UNRWA Situation Report #101 on the situation in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

All information from 8–14 April 2024, is valid as of 14 April 2024 at 22:30 

Days 185-191 of Hostilities



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Key Points  

The Gaza Strip 

The Gaza Strip update will shift to twice a week, every Monday and Thursday.
 

  • Israeli Security Forced (ISF) operations from air, land and sea continue across the Gaza Strip. On 11 April, ISF announced that a ground operation had begun in central Gaza. ISF operations continue to cause civilian casualties, displacement and destruction of houses and other civilian infrastructure.  
  • Following the withdrawal of ISF from Khan Younis on 11 April, UNRWA alongside other UN agencies participated in a UN inter-agency assessment mission. The mission concluded there are significant challenges in operating safely due to the presence of unexploded ordnance (UXOs), including 1,000-pound bombs inside schools and on roads. Thousands of internally displaced persons (IDPs) require a range of lifesaving assistance, including health, water and sanitation and food.
  • On 11 April, UN relief chief says safety of aid workers and civilians "remains paramount" in Gaza and welcomes all efforts to increase the amount of aid and delivery methods be it sea, air and most importantly by land.  
  • The March 2024, IPC report stated that famine is imminent as 1.1. million people experience catastrophic food insecurity.  The same report stated that famine can be halted by restoring humanitarian access to the entire Gaza Strip through the delivery of health, food, nutrition and WASH services.  OCHA’s latest humanitarian needs and response update[1]  highlights the challenges faced in the delivery of health, nutrition, food security and wash services especially with regards to reaching northern Gaza. Restrictions by Israel on UNRWA access to the north have been in place since 24 March. The last time UNRWA was able to deliver food supplies to the area was on 23 January 2024.
  • OCHA released its Gaza Humanitarian Access Snapshot for March 2024[2].  According to the report, the Gaza Strip is undergoing an unparalleled humanitarian crisis marked by relentless hostilities and mounting challenges in accessing critical humanitarian aid and services. Despite ongoing efforts, the situation is further exacerbated by frequent aerial bombardments in densely populated urban areas, extensive military ground operations, risks from unexploded ordnance (UXO), pervasive insecurity, closures of key crossing points, restrictions on movement and access by Israeli authorities, and damage to infrastructure.
  • There has been no significant change in the volume of humanitarian supplies entering Gaza or improved access to the north. Since the beginning of April, an average of 181 aid trucks have crossed into Gaza per day via the Karem Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) and Rafah land crossings. This remains well below the operational capacity of both border crossings and the target of 500 trucks per day.   
  • As of 14 April, the total number of UNRWA colleagues killed since the beginning of hostilities is 178.
  • As of 14 April, up to 1.7 million* people (over 75 per cent of the population)** have been displaced across the Gaza Strip, the majority multiple times.*** Families are forced to move repeatedly in search of safety. Following intense Israeli bombardments and fighting in Khan Younis and the Middle Area in recent weeks, a significant number of displaced people have moved further south. 

*This includes 1 million people living in or near emergency shelters or informal shelters. As of 12 October, approximately 160,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) were recorded in UNRWA shelters in Northern Gaza and Gaza City governorates. UNRWA currently estimates that the population of Northern Gaza and Gaza City governorates is up to 300,000 people. The ability of UNRWA to provide humanitarian support and updated data in these areas has been severely restricted. The ongoing hostilities, evacuation orders issued by ISF, and the constant need for safer locations have resulted in people being displaced multiple times.

**UNRWA reported on 15 January in Situation Report 64 that up to 1.9 million IDPs were either residing in 154 UNRWA shelters or near these shelters. Due to the continued escalation of fighting and evacuation orders, some households have moved away from the shelters where they were initially registered.

*** There are instances where the same IDPs are registered in multiple shelters due to the fluid movement of populations; hereafter, estimates are used for these shelters. UNRWA plans to conduct a more accurate count of IDPs in shelters, including informal shelters, as soon as the security situation allows.

The West Bank, including East Jerusalem

The West Bank, including East Jerusalem update will shift to once a week, every Monday. 

  • The disappearance and killing of an Israeli settler child on 12 April instigated two days of extreme settler violence across the West Bank, resulting in at least two Palestinians killed and dozens of injuries. One of the fatalities was a child killed in Beitin village, in the central West Bank. Israeli settlers attacked and destroyed Palestinian property, including houses, vehicles and agricultural equipment. The village of Al Mughayyer in the northern West Bank was particularly affected by settler violence, with at least 40 Palestinians injured due to violence from Israeli settlers and ISF between 12 and 14 April. Widespread movement restrictions including road closures and mobile checkpoints were in place during the ISF search operation for the Israeli settler child. 
  • An ISF operation in El Far’a refugee camp in the northern West Bank on the morning of 12 April resulted in one Palestinian killed and three others injured. A house inside the camp was reportedly directly hit by an ISF anti-tank missile during the operation. 
  • UNRWA schools across the West Bank moved to remote learning on 14 April following the overnight air attack by Iran against Israel.

A displaced child receives an Eid parcel from UNRWA staff, Gaza Strip, April 2024. © UNRWA Photo by Mohammed Hinnawi
A displaced child receives an Eid parcel from UNRWA staff, Gaza Strip, April 2024. © UNRWA Photo by Mohammed Hinnawi

Overall Situation 

The Gaza Strip

  • According to the Ministry of Health in Gaza as of 12 April, at least 33,634 Palestinians have been killed in the Gaza Strip since 7 October. About 70 per cent of those killed are reported to be women and children. Another 76,214 Palestinians have been reportedly injured. 

 

The West Bank, including East Jerusalem

  • According to OCHA, between 7 October 2023– 1 April 2024, 444 Palestinians, including at least 110 children, have been killed in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

 

Humanitarian Access, Protection of Civilians 

The Gaza Strip

UNRWA is working to verify the details of incidents reportedly affecting UNRWA premises. Further information will be provided once it becomes available.

Different incidents have been reported impacting UNRWA installations and IDPs sheltering there. While verification of details and casualty figures remain ongoing, initial reports indicate:

  • On 15 March 2024, a school in Khan Younis (south) was reportedly directly hit by several tank shells resulting in severe damages to the school structure.
  • On 15 March 2024, another school in Khan Younis was reportedly directly hit by several missiles resulting in severe damages to the school structure.
  • On 11 April 2024, two incidents occurred at a school in Nuseirat Camp, in the Middle Area. At different times on the same day, the school was reportedly directly hit twice by tank shells resulting in the killing of four IDPs while an unconfirmed number of IDPs were injured. Approximately 1,600 IDPs were sheltering in the school at the time of the incident. Following the incidents, most of the IDPs evacuated the school.
  • On 12 April 2024, one IDP was reportedly killed and nine IDPs were injured as a result of one tank shell that directly hit a school in the Middle Area. Approximately 4,850 IDPs were sheltering in the school at the time of the incident. The majority of IDPs evacuated the school following the incident, with only around 200 IDPs remaining.
  • On 12 April 2024, three IDPs were reportedly killed and an unconfirmed number were injured as a result of a tank shell that directly hit the same school that was already struck on 11 April in the Middle Area. Most IDPs had evacuated the school following the previous incidents. However, around 50 IDPs were still sheltering in the school when the new incident happened.
  • On 14 April 2024, an internally displaced boy was reportedly shot in the head by ISF inside a school in the Middle Area. He was seriously injured and transferred to the hospital where he later succumbed to his wounds.

359* incidents impacting UNRWA premises and the people inside them have been reported since the beginning of the war (some with multiple incidents impacting the same location), including at least 50 incidents of military use and/or interference at UNRWA premises. 163 different UNRWA installations have been impacted. 

UNRWA estimates that in total at least 418* IDPs sheltering in UNRWA shelters have been killed and at least a further 1,418* injured since the start of the war. UNRWA is still verifying the number of casualties caused by incidents that impacted its installations, and notes that these figures do not include some reported casualties where the number of injuries could not be determined. 

 *numbers are subject to change once further verifications have been conducted.

UNRWA Response  

The Gaza Strip  

UNRWA Shelters 

  • As of 14 April, nearly 1.7 million displaced people are now sheltering across emergency shelters (UNRWA and public shelters), informal sites or in the vicinity of UNRWA shelters and distribution sites and within host communities.  
  

Health 

  • As of 9 April, nine (out of 24[1]) UNRWA health centres were operational. Of those, one is in the north, three are in the Middle Area, two in Khan Younis and three in Rafah. These health centres provide primary health care services, including outpatient services, non-communicable disease care, medication, vaccination, antenatal and postnatal health care and dressing for injured patients. 
  • On 13 March, UNRWA opened a temporary health centre to provide health services for the people in al-Mawasi, west of Khan Younis. 
  • Nearly 705 healthcare staff continue to work in operational health centres. On 9 April, they provided 9,039 medical consultations.
  • UNRWA conducted another 5,637 medical consultations through 343 staff at the shelters, including at the newly established medical points in al-Mawasi area to serve an influx of displaced persons from Khan Younis. The total registered population in al-Mawasi is currently 403,447.
  • As of 9 April, UNRWA provided mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) services in the Middle and Khan Younis areas with teams of psychiatrists and supervisors to assist special cases referred from health centres and shelters. UNRWA teams responded to 8,045 cases in health centres and in medical points through individual consultations, awareness sessions and support for cases of gender-based violence.  UNRWA teams provided medical care for 363 post-natal and pregnant women at high risk.

[1] Pre-conflict UNRWA had 22 health centres, following the conflict an additional 2 temporary health centres are operational in the Mawasi area. 

Psychosocial support (PSS)

  • With the support of 300 counsellors, UNRWA continues to provide live saving psychosocial support (PSS) services in Gaza, including psychosocial first aid, individual and group counselling, fatigue management sessions, recreational activities, Explosive Ordnance Risk Education (EORE) for children and youth as well as protection case assistance.
  • Since the onset of the conflict, it is estimated that 590,000 IDPs, including over 320,000 children, have benefited from a total of 165,222 PSS sessions/activities. During the period from 1 – 8 April 2024, a total of 20,078 IDPs, including 13,108 children, benefited from these services. Specifically, counselors addressed 758 individual consultations and provided 605 group awareness sessions benefiting 5,399 adults. Additionally, they conducted 490 recreational activities engaging 11,140 children. Counsellors also provided 133 EORE sessions to 1,422 adults and 1,968 children and contributed to supporting 149 protection cases.

 

Food Security

  • As of 8 April, UNRWA continued to distribute flour outside of shelters in the southern governorates. To date, a total of 380,224 families (nearly 1.9 million people) have been reached, of those 276,447 families have received two rounds of flour and another 75,423 families have received three rounds.

 

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)

Due to the security situation, in combination with challenges to internet connectivity, we have been unable to provide any additional updates since Sitrep 67. 


Quote from UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini on X:

“With political will, aid can be increased. Political will can also prevent a man-made famine.”

ENDs- 

 


 

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A displaced child receives an Eid parcel from UNRWA staff, Gaza Strip, April 2024. © UNRWA Photo by Mohammed Hinnawi