UNRWA SITUATION REPORT #24 ON THE SITUATION ON THE GAZA STRIP AND THE WEST BANK, INCLUDING EAST JERUSALEM

UNRWA SITUATION REPORT #24 ON THE SITUATION ON THE GAZA STRIP AND THE WEST BANK, INCLUDING EAST JERUSALEM

Key Points  

The Gaza Strip 

  • In the last 24 hours, one additional UNRWA colleague was killed, and another seriously injured. 89 UNRWA colleagues have been killed and at least 26 injured since the start of hostilities. This is the highest number of United Nations aid workers killed in a conflict in the history of the United Nations.
  • Over 565,000 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 northern 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.
  • Almost 1.5 million people have been displaced across the Gaza Strip since 7 October. Nearly 725,000 are sheltering in 149 UNRWA installations across all five governorates of Gaza, including in the north.
  • One UNRWA school in the north of Gaza was directly hit by strikes, which resulted in one person killed and nine injured among the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) sheltering in the school.

 

The West Bank, including East Jerusalem

  • The Israeli Security Forces (ISF) under-cover unit fired live ammunition at a vehicle in front of Tulkarem refugee camps in the afternoon of 6 November, killing four Palestinians, including two refugees.  
  • Clashes at Al Amari refugee camp between ISF and Palestinians during a search operation led to one Palestinian reportedly injured by live ammunition. The clashes took place near UNRWA schools in the camp, with 1,300 students remaining inside during the clashes.    
  • In the early morning, the ISF shot and killed a Palestinian child near Herod’s Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem, allegedly for stabbing and injuring two Israeli soldiers. Staff and patients at the UNRWA health centre were inside at the time.   

 

Overall Situation 

The Gaza Strip

  • According to the Ministry of Health (MoH) in Gaza, over 10,000 people, including 2,550 women, 4,104 children and 596 older people have been killed in Gaza since 7 October; over 25,400 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.
  • 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, 147 Palestinians, including 44 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 24 hours, one UNRWA colleague was killed with her children. Another was severely injured in the northern area by shrapnel that hit his leg. 89 UNRWA colleagues have been killed and at least 26 injured since the beginning of the war.

  • Due to strikes that directly hit an UNRWA school in the northern area, one internally displaced person was killed and nine were injured. According to the latest data, 5,500 internally displaced persons were reported to be sheltering at the school as of 12 October.

  • Following further verification, UNRWA was able to confirm the number of IDPs killed and injured due to a strike that hit an UNRWA school in the north. Fifteen people were killed and 70 injured in the school, which was sheltering 16,000 internally displaced people according to information available on 12 October.

  • To date, 540 IDPs sheltering in UNRWA facilities have been injured and 66 killed since 7 October.

  • At least 50 UNRWA installations have been impacted since the beginning of the war.

  • On 6 November, a total of 93 trucks carrying humanitarian supplies, including medical supplies, food and drinking water, entered the Gaza Strip through Rafah, bringing the total number of trucks to 569 since 21 October when the first convoy was allowed to enter. Four of the trucks which entered on 6 November were UNRWA trucks. UNRWA teams received all trucks on the convoys in Gaza and helped with storage and distribution, in cooperation with other UN agencies. This is far below the quantities needed to meet the needs of over two million people trapped in Gaza.

  • UNRWA is conducting a child protection rapid assessment in a sample of shelters in the Middle and southern areas to provide a snapshot of the impact of the crisis on girls and boys and to identify urgent child protection related risks and needs.  

 

The West Bank

  • UNRWA staff continue to face challenges with movement and access between Nablus and Tulkarem. Due to road closures, medical supplies could not be transported from the UNRWA Nablus warehouse to Qalqilya and Tulkarem.
  • Access to Jericho remains an issue; teachers are unable to reach UNRWA schools in Aqbet Jaber, Ein Sultan and Al Auja, requiring alternative learning modalities for approximately 3,000 students.
  • Four trucks with medical supplies were successfully transported to Doura and Dheisheh refugee camps. Arroub and Fawwar refugee camp residents and staff continue to suffer from movement and access restrictions as they have no access to Road 60 and can only move through bypass roads.

 

UNRWA Response  

The Gaza Strip  

UNRWA Shelters 

  • While the number of displaced people continues to increase, UNRWA shelters in the Middle and South areas are severely overcrowded and are unable to accommodate new arrivals. One school in Maghazi camp, in the Middle area, is now hosting more than 22,800 IDPs, while another school nearby currently has over 19,200 IDPs. 16,700 IDPs are now sheltering at the logistics base in Rafah. These installations are not designed to host such a huge number of people and do not have adequate facilities to provide safe and dignified living conditions.
  • Persons with specific needs, such as persons with disabilities, pregnant women, older people, cancer and other chronic disease, are particularly affected by the harsh living conditions in the shelters which are not equipped to provide specialized services needed by these vulnerable groups. According to initial findings of a rapid UNRWA assessment, conducted in cooperation with the organization “Humanity and Inclusion”, there are nearly 2,000 persons with disabilities in UNRWA shelters in the Middle and Southern areas. The results of this assessment will inform the UNRWA response for the provision of specialized services including assistive devices and others.

 

Health 

  • Nine (out of 22) UNRWA health centres are still operational in the Middle and South areas, recording 6,415 patient visits on 6 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 of 145 high risk pregnancies and 699 post-natal mothers have been attended to since the beginning of October.   
  • Seven out of the nine active health centres resumed vaccination services in line with the national vaccination programme, a total of 650 children were vaccinated.
  • Dental services for emergency cases (bleeding, swelling, trauma, and extraction) were provided to 181 people in seven health centres.
  • On 6 November 2023, UNRWA continued to provide health care to IDPs at shelters through 92 mobile medical points and 264 staff who attended a total of 10,083 cases. 
  • Since 7 October, UNRWA staff have provided nearly 98,000 patient visits at the UNRWA health centres and have attended to over 200,000 cases through mobile medical points.
  • UNRWA received five trucks of medicines through Rafah crossing. However only eight out of 35 critically needed medicines were received. Additional medical supplies and medicines are urgently needed to continue providing health services in health centres, at the medical points in shelters and in contracted hospitals.
  • 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 the beginning of the crisis, 27,717 people (10,381 males, 17,336 females) received psychosocial support including family support and recreational activities.

 

Water, Sanitation, Hygiene (WASH)

  • UNRWA continues to operate water wells in Khan Younis and Rafah for the provision of potable and domestic water supply. Potable water trucking operations to the shelters in Rafah and Khan Younis areas also continue.
  • Since 7 October, UNRWA has distributed more than half a million bottles of water. However, given the high number of people in the shelters, the water provided is not enough to meet personal water consumption needs as per WHO standards.
  • Solid waste collection from the camps and emergency shelters and transfer to landfills continues in Middle, Khan Younis and Rafah areas. However, the scarcity of fuel and shortage of trucks are hampering solid waste management activities.
  • On a daily basis, UNRWA teams handle maintenance and rehabilitation works in several shelters including plumbing, repairing of water and sewage networks, electrical fixings, to ensure that facilities at the shelters are operational as much as possible.

Food Security

  • Since 7 October, UNRWA has distributed 4,304 tons of flour, of which 362 tons went to bakeries to whom UNRWA also distributes fuel to enable them to function and serve the local community.

  • Over the past month, UNRWA has provided civilians in Gaza with 200,000 units of High-Energy Biscuits.

  • 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 outside bakeries, where they are exposed as bombardments and strikes continue.


 

Quote from UNRWA staff displaced in one of UNRWA shelters and working as part of the shelter management team: 

“After the building near the school was hit, everyone was in shock, my child too. Now he keeps asking me: Mum, am I going to die? When am I going to die?” 

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