UNRWA SITUATION REPORT #23 ON THE SITUATION ON THE GAZA STRIP AND THE WEST BANK, INCLUDING EAST JERUSALEM

UNRWA SITUATION REPORT #23 ON THE SITUATION ON THE GAZA STRIP AND THE WEST BANK, INCLUDING EAST JERUSALEM


Key Points  

The Gaza Strip 

  • In the last 24 hours, five UNRWA colleagues were killed due to strikes in the North, Middle and  South areas of the Gaza Strip. UNRWA received confirmation that another four colleagues were killed in strikes earlier in late October. This brings the total number of confirmed UNRWA colleagues killed to 88 and at least another 25 injured since the hostilities began. One UNRWA colleague sustained serious injuries due to a strike that hit her home; her husband and three children were killed.
  • The confirmed number of UNRWA installations damaged since 7 October is 48.
  • Almost 1.5 million people have been displaced across the Gaza Strip since 7 October. Nearly half (717,000) are sheltering in 149 UNRWA installations across all five governorates of Gaza, including in the north.
  • Over 557,000 IDPs are sheltering in 92 facilities in the Middle, Khan Younis and Rafah areas. Nearly 160,000 IDPs were sheltering in 57 UNRWA schools in the north and Gaza areas as of 12 October 2023, before the evacuation order was issued by the Israeli Authorities. UNRWA is not able to access these shelters to assist or protect the IDPs and does not have information on their needs and conditions.

 

© 2023 UNRWA Photo by Ashraf Amra. Deir al-Balah School shelter, 1 November 2023
© 2023 UNRWA Photo by Ashraf Amra. Deir al-Balah School shelter, 1 November 2023

 

The West Bank, including East Jerusalem

  • The Israeli Security Forces (ISF) conducted operations in Jenin, Tulkarem and Jalazone refugee camps in the early morning of 5 November.  

  • The operation in Jenin refugee camp resulted in extensive damage to critical infrastructure in the camp for the third time in 10 days, including in locations adjacent to UNRWA installations. One Palestinian was seriously injured in the operation and nine Palestinians were detained.  

  • A large scale ISF operation and demolition operation took place in the town of Abu Dis, southeast of Jerusalem. Two Palestinians were reportedly killed, and six were injured with live ammunition. The use of a shoulder-fired missile was reported. One female ISF officer was reportedly injured.   

 

Overall Situation 

The Gaza Strip

  • According to the Ministry of Health (MoH) in Gaza, 9,770 people have been killed since 7 October, of whom 70 per cent are women, children, and older persons. Over 24,158 people have been injured. This is in addition to the 2,260 people reported missing, presumably under the rubble of destroyed buildings, including 1,270 children. On average, 134 children have been reported killed across the Gaza Strip every day since the war began based on the MoH figures.
  • Overall, nearly 1,400 Israelis and foreign nationals have been killed in Israel, according to the Israeli authorities, the vast majority on 7 October (OCHA).

 

The West Bank

  • According to OCHA, since 7 October, 141 Palestinians, including 43 children, have been killed by Israeli forces; and eight, including one child, by Israeli settlers. 

 

Humanitarian Access, Protection of Civilians 

The Gaza Strip

  • In the last 48 hours, five UNRWA colleagues were killed and four were confirmed killed. In total 88 colleagues have been killed and at least 24 injured since 7 October.
  • At least 48 UNRWA installations have been impacted since the beginning of the hostilities.
  • On 5 November, a total of 25 trucks carrying humanitarian supplies, including medical supplies, food and drinking water, entered the Gaza Strip through Rafah, bringing the total number of trucks to 476. Eight of the trucks which entered on 5 November were UNRWA trucks. UNRWA teams received the convoys in Gaza and helped with storage and distribution, in cooperation with other UN agencies. This is a drop in the ocean compared to the overwhelming needs of over two million people trapped in Gaza.
  • No fuel has entered Gaza for nearly one month now, with huge impact on hospitals, bakeries, water plants and UNRWA operations.

 

The West Bank

  • The start of the UNRWA school day was delayed in Jenin, Tulkarem and Jalazone refugee camps due to the ISF operations.

 

UNRWA Response  

The Gaza Strip  

UNRWA Shelters 

  • UNRWA shelters in the Middle and southern Areas are severely overcrowded with huge pressure on infrastructure and the Agency’s ability to meet the minimum needs of people for food, water and accommodation.
  • The risk of a public health crisis continues to grow, in a setting of mass displacement, overcrowding in shelters and damage to the water and sanitation infrastructure.
  • The decomposition of bodies under collapsed buildings amid limited rescue efforts continues to raise humanitarian and environmental concerns.
  • UNRWA shelters have reported thousands of cases of acute respiratory, skin infections, diarrhea and chicken pox.
  • The UNRWA Khan Younis Training Centre (KYTC) is currently hosting more than 22,000 internally displaced people. Conditions in the shelters are inhumane and continue to deteriorate as days go by. In the KYTC, the space per person is less than two square metres, at least 600 people are sharing one toilet.   The worsening sanitary conditions, along with the lack of privacy and space, pose immense risks to the health and safety of people sheltering.

 

Health 

  • Nine (out of 22) UNRWA health centres are still operational in the Middle and South areas, recording 5,937 patient visits on 5 November, including Palestine Refugees and non-refugees.
  • Midwives are providing medical care for post-natal and high-risk pregnant women at the nine operational health centres. A total number of 119 high risk pregnancies and 693 post-natal mothers were attended to on 5 November.  
  • Seven out of the nine active health centres resumed vaccination services in line with the national vaccination programme, and provided dental services for emergency cases (bleeding, swelling, trauma and extraction).
  • On 5 November 2023, UNRWA continued to provide health care to IDPs at shelters through 92 mobile medical points and 257 staff who attended a total of 10,190 cases.
  • Fuel is running severely low, making the delivery of primary health care at UNRWA health centres very challenging. 

 

Relief and Social Services/Psychosocial support

  • UNRWA has counsellors and social workers in the shelters to provide psychosocial first aid and other specialized protection services. Since 7 October, UNRWA has provided 27,603 people with psychosocial support. 

 

Water, Sanitation, Hygiene (WASH)

  • A severe shortage of adequate and sufficient sanitation facilities, including toilets and showers, continued to pose a severe challenge in the shelters which resulted in long queues at the facilities, with wait times sometimes stretching to one or two hours.

Food Security

  • Access to bread in the south is challenging. The only operative mill in Gaza remains unable to grind wheat due to a lack of electricity and fuel.
  • Eleven bakeries have been hit and destroyed since 7 October. Only one of the WFP-contracted bakeries, along with eight others in the southern and Middle areas, are able to provide bread to shelters while working intermittently, depending on the availability of flour and fuel. People queue for long hours in bakeries, where they are exposed as bombardments and airstrikes continue.
  • Hot meals and other food items like fresh food (vegetables) were provided to IDPs in some of the shelters. UNRWA staff are helping with the distribution, but food is not enough to cover the basic needs of thousands of IDPs.

 

Quote from UNRWA staff who asked that their name is not shared

“In Gaza, one has to stand in line for hours to get anything… water, the toilet, bread. Even entering the shelter. Everything except death. No line is needed for that.”

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