Nama Abu Khalifa, a social worker with the Palestinian Family Planning and Protection Association (PFPPA) in the occupied West Bank, faces near-impossible challenges in getting to work every day.
"Every morning and evening, I undergo physical inspection by the Israeli occupation forces at the checkpoints,” she said. “Additionally, there are armed settler attacks on the roads, attempts to intimidate passersby, and the placement of iron gates to close the entrances and exits of the village, tightening the grip on its residents. The gates are closed and opened without any prior warning, making it difficult for me to return home."
Abu Khalifa works for the Ramallah branch - one of four PFPPA service delivery points across the West Bank that are still operational, despite tightened security and rising violence in the West Bank amid the ongoing war in the Gaza Strip. PFPPA’s only health center in the Gaza Strip was destroyed after an Israeli air strike hit an adjacent building on 8 October.
While all eyes are rightfully on the dire situation in Gaza, Israeli settler violence and increased movement restrictions in the West Bank mean Palestinians are also facing increasing challenges and risks when it comes to seeking sexual and reproductive health care. Attacks, forced displacement, rampant discrimination and harassment by Israeli forces continue – and have increased in the last month. According to the OCHA, nearly 2,000 Palestinians have been displaced amid settler violence since 2022, with 43% since 7 October, severely limiting Palestinians’ access to essential services. As of 20 November, the total number of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, is 200, including 52 children.