1 August 2014 | Issue No. 24
Past 24 hours: Hostilities continued over the past 24 hours. In his briefing to the UN Security Council, UNRWA’s Commissioner General Pierre Krähenbühl highlighted the human impact of the war: “I have borne witness to the tragic situation that has unfolded and been seen so graphically on TV screens across the globe. I have seen extensive damage done to whole neighborhoods and essential infrastructure. I have in particular this morning seen the catastrophic human cost of this war, at the pediatric ward in the main hospital in Gaza, with broken bodies that are the real – and unacceptable – consequence of an armed conflict waged with excessive - and at times disproportionate - force in densely populated urban settings. Among the many other children lying in the rooms and corridors was 5 month-old Yussuf who has very barely and not yet definitively survived the shelling of the UNRWA school building yesterday in Jabalya. Like many of you around the table I have children of my own and what I saw today – the terrible wounds - devastated me. I refer to young Yussuf because I have always refused anonymity in death and injury. Too often reports from war zones refer to lists of numbers. The Palestinian children I saw today are not statistics, and behind every death and injury there is a story and a destiny to be respected.” The full statement can be found here.
Whilst UNRWA is struggling every single day to provide water to the shelters, regular households reportedly have no access to water as there is no electricity to pump the water and some areas are completely cut off from the network. The repair of the Gaza Power Plant – struck on 29 July – will supposedly take up to a year. Only 10 per cent of the estimated electricity demands are currently met through Israeli and Egyptian feeder lines, as some lines are damaged and not operational. Gaza City receives 2 hours of electricity per day and the Middle Area doesn’t have any electricity at all.
Reportedly, there were 75 rockets and 146 mortar shells fired towards Israel. There were also reports that 114 air-to-ground missiles were fired into Gaza in addition to 40 navy shells. 1,235 tank shells were fired from the border area in to populated areas. Reportedly, 35 houses were bombarded.
Five additional UNRWA installations were reported damaged during this period, four schools and one distribution center.
An estimated 111 UNRWA installations have been damaged since 1 June, 2014, many of them on multiple occasions. UNRWA is still to verify this number when the security situation allows.
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.