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Gaza Situation - Report 28

24 hour reports by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA)

Due to the dramatic escalation in violence over the past few days and the massive assault on Gaza, UNRWA has declared an emergency in all five areas of the Gaza Strip. It is closely monitoring the situation and stands ready to mount an emergency response should that become necessary. The priority for the Agency has now shifted to emergency operations, providing assistance to those who have been displaced and sought shelter in UNRWA schools, while attempting to continue regular operations. Urgent funding needs persist and are increasing

Key parts:

The number of Palestinians killed stands at 1,814, with 37 new fatalities reported by the Protection Cluster. Of the new reported fatalities, 9 are children and 3 are women. The Ministry of Health reports that 9,567 are injured.

For the first time during this crisis, the overall IDP number in the 90 UNRWA shelters decreased from almost 273,000 last night to below 270,000 this morning 5 August. The numbers remain fluid as IDPs are expected to return to the shelter if they find their homes inhabitable or otherwise unsafe, or if hostilities resume. UNRWA is expecting that a core group of displaced, who have nowhere else to go, will stay in UNRWA schools.”

90 of UNRWA’s 156 school buildings serve as shelters, and the remaining schools are either within the buffer zone or otherwise inaccessible. The military escalation and level of destruction is unprecedented, and the future of the Gaza Strip is entirely uncertain. The war hit Gaza at a time of a governance vacuum, with a National Consensus Government in place since 2 June 2014 which had never assumed power. The challenges remain huge, ranging from salary payments to staff including the police and teachers, who have not seen full salaries for one year, to border security, electricity and water supply. If the end of hostilities does not come with a policy change to the Israeli blockade, there is no more hope for Gaza.

UNRWA, in cooperation with partners and donors, continued to distribute both potable and non-potable water to emergency shelters but struggles to provide sufficient water quantity to almost 270,000 IDPs at a time when there is almost no electricity and the water network is severely damaged.

UNRWA’s food distribution to a total caseload of over 830,000 beneficiaries continued. Food rations were provided to 2,849 families.

Reportedly, there were 92 rockets and 30 mortar shells fired towards Israel. There were also reports that 32 air-to-ground missiles were fired into Gaza in addition to 25 navy shells. 178 tank shells were fired from the border area into populated areas. Reportedly, 7 houses were bombarded.

Two additional UNRWA installations were reported damaged during this period. UNRWA estimates that 97 installations have been damaged since 8 July in 140 strikes, including 11 direct strikes. Data on damage to UNRWA installations is based on preliminary information and subject to change based on further verification.”

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