UNRWA SITUATION REPORT #27 ON THE SITUATION IN THE GAZA STRIP AND THE WEST BANK, INCLUDING EAST JERUSALEM

UNRWA SITUATION REPORT #27 ON THE SITUATION IN THE GAZA STRIP AND THE WEST BANK, INCLUDING EAST JERUSALEM

Day 34 of Hostilities 


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Key Points  

The Gaza Strip 

  • In the last 24 hours, UNRWA received confirmation that two additional colleagues were killed. 101 UNRWA colleagues have been killed and at least 27 injured since 7 October. This is the highest number of United Nations aid workers killed in a conflict in the history of the United Nations.
  • Since 4 November, Israel has opened a humanitarian "corridor” along the main North–South Road in the Gaza Strip from 10 am to 2 pm. On 9 November, between 50,000 and 80,000 people - mostly walking – were forced to move from north to south. The UN and NGOs are supporting through presence and providing very basic assistance like water and some food just south of Wadi Gaza. People were forced to walk several kilometers and were exhausted and dehydrated amid unusually high temperatures.
  • Two UNRWA schools and one health centre in Khan Younis were indirectly impacted when a strike hit a mosque nearby.
  • Almost 1.6 million people have been displaced across the Gaza Strip since 7 October. Two additional shelters were opened in the Middle areas. Nearly 748,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) are now sheltering in 151 UNRWA installations across all five governorates of the Gaza Strip, including in the north.
  • Over 588,000 IDPs are sheltering in 94 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.
  • UNRWA has launched an expanded Flash Appeal for the occupied Palestinian territory. The Agency is requesting US$ 481 million to address the most critical humanitarian needs of people impacted in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank including East Jerusalem, until the end of this year.

 

The West Bank, including East Jerusalem

  • An Israeli Security Forces (ISF) operation took place in Jenin Refugee Camp at 01:00 on 9 November. There were exchanges of fire, and Palestinians reportedly threw pipe bombs at ISF. Heavy damage to camp infrastructure, including streets. ISF closed the entrance of the camp with earth mounds.
  • Later in the morning, ISF conducted another operation bulldozing roads in the camp. An Israeli drone fired missiles at a house in the camp. At the time of writing, the Palestinian Ministry of Health reported 13 people killed including a child, and 20 injuries, including with live ammunition. Exchanges of fire continued throughout the day; further fatalities and damages to camp infrastructure are likely. Electricity was also cut.
  • When the operation started, all UNRWA services in the camp were running and UNRWA staff were present. There were educational staff and students in the four schools, health workers and patients in the temporary health centre, protection team conducting a monitoring visit, engineers undertaking site visits and sanitation labourers in the streets of the camp.
  • As clashes and exchanges of fire took place around the UNRWA schools in the camp, over 900 students sheltered in place for over eight hours and were provided with basic food and water supplies. Other UNRWA staff also remained inside installations in the camp. Students were finally transported from the schools to a hotel in Jenin city with six buses UNRWA arranged for, at around 18:30 in the afternoon. UNRWA staff were also safely evacuated. Hundreds of camp residents fled to the nearby governmental hospital.    
  • In the afternoon, ISF conducted an operation in Balata refugee camp, Nablus, and an exchange of fire took place during clashes between Palestinians and ISF. Palestinians reportedly detonated a large explosive device at an ISF vehicle. One Palestine refugee was killed, and 17 others were injured with live ammunition. ISF reportedly damaged the roads, and other public and private infrastructure in the camp.
  • The Palestinian Red Crescent reported 61 injuries, including seven from live ammunition.

UNRWA staff providing services inside UNRWA schools in Deir al-Balah. © 2023 UNRWA Photo by Ashraf Amra

Overall Situation 

The Gaza Strip

  • According to the Ministry of Health (MoH) in Gaza, over 10,818 people have been killed in the Gaza Strip since 7 October; 68 per cent of them are believed to be children and women.
  • Over 26,475 people have been injured. Around 2,650 others, including 1,400 children, have been reported missing and may be dead or trapped under the rubble, awaiting rescue or recovery.
  • 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, 167 Palestinians, including 45 children, have been killed by ISF, and eight, including one child, by Israeli settlers

 

Humanitarian Access, Protection of Civilians 

The Gaza Strip

  • In the last 24 hours, UNRWA was able to verify and confirm that, in the last week of October, two additional staff members were killed due to strikes. One UNRWA staff member was injured while on duty in Khan Younis, when a strike hit a building near an UNRWA school where he was bringing supplies for the IDPs. 101 UNRWA colleagues have been killed and at least 27 injured since the beginning of the war.
  • Nearly one third of the UNRWA colleagues who were killed were below the Wadi Gaza line, in the southern and middle areas of the Gaza Strip.
  • Two UNRWA schools and one health centre in Khan Younis were indirectly impacted when a strike hit a mosque nearby. The health centre sustained moderate collateral damage, while shrapnel fell inside the schools. In one of the schools, sheltering 5,472 IDPs, two children were injured.
  • To date, at least 558 IDPs sheltering in UNRWA facilities have been injured and 66 killed since 7 October. Of those, 23 of the IDPs killed and the majority of the IDPs injured (at least 400) were in installations south of Wadi Gaza.
  • At least 57 UNRWA installations have been impacted since the beginning of the war. At least 70 per cent of them are south of Wadi Gaza, in the middle and southern areas.
  • On 8 November, a total of 29 trucks carrying humanitarian supplies, including medical supplies, food and drinking water, entered the Gaza Strip through Rafah, bringing the total number of trucks to 777 since 21 October when the first convoy was allowed to enter. 10 of the trucks which entered on 8 November were UNRWA trucks. UNRWA teams received all trucks in the convoys inside 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. Before the war, around 500 trucks, including humanitarian assistance but predominantly commercial supplies, entered Gaza every day.
  • No fuel has been allowed into the Gaza Strip since 7 October. Fuel is critical to continue lifesaving humanitarian operations in Gaza.

 

UNRWA Response  

The Gaza Strip  

UNRWA Shelters 

  • 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.
  • The current average number of IDPs per shelter is over 6,250.
  • One school in Maghazi camp, in the Middle area, is now hosting more than 25,700 IDPs, while another school nearby currently has over 19,900 IDPs. More than 21,700 IDPs are sheltering at UNRWA Khan Younis Training Centre (KYTC), and 16,700 IDPs are sheltering at the logistics base in Rafah.
  • These installations are accommodating nine times their intended capacity. They are not designed to host such a large number of people and do not have adequate facilities to provide safe and dignified living conditions.
  • The number of toilets differs from one shelter to another. In general, there are 30 to 50 toilets in a school (including those for persons with disabilities). On average, 160 people sheltering in UNRWA schools share a single toilet.
  • On average, there is one shower unit for every 700 people in UNRWA shelters.
  • People inside shelters continue to suffer from lack of food, basic survival items, low hygiene levels and increased mental health issues. 

 

Health 

  • Nine (out of 22) UNRWA health centres are still operational in the middle and southern areas, recording 6,650 patient visits on 8 November, including Palestine Refugees and non-refugees. 
  • Most of these health centres are unable to use online registration systems for patients due to network breakdown. Patients’ information is therefore mostly registered on paper, making data collection and reporting more challenging.
  • Midwives are providing care for post-natal and high-risk pregnant women at the nine operational health centres. There are an estimated 50,000 pregnant women in Gaza, with more than 180 giving birth every day. A total of 202 post-natal and high-risk pregnancy cases have been attended to at the health centres and a total 737 of post-natal mothers have been attended to in the shelters 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 980 children have been vaccinated since the reactivation of the service.
  • Dental services for emergency cases (bleeding, swelling, trauma, and extraction) were provided to 210 people in seven health centres since the reactivation of the service.
  • On 8 November 2023, UNRWA continued to provide health care to IDPs at shelters through 92 mobile medical points. 267 health workers attended a total of 9,900 cases. 
  • Fuel and medicine are running severely low, making the delivery of primary health care at UNRWA health centres very challenging.
  • The number of wounded continues to increase while patients are undergoing immense pain as medicines and anaesthetics are running out. In addition, tens of thousands of displaced people have sought shelter in the hospital’s parking lots and yards.

 

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, 31,690 individuals (over 62 per cent of whom are females) received psychosocial support including family support and recreational activities.

 

Water, Sanitation, Hygiene (WASH)

  • With the little fuel it has remaining, 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. 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.
  • UNRWA has been providing about 1.5 litres of potable water and between 3-4 litres of water for cooking, washing and hygiene in all shelters. The provision of water, either through desalination plants or water tracking, requires fuel, which is running severely low.
  • Solid waste collection from the camps and from emergency shelters and transfer to landfills also continues in the Middle, Khan Younis and Rafah areas. About 50 loadings were transferred to temporary dumping sites on 9 November.
  • Nevertheless, these operations are challenged by the frequent breakdown of already aged vehicles, the unavailability of spare parts, risk of staff movement and scarcity of fuel.
  • On a daily basis, UNRWA teams handle maintenance and rehabilitation works at several shelters including plumbing, repair to water and sewage networks and electrical fixings, to ensure that facilities at the shelters are as operational as possible.

Food Security

  • 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 to bombardments and strikes.

 

Quote from UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini at the International Conference on Gaza in Paris

“My colleague Farid is our Education Chief in Gaza. When he meets his students inside our shelters, they ask him why UNRWA invested so much time teaching them about conflict resolution and human rights, if these values do not apply to them in Gaza. What should he answer? Thousands of children killed cannot be ‘collateral damage’.”

 

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