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Gaza Situation - Report 27

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:

UNRWA strongly condemns the Israeli missile strike next to an UNRWA shelter in Rafah, killing nine people, including five children aged 3 to 15 who sought refuge in the school.

UNRWA preliminary investigations indicate that five UNRWA emergency shelters – all of which are UN Premises protected under the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations – have been subject to direct kinetic strikes by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). One of those emergency shelters has been struck on two occasions.

The appalling incident in Rafah yesterday is the first time a strike in the immediate vicinity of one of UNRWA premises caused fatalities, and comes only four days after UNRWA staff carried out dead and wounded civilians from the UN school in Jabalia.”

The IDP number in UNRWA schools surges to almost 270,000 Palestinians in 90 UNRWA schools. UNRWA staff and emergency operations are at a breaking point. The number of Palestinians killed stands at 1,777, with 127 new fatalities reported by the Protection Cluster, half of which are from the South of the Gaza Strip.

UNRWA strongly condemns the Israeli missile strike next to the UNRWA Preparatory Boys School A in Rafah at 10:45hrs on 3 August, killing nine people, including five children who took refuge in the UN school. According to UNRWA information, the killed children were between 3 and 15 years old. The strike also killed an UNRWA guard who signed his contract with the Agency four days ago, and a volunteer helping those in need. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) were notified on 33 separate occasions that this UN school is sheltering the displaced, the last time only one hour before the incident. Almost three thousand people were registered at the school.

UNRWA preliminary investigations indicate that the following UNRWA emergency shelters – all of which are UN Premises protected under the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations – were subject to six direct kinetic attacks by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). The coordinates and joint coordination map references were communicated to the IDF on multiple occasions.

In addition to direct hits by the IDF, there have been multiple incidents of collateral damage to UNRWA installations. The appalling incident in Rafah yesterday is the first time a strike in the immediate vicinity of one of UNRWA premises caused fatalities. UNRWA estimates that 95 installations have been damaged since 8 July in 135 strikes, including at least 10 direct hits. As UNRWA installations in the three kilometer buffer zone and some installations outside the buffer zone are mostly not accessible to the Agency, these data are based on preliminary information and subject to change based on further verification.”

The IDF may have withdrawn from previous reported locations, but remain within the three kilometer buffer zone inside Gaza.”

The number of killed Palestinians surged to 1,777. This figure has risen by 127 compared to that reported in the previous report. According to information from the Protection Cluster, almost half of the new fatalities are from the South. According to the Ministry of Health, the number of wounded has reached 9,370.

Reportedly, there were 64 rockets and 82 mortar shells fired towards Israel. There were also reports that 99 air-to-ground missiles were fired into Gaza in addition to 17 navy shells. 230 tank shells were fired from the border area into populated areas. Reportedly, 35 houses were bombarded.

UNRWA installations in the three kilometer buffer zone are mostly inaccessible to UNRWA, and some installations outside the declared buffer zone are not accessible by UNRWA personnel.”

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