UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, estimates that even before the escalation of conflict in 2000, one fifth of pregnant women in Gaza and the West Bank could not receive prenatal care because of the difficulty travelling through checkpoints. Delays at these checkpoints have resulted in dozens of unattended roadside births, some of which ended in deaths. This issue is one of UNFPA's top priorities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.
The Palestinian Ministry of Health reports that since the beginning of the Al-Aqsa Intifada in 2000, at least 68 pregnant Palestinian women gave birth at Israeli checkpoints, leading to 35 miscarriages and the death of five women. Additionally, 10 per cent of pregnant women spent 2-4 hours on the road before reaching a medical centre or a hospital, while 6 per cent spent more than four hours, when the normal traveling time before the Intifada was 15-30 minutes. This hardship is estimated to have contributed to an 8.2 per cent increase of home deliveries. There are a total of 528 checkpoints in the West Bank and Gaza.
Inadequate medical care during pregnancy was the third cause of mortality among Palestinian women of reproductive age, according to OPT Ministry of Health. Of the 117,000 pregnant women in the OPT, an estimated 18,000 will suffer poor pregnancy outcomes due to the lack of appropriate and timely prenatal, delivery and post‑natal care.