Context: The Occupation
The Occupation is Israel’s control of the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), the land it captured in 1967, including the West Bank, East Jerusalem, the Golan Heights, and the Gaza Strip. Israel has full military control over the territories, including borders and airspace, thereby restricting who and what is allowed in and out.
Under the Occupation, Israel denies Palestinians their civil, political, and economic rights, and subjects Palestinians to systematic discrimination. Ongoing human rights violations by Israel in the OPT have included home demolitions and the forced eviction of Palestinian families, punitive arrests, unfair trials, and ill treatment and torture of detainees, including children.
More than 600 Israeli roadblocks and checkpoints restrict Palestinian movement, cutting farmers off from their land, making it impossible for many children to attend school regularly, and at times resulting in the deaths of people trying to obtain medical care.
An April 2016 UN report reveals a four-fold increase from 2015 in the rate of Israeli demolitions of Palestinian homes and structures. According to the report, the Israeli authorities have destroyed 588 Palestinian structures across the OPT since January 2016.
The number of Palestinians displaced in four months—more than 800—far surpasses the number displaced during the entirety of 2015. In addition, more than 1,000 Palestinians have lost structures related to their source of income.
For an excellent overview of the history of the Palestine from 1948 to early 2014, see Primer on Palestine, Israel, and the Arab-Israeli Conflict by Middle East Research and Information Project (MERIP).