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Gaza Situation - Report 18

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:

According to the Protection Cluster, 68 Palestinians have been reported killed during this period, including 10 women and 13 children. The total number of Palestinian deaths reported by the Protection Cluster currently stands at 907 and the number of wounded, as reported by the Ministry of Health has reached 5,860. The number of displaced people is now more than triple the peak number from the 2008/9 conflict, and exceeds 162,862 in 83 schools.

Numbers of Internally Displaced people (IDPs) in UNRWA shelters continue to increase, now exceeding 162,862. In addition, an estimated 20,000 IDPs are reported to be sheltering with relatives and in public schools, mosques, churches, unfinished buildings and open areas. After more than two weeks of escalating conflict, some areas are reporting that families hosting IDPs in their homes are no longer able to support displaced family members, leading to some increase in numbers seeking refuge in UNRWA shelters.”

Psychosocial counselors are in place in shelters to support people, especially children, in coping with their experiences of fear and loss.”

Babies continue to be born to women staying in UNRWA shelters, with mother and child then returning to the difficult circumstances in shelters, in the absence of any other safe place in Gaza. These women have expressed their wish for an end to the conflict and to be able to return to their homes.”

UNFPA has expressed concern about the impact of the conflict on women’s health and their access to safe births, with an estimated 45,000 women pregnant women in Gaza in need of maternity care and an estimated 5,000 of these displaced by the current conflict. OCHA reports a rise in the numbers of child mortalities, miscarriages and premature births among pregnant women.

Access to maternal health services is increasingly limited in the face of attacks against health facilities and increased pressure on services. Overnight, there were reports of heavy shelling at Beit Hanoun hospital, and it has been reported that six out of thirteen hospitals in Gaza have now been severely damaged during this conflict. In addition, WHO has previously reported critical concerns with hospital supplies due to large numbers of casualties and serious shortages even before the current conflict.”

While regular food distribution and sanitation services were not provided during this period due to it being a Friday, high levels of insecurity and an expanded 3km Israeli- imposed ‘buffer zone’ have been preventing solid waste removal in Maghazi and Bureij; access to an UNRWA warehouse containing vital food and NFI supplies in the north of the Gaza Strip; access to two NFI stores; operation of four centers for regular distribution of emergency food; and provision of water to a shelter in Maghazi.

Reportedly there were 80 rockets and 28 mortar shells fired towards Israel. There were also reports that 98 missiles were fired into Gaza in addition to 90 navy shells and 989 tank shells. Reportedly, 35 houses were bombarded.

A total of 93 UNRWA installations have been damaged since 1 June, 2014, many of them on multiple occasions. In the past 24 hours, one UNRWA School was damaged.

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