Gaza Situation Report 26

03 August 2014
Gaza Situation Report 26

3 August 2014 | Issue No. 26

HIGHLIGHTS 

  • The Palestinian death toll surges to 1,650, with half of the new killings reported in Rafah (87).
  • The provision of food, water, hygiene and cleaning items to all sheltered in UNRWA schools remains a daily struggle, particularly in Rafah with ongoing shelling and fighting.
  • UNRWA provides psychological support to the displaced. A nine year old girl from Rafah told an UNRWA counselor: “I watched the missile falling on my home. My home burned. It burned all my toys, clothes and my room. I think I will not survive.” Psychological support from UNRWA is more of a challenge now that Gazans know even an UNRWA school is not safe, and there is nowhere safe to go in the entire Gaza Strip, which nobody can leave. Children are showing symptoms of distress and cling to parents, who might also suffer from sleeping and eating disorders, nightmares, nervousness, and feelings of depression, guilt, anger and helplessness.
  • The total number of displaced is estimated at 475,000, with almost 260,000 of the displaced sheltered in 90 UNRWA schools. It is assumed that the reconstruction of shelters alone will cost over USD 380 million, USD 270 million of which relates to homes of Palestine refugees. It will be impossible to build new homes for the displaced under the current access regime imposed by the Government of Israel, as there is no construction material available on the local market. 

GENERAL 

Past 24 hours:Last evening, it was reported the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) would shortly announce all tunnels from Gaza into Israel were demolished or otherwise disabled. After the mission of tunnel destruction accomplished, reportedly the IDF intends to withdraw troops from built-up areas to the fence within Gaza. Some troops will completely withdraw. Later last night, Prime Minister Netanyahu said after all tunnels inside the Gaza Strip were destroyed, the IDF would continue to restore the security of Israel, noting that all options were on the table. In the meantime, Gazans were informed by the IDF they can return to their homes in the Northwest. There are conflicting messages with regards to the actual withdrawal of IDF troops inside Gaza, and the actual frontline. UNRWA received reports that some displaced tried to visit their homes to gather personal items and return to the shelter, but turned back when they heard of shelling in the North.

In the fourth week of the current escalation, UNRWA staff continue to work round the clock to help those in need under the most difficult circumstances in a deteriorating security environment. With nine staff members killed as a result of the conflict, Robert Turner, Director of UNRWA Operations in Gaza, said: “The loss of these nine people is a tragedy that cannot be forgotten. They faced all the challenges affecting Gaza and yet remained determined to support people in desperate circumstances. In the truest sense of the word, they were humanitarians, and their loss is a terrible blow to their families, to Gaza and to UNRWA.” UNRWA mourns the killing of Fatma A. Rahim Abu Amouna, 54, a teacher; Inas Shaban Derbas, 30, a teacher; Mohammed A. Raouf Al-Dadda, 39, a teacher; Ismail A. Qader El-Kujk, 53, an environmental-health worker; Farid Mohamed Mohamed Ahmed, 50, a teacher; Ahmed Mohamed Mohamed Ahmed, 51, a school principal; Munir Ibrahim El Hajjar, a teacher; Medhat Ahmed Al Amoudi, 53, a labourer, and Abdallah Naser Khalil Fahajan, 21, a school attendant.

In a statement yesterday, James Rawley, the Humanitarian Coordinator in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), together with Robert Turner, UNRWA’s Director of Operations in the Gaza Strip, and Dr. Ambrogio Manenti, acting Head of Office of WHO’s operations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, expressed grave concern regarding the lack of protection for medical staff and facilities, and the deteriorating access to emergency health services for Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. One third of the hospitals are damaged. The Najjar Hospital in Rafah was evacuated and is closed.

According to UN information, 1,650 Gazans were killed to date. This figure has risen by 188 compared to that reported in the previous report (115 men, 29 women, 44 children). Almost half of all reported killings are from Rafah (87). Many bodies could not yet be recovered or identified. According to the Ministry of Health, the number of wounded has reached 9,320. According to OCHA information, 65 Israelis have been killed during the current escalation, of which 63 were soldiers, two civilians and one foreign national.

UNRWA RESPONSE

  • ver the reporting period, UNRWA together with partners and donors improved the potable water supply in the North and Gaza Governorates but continues to struggle to provide water to an ever increasing number of IDPs, particularly in the Middle Area, Khan Younis and Rafah. Yesterday, 433 cubic meters were trucked to UNRWA shelters, bringing the potable water supply to about 1.7 liters per person per day, excluding local bottled water supply through partners. 584 cubic meters of non-potable water were transported by UNRWA trucks, municipality trucks and contractors. Some shelters benefit from UNRWA wells and municipal water sources. UNRWA trucked 96 loads of food items to shelters and provided 29 truckloads of non food items, including blankets, mats, family hygiene kits, and cleaning supplies. In Rafah, amidst heavy fighting, local water suppliers refused to transport water to shelters until UNRWA agreed to escort. All shelters were supplied with potable water. NGOs provided bread, as local suppliers couldn’t meet the demand for all newly displaced.
  • 99 counselors of UNRWA’s Community Mental Health Program are working across the Gaza Strip to provide mental health awareness and psychosocial support sessions to almost 60,000 displaced, and offer recreational animation activities to over 60,000 children. UNRWA’s Community Mental Health Program also coordinates activities of local partners that reach out to about 35,000 displaced sheltered in UNRWA schools. UNRWA counselors provide psychological first aid, orientation and advice to parents, and individual counseling to those that suffer from psychological distress. Importantly, UNRWA counselors and local partners engage in psychosocial activities with children, which include playing, relaxation, meditation, drawing and storytelling.
  • UNRWA also continued to provide its logistical capacity to supply fuel to municipalities, water, sanitation and health facilities through the WASH and Health clusters (led by UNICEF and WHO). 29,100 liters were delivered to the Coastal Municipalities Water Utility (CMWU) and 36,000 liters were provided to WHO. UNRWA also supplied fuel to vehicles.
  • UNRWA’s maintenance staff also continued to report to work to install shower units and to undertake critical repair works in schools, notably plumbing and electrical works. Of UNRWA’s sanitation staff, 168 staff members and 175 Gazans employed under the Job Creation Programme (JCP) reported to work. They removed a total of 277 tonnes of waste in Jabalia, Beach Camp, Nuseirat, Khan Younis and Rafah refugee camps.
  • Seven of 21 health centers were operating, with the remaining closed and two health centers in Rafah providing emergency services. Almost half of the staff were able to report to work, and 14,596 patients were served. There is a noticeable increase in patients from UNRWA shelters.

UNRWA health staff daily attendance

SUMMARY OF MAJOR INCIDENTS

Reportedly, there were 50 rockets and 122 mortar shells fired towards Israel. There were also reports that 131 air-to-ground missiles were fired into Gaza in addition to 10 navy shells. 215 tank shells were fired from the border area in to populated areas. Reportedly, 65 houses were bombarded..

UNRWA INSTALLATIONS

No additional UNRWA installations were reported damaged during this period. UNRWA estimates that 91 installations have been damaged since 8 July in 124 strikes, including 8 direct hits. Data on damage to UNRWA installations is based on preliminary information and subject to change based on further verification. 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. 

FUNDING NEEDS

UNRWA has launched the second revision of its emergency flash appeal. The Agency now requires a total of US$ 187.6 million in order to provide emergency assistance for a revised scenario of up to 250,000 people displaced for a period of up to eight weeks. 

More information on the revised appeal can be found by here.

CROSSINGS

  • Rafah crossing was open for foreign passport holders and wounded Palestinians on the Egyptian side, but staff was unable to report to work on the Palestinian side.
  • Erez was closed.
  • Kerem Shalom crossing was exceptionally open on a Saturday.

Gaza Emergency 1
US$ 30 GIVES COUNSELLING TO A TRAUMATISED CHILD