Palestine: Extreme Weather Conditions – Emergency Plan of Action

Based on the extreme cold weather conditions that peaked on 26 January 2022, the Palestinian Government has called for “collaboration and common efforts to support the affected populations to face the current needs”. As a member of the Higher Council of Civil Defence, and due to its auxiliary role, Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) subsequently responded to the humanitarian needs. Starting 20 January 2022, the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt) was hit by extreme weather conditions including heavy rain floods, winds, snow, and low-temperature cold wave. The Meteorological Office of the Ministry of Transport issued a report on February 10 showing the amount of precipitation recorded to date, which exceeded average precipitation levels (Gaza 104%, and 114% Beit Hanon).

The heavy rain generated floods in several parts of Palestine, affecting thousands of people and forcing many families to flee their homes. The extreme weather conditions resulted in the death of four people due to improper use of heating sources in the West Bank. The weather events have deeply affected local communities, particularly in the Gaza Strip, where thousands of people remain displaced and live in semi-structured or transitional shelters or tents due to the loss of their homes during the recent escalation in hostilities. Uncharacteristically low for the Gaza strip, temperature approached zero at nighttime, while power outages disrupted the operation of heating systems. Furthermore, gas stations in the Gaza Strip didn’t have sufficient fuel to supply people with the fuel they needed to operate their own generators. Additionally, vendors providing cooking gas were running low on supplies. Heavy rains in the West Bank have primarily affected the Bedouin communities in the Jordan Valley, communities living near the Israeli separation wall, as well as vulnerable communities residing specifically in the old cities and areas close to streams across the West Bank such as Hebron, Jerusalem, Jenin, Qalqilia, Ramallah, Tubas, and Nablus.

Leave a Reply