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Gaza Situation - Report 50

As of this afternoon, almost 233,000 IDPs had left the UNRWA shelters. The number of IDPs staying in UNRWA shelters is 54,261. 78 shelters remained open. Over the next couple of days UNRWA is expecting the IDP numbers to stabilize. It is still premature to draw conclusions on the number of IDPs who would opt to remain in the shelters for a longer period of time and those who may be able to return to their homes.

On the 50th day of the military escalation, an open-ended ceasefire has been agreed between Palestine and Israel and came into effect on 26 August at 19:00hrs.

Anything short of the lifting of the seven-year blockade on Gaza will not lead to a sustainable ceasefire, which is what is needed to restore a life of normalcy to the Palestinians in Gaza, including the over 1.2 million Palestine refugees.

... both parties must return to meaningful negotiations towards a final status agreement that addresses all the cores issues and ends the 47-year occupation. It is time for the people of Gaza to be given the chance to build their lives and it is time for the people of Palestine to live normal lives.

The child protection working group and UNICEF estimate that about 373,000 children might require direct and specialized psychosocial support.

The high prevalence of cases in which the majority of members of the same family have been killed, in many cases entire families, is deeply disturbing. As of 25 August, it is estimated that at least 142 families lost three or more members of the same family, for a total of 739 individuals.

The cumulative death toll among Palestinians is at least 2,101, according to preliminary data collected by the Protection Cluster from various sources, including 376 persons who could not be yet identified or their status established. Of the initially verified cases, 1,460 are believed to be civilians, including 493 children and 253 women, and 265 members of armed groups. Approximately 25 Palestinians accused of collaborating with Israel have reportedly been killed in Gaza by armed groups since 21 August. These have not been included in the fatality toll above.

... reports indicate Palestinians are very concerned that the unprecedented destruction in Gaza, which ended last night, will not be followed by a political solution to address the blockade and violence may resume.

65 per cent of the population is 24 years old or younger, and before the military escalation youth unemployment stood at a staggering 65 per cent. Between 2000 and 2014, the number of Palestine refugees coming to UNRWA for regular food aid has increased from less than 80,000 to over 830,000 today. For Palestinians in Gaza food has become even less affordable as they have not been able to earn an income during the war, whilst for others the hosting of displaced relatives and friends means that they have extra people to feed.

Right now the entire population of the Gaza Strip is receiving food aid through regular food assistance, including the 830,000 UNRWA caseload, food provision to shelters and through the exceptional food distribution.

Maher Sammur is 66 years old and visited Jabalia DC to collect her food parcel and has been struggling to access food for the 22 members of her family during the conflict. 'We suffer from very hard economic conditions,' she explained. 'This is very important aid as it provides the family with flour and rice. During the war I had to wait for hours to get bread from the bakery, but now I will be able to make bread in my house and avoid the suffering of getting bread from outside.'

Reportedly, there were 102 rockets and 71 mortar shells fired towards Israel. There were also reports that 61 air-to-ground missiles were fired into Gaza. 107 tank shells were fired from the fence into populated areas. Reportedly, 10 houses were bombarded. A ceasefire came into effect at 1900hrs on 26 August 2014.

Data on damage to UNRWA installations is based on preliminary information and subject to change based on further verification. UNRWA estimates that 110 installations have been damaged since 8 July 2014. 

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