UNRWA SITUATION REPORT NO. 20 ON THE SITUATION IN THE GAZA STRIP AND THE WEST BANK, INCLUDING EAST JERUSALEM

UNRWA SITUATION REPORT NO. 20 ON THE SITUATION IN THE GAZA STRIP AND THE WEST BANK, INCLUDING EAST JERUSALEM


​Key Points  

The Gaza Strip 

  • In the last 24 hours, two additional UNRWA staff have been killed, bringing the total to 72 UNRWA colleagues killed since 7 October.
  • Some 690,000 Internally Displaced People (IDPs) are sheltering in 149 installations across the Gaza Strip.
  • On 1 November, 51 trucks carrying humanitarian supplies entered the Gaza Strip through Rafah. This included 20 trucks for UNRWA carrying food and medical supplies.
  • However, the available assistance remains insufficient to cover the basic needs of the affected population.
  • A number of injured and foreign passport holders were able to leave Gaza via the Rafah crossing on 1 November.
  • Providing humanitarian aid is extremely challenging due to lack of fuel, ongoing bombardments, destruction of infrastructure and disruptions to communication networks.

 

© 2023 UNRWA Photo by Ashraf Amra
© 2023 UNRWA Photo by Ashraf Amra

 

Overall Situation 

The Gaza Strip 

  • According to the Ministry of Health in Gaza, 8,720 people have been killed since 7 October of them 73 per cent are women, children, and older persons. Over 22,000 people have been injured. This is in addition to the 2,000 reported missing, presumably under the rubble of destroyed buildings, including 1,100 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).
  • Over 530,000 people are sheltering in 92 UNRWA facilities in the Middle, Khan Younis and Rafah areas. Shelters have reached their limit and are unable to accommodate new arrivals, and many IDPs are sleeping in the streets close to UNRWA premises seeking safety.
  • Across Gaza, 625,000 students have no access to education, and over 40 per cent of Gaza’s education facilities have been damaged during the hostilities.
  • The health system is collapsing due to a lack of fuel, medicines and supplies, damage to health facilities and hospitals and to roads and infrastructure, which makes transporting the injured to the hospitals almost impossible.

 

The West Bank, including East Jerusalem

  • Two Israeli Security Forces (ISF) operations were conducted in and around Jenin refugee camp overnight between 31 October and 1 November, both involving exchange of fire. UNRWA Protection teams visited the camp and identified damage to an Agency health centre in the camp caused by the military operations.

 

Humanitarian Access, Protection of Civilians 

The Gaza Strip

  • Since 7 October, 72 UNRWA colleagues have been killed and at least 22 were injured. At least 44 installations have been damaged. Overnight, we lost Mai, a bright software developer in her mid-20s with physical disabilities. She was displaced from her home and killed in the Jabalia refugee camp with members of her family.
  • On 1 November, 51 trucks carrying humanitarian supplies, including medical supplies, food and drinking water, entered the Gaza Strip through Rafah, bringing the total number of trucks to 268. Twenty of the 51 trucks which entered on 1 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 2 million people trapped in Gaza. No fuel has come for nearly one month and this is having a devastating impact on hospitals, bakeries, water plants, and our operations.

 

The West Bank, including East Jerusalem

  • The continued movement restrictions imposed on Palestinians from the West Bank to access Jerusalem and Israel, including for work reasons, are having an impact on the Palestinian economy. Prior to 7 October an estimated 230,000 Palestinians had work permits to access the Israeli labour market. These workers represented a significant contribution to the overall economy of the West Bank particularly due to the relatively high salaries from Israeli businesses. It is expected that this will result in an economic downturn – and increased pressure on UNRWA services, as more people become reliant on the essential services provided by the Agency. 

 

UNRWA Response  

The Gaza Strip 

UNRWA Shelters 

  • Overcrowding conditions continue to create severe health and protection concerns for IDPs, taking a heavy toll on their mental health. Damage to water and sanitation infrastructure and the limited availability of fuel to pump water create additional public health risks. Several cases of acute respiratory infections, diarrhea and chicken pox have already been reported among the population taking refuge in UNRWA shelters.
  • On 1 November, the nine operational health centres in the South recorded a total of 3,500 patient visits, including refugees and non-refugees.
  • On the same day, health-care services in UNRWA shelters were maintained with the support of 92 mobile medical units and medical teams, serving 10,000 cases at shelters.
  • Several patients in need of specialized health care have been identified at UNRWA shelters, including newborns and injured; however, the ability to provide the required specialized assistance inside and outside the shelters is limited.
  • Fuel stocks for the health facilities will be completely exhausted in a few days, putting at risk the provision of critical health services.

 

Food Security

  • Current food stocks in Gaza are estimated to last for one week; however, many shops may run out of supplies in the next five days. The only operative mill cannot grind wheat due to electricity outages. Currently, the average waiting time to receive bread is four to six hours.

 

Psychosocial support

  • The provision of mental health and psychosocial support services has resumed at the nine operational health centres in the South and Middle areas through the availability of psychosocial counsellors. In addition, two psychiatrists are working in the Middle and Khan Younis areas to assist cases referred from the health centres and the mobile teams visiting the shelters. This is in addition to the psychological first aid that UNRWA social workers provide in the shelters.

 

Water and Sanitation Services (WASH)

  • Most of Gaza’s 65 sewage pumping systems are not operational. The main water pipeline operating between Rafah and Khan Younis is severely damaged and none of the three water pipelines previously operated by Israel are functioning.
  • About 130,000 m3 of untreated wastewater flows on a daily basis to the sea as the six treatment plants in the Gaza Strip are currently not operational.

 

Quote from UNRWA Commissioner–General Philippe Lazzarini

“I have just returned from the Gaza Strip. […] It was heart-wrenching. Above all, people were asking for a ceasefire. They want this tragedy to end.  It was one of the saddest days in my humanitarian work.”

 

ENDs -  

Back to blog

Leave a comment