that was already reported as the highest on record by the UN. 

Unfortunately, the violence seems to only continue growing. Israel has elected an extreme-right government that plans to seriously ‘crack-down’ on Palestine as well as the countries overall democracy. On January 21, 100,000 people protested against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his far-right government in Tel Aviv. 

The continued escalation of force by Israeli forces leads to a cycle of violence between Israelis and Palestinians, which more often result in the harm and deaths of civilians. The refugee camps in Occupied Palestine are already facing terrible challenges. Poverty and overcrowding afflict the areas, along with widespread dissatisfaction and frustration leading to many young children dropping out of school. The frequent raids conducted by Israeli authorities, outbreaks of violence have become a large concern for many families. 


Weakening Healthcare Infrastructure


At Doctors of the World, we aim to provide as much aid as we can to help the Palestinian civilian population.focusing on 2 major issues. 

Israel has taken several actions to weaken and take apart Palestines healthcare system and the overall wellbeing of Palestinians. The ground, air and sea blockade imposed by Israel in 2007, has led to a permanent shortage of medicine, food, and equipment. Nearly a third of the Palestinian population lives in extreme poverty. 

In 2021, 6 Palestinian NGOs were declared terrorist organizations by the Israeli government. This announcement has had a negative impact on the partnership of these organizations with International Non-Governmental Organizations (INGOs) and the donor community, limiting the services they provide to the Palestinian community. This announcement is considered by INGOs, including Doctors of the World, as part of the practice of shrinking the humanitarian space put in place by the Israeli government. 

In the Gaza Strip, people with cancer or chronic illnesses need treatment that is unavailable in their area, and must be transferred. Unfortunately, the number of exit permits granted to patients in need of urgent care has steadily decreased over the years by Israel. In 2022, a boy (10) and a woman (37) died after Israel delayed their exit permits from Gaza. 

Doctors of the World is limited in the actions it can take in Palestine. While we cannot change the policy on the exit permits or the blockade, we aim to strengthen and prepare Palestines healthcare facilities, particularly for emergencies. We provide medical training to healthcare staff on how to provide emergency care, as well as contribute with assistance and equipment to our partners and local health personnel.

One key role we have taken is directing the victims of crises to the appropriate structures to relieve overcrowded hospitals and improve the quality of primary care. During the COVID-19 pandemic, this support from the emergency services was renewed. Health personnel have thus been trained, and the necessary protection such as masks have been distributed.

Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS)


With the trauma that comes from occupation, including the violence inflicted by settlers and the Israeli Army, DotW has focused on providing psychosocial support to impacted Palestinians. Depression, PTSD, anxiety, stress and many other mental health issues run rampant due to the continuous exposure of violence Palestinians experience. Our efforts focused on individual and group counseling, partnering with Palestinian NGOs “Association for Culture and Free Thought” and “Al Ataa” to provide MPHSS care to the affected population.  Doctors of the World recently published a report on its findings in the field, focusing particularly on how violence impacts the mental wellbeing of Palestinians in the Occupied West Bank. 




Motaz Azaiza

Javier Bauluz/MdM España