7 February – 14 February | Issue 181
During the week under review, Israeli forces fired towards Palestinian areas along the perimeter fence and towards Palestinian boats on a daily basis.
Civilians, mostly youth, staged protests near the perimeter fence in different areas of Gaza to express their eagerness to defend Al Aqsa Mosque and in solidarity with Palestinians in the West Bank. When some of them approached the fence and threw stones towards Israeli observation posts, Israeli forces responded with gunfire and teargas. No injuries were reported.
Other regular protests were held during the week, predominantly in support of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.
Four Israeli bulldozers entered approximately 50 metres into Gaza to conduct a clearing and excavation operation. They withdrew on the same day. Militants fired one test rocket towards the sea. No injuries were reported.
Fire broke out in two different shops due to short circuits. The shops sustained damage but no injuries were caused. A coffee shop was set ablaze by arsonists; the shop sustained damage but no injuries were reported. The police launched an investigation.
A 20-year old Palestinian worker died and 13 others were injured (suffocation) due to a tunnel collapse in Rafah, southern Gaza.
“We aim to develop new, non-stereotypical forms of education by using creative and interesting teaching tools such as singing, drama, dancing and playing. The criteria to choose the children who will participate is simple: as the children are required to teach and explain the curriculum to other children they need to be strong communicators and high achievers in school; in addition, they should have some singing, dancing and acting skills,” said 30-year old Mahmoud Abu-Sal, one of the producers of the programme, which is part of the UNRWA TV education in emergencies project.
The educational season is planned to be broadcast in the next (2017/2018) school year starting in September. For this purpose, the selected students and the UNRWA TV team will produce a total of 32 innovative lessons – eight episodes for each of the core subjects English, Arabic, Mathematics and Science.
Eleven-year old Yara Deeb is one of the students auditioning and feels excited about UNRWA TV’s programmes: “I used to watch UNRWA TV and learn many things from it; I then decided that I also want to be like the children in the TV. There are limited opportunities in Gaza to practice acting, and I see UNRWA TV as my only chance. In addition, it would be an interesting hobby to fill my free time during the summer holidays.”
During the casting, the selection panel asked the children to sing a song, recite a poem, invent an imaginary story and perform a prepared play to test their acting skills, self- confidence, imagination, creativity and their ability to explain educational content to other children.
UNRWA TV was established in early 2012 as production unit and broadcaster. It broadcasts 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Besides humanitarian communication programming, it brings innovative educational lessons to affected children in all fields. During 2016, the UNRWA TV crew, in cooperation with the Agency’s Gaza Education Programme, had developed the first season of the new educational project and for the first time applied a ‘children teaching children’ approach. In total, the team produced 24 episodes for the core subjects Arabic, English, Science and Mathematics. Promotional videos are currently broadcast on UNRWA TV and its associated YouTube channel and can be view here: Arabic, English, Mathematics and Science.
UNRWA is confronted with an increased demand for services resulting from a growth in the number of registered Palestine refugees, the extent of their vulnerability and their deepening poverty. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions and financial support has been outpaced by the growth in needs. UNRWA encourages all Member States to work collectively to exert all possible efforts to fully fund the Agency’s Programme Budget in 2017. UNRWA emergency programmes and key projects, also operating with large shortfalls, are funded through separate funding portals.
Following the 2014 conflict, US$ 257 million has been pledged in support of UNRWA’s emergency shelter programme, for which an estimated US$ 720 million is required. This leaves a current shortfall of US$ 463 million. UNRWA urgently appeals to donors to generously contribute to its emergency shelter programme to provide displaced Palestine refugees in Gaza with rental subsidies or cash assistance to undertake repair works and reconstruction of their damaged homes.
As presented in UNRWA’s occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) Emergency Appeal for 2017, the Agency is seeking US$ 402 million to meet the minimum humanitarian needs of Palestine refugees in the oPt.
The Gaza portion of the Emergency Appeal amounts to US$ 355 million for 2017, to address protracted, large scale humanitarian needs. Read the 2017 oPt Emergency Appeal.
Longstanding restrictions on the movement of people and goods to and from Gaza have undermined the living conditions of 1.8 million Palestinians in Gaza. Israel prevents all access to and from the Gaza Strip by sea and air. Movement of people and goods in and out of Gaza is restricted to three crossings: Rafah crossing, Erez crossing and Kerem Shalom crossing. Rafah crossing is controlled by the Egyptian authorities and technically allows for the movement of a number of authorized travelers, Palestinian medical and humanitarian cases only. Erez crossing is controlled by Israeli authorities and technically allows for the movement of aid workers and limited numbers of authorized travellers, including Palestinian medical and humanitarian cases. Kerem Shalom crossing, also controlled by Israeli authorities, technically allows for the movement of authorized goods only.