The Israeli authorities have put extraordinary pressure on the residents of Masafer Yatta in the Occupied Palestinian Territories to leave the area, in what may amount to a forcible transfer, prohibited under International Humanitarian Law (IHL). As well as demolishing people’s homes, the authorities have installed checkpoints, confiscated residents’ vehicles, enforced curfews, and put in place other movement restrictions.
These measures have intensified since May 2022, following a ruling by the Israeli Supreme Court which removed all legal barriers to the forced displacement of Palestinians from Masafer Yatta to make way for a military zone. As a result, residents’ freedom of movement, mental health, and ability to access basic services, including medical care were severely impacted.
Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has been providing medical and mental health services via mobile clinics to the residents of Masafer Yatta since 2021, and mental health care in Hebron district since 1996. Our teams have witnessed first-hand the impact of the increasingly coercive and oppressive environment on the physical and mental health of the people in Masafer Yatta.
In a new report, The unbearable life: the health impact of Israeli measures to forcibly evict the residents of Masafer yatta, we denounce the Israeli policies and calls on Israeli authorities to bring an immediate halt to the eviction plan, and to stop implementing restrictive measures that impede the ability of Palestinians in Masafer Yatta to access basic services, including medical care.
We also call on the international community to take all necessary measures to protect the people of Masafer Yatta and ensure that their human rights are upheld.