8 August 2014 | Issue No. 31
Palestinians flee homes as truce ends. Over 220,000 IDPs in 89 UNRWA shelters (up by almost 50,000 on 7 August 2014, 08.00hrs.
In UN missions around the globe, UN flags were flying at half-mast on Thursday in memory of the eleven UNRWA colleagues who were killed during the one-month military escalation. A moment of silence was observed by UN staff members in memory of their Palestinian colleagues.
Past 24 hours: Delegations from Palestine and Israel continued the Cairo talks to reach an extension of the temporary ceasefire in view of a more permanent solution. The temporary ceasefire expired this morning 08:00 hrs, with no agreement reached. Since Wednesday 6 August, it was reported that the Israeli side was ready to extend the temporary ceasefire beyond 8 August 08:00hrs. The Palestinian delegation insisted that the eight year long blockade on Gaza must be lifted and that an agreement needs to be reached over the border crossings, the airport and the seaport. The Israeli side requested that any such agreement, as well as the demilitarization of the Gaza Strip, would be discussed at a later stage.
In the afternoon of 7 August, a Hamas -staged demonstration was held in Gaza City in support of the Palestinian envoys. Hamas' military wing, the Qassam Brigades, announced they remained on high alert and were ready to resume fighting. It was reported that in the early morning hours, before the temporary ceasefire expired, militants fired two mortars from the Southern Gaza Strip into Israel. However, the Gaza police and Hamas denied the incident.
In a statement on 7 August, the United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in the oPt, James Rawley, said a continued halt in violence was essential for a humanitarian response in the Gaza Strip. With due regard to security concerns, an agreement to lift the restrictions on movement of people and goods that Israel has put in place for the last seven years was critical to address people’s needs in the short and longer-term. “Without the full lifting of the blockade of the Gaza Strip, Palestinians in Gaza will continue to be deprived of any sense of a normal life and the massive reconstruction effort now required will be impossible,” said Mr. Rawley.
UNRWA also continued to provide its logistics capacity to supply fuel to municipalities, water, sanitation and health facilities through the WASH and Health clusters (led by UNICEF and WHO). 24,000 liters were delivered to UNICEF for the Coastal Municipalities Water Utility (CMWU) and 26,000 liters were delivered to WHO to support the Gaza health sector.
Kerem Shalom crossing was open.