UNRWA Situation Report #106 on the situation in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem

Tuesday, May 7, 2024

All information from 29 April – 5 May 2024, is valid as of 5 May 2024 at 22:30 

Days 206-212 of Hostilities



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Key Points  

  • Israeli Security Forces (ISF) operations from air, land and sea continue across the Gaza Strip, resulting in further civilian casualties, infrastructure damage and displacement.
  • On 5 May, UNRWA’s Commissioner-General released a statement highlighting the continual denial of humanitarian access by the Israeli Authorities, which is in violation of humanitarian law.  For the second time UNRWA Commissioner-General has been denied entry to the Gaza Strip to meet UNRWA teams including those on the front line.  Over the past two weeks, UNRWA has recorded over 10 incidents involving shooting at convoys and bullying and harassment of UN staff.    
  • On 30 April, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned of “serious” consequences of a potential military operation on Rafah.  Similarly on 3 May, the Global Protection Cluster released a statement that up to 2.3 million people in the Gaza Strip face death and injury from Israeli strikes, explosive ordnances and collapsing buildings. They added that the potential military incursion in Rafah and the magnitude of consequences make the already catastrophic situation impossible. 
  • On 3 May, WHO confirmed[1] that only one third of Gaza’s 36 hospitals and 30 per cent of primary health care centers are functional in some capacity amid repeated attacks and shortages of vital medical supplies, fuel, and staff.  UNRWA currently operates eight out of 23 health centres across the Gaza Strip.
  • On 1 May, OCHA released its weekly Humanitarian Needs and Response Update. Across Health, Education, Protection, Education and Nutrition Clusters, the same challenges continue to persist, with continued restrictions on the entry of critical lifesaving supplies and/or continued access and security concerns.
  • In April, the highest volume of humanitarian and commercial supplies entered the Gaza Strip since the opening of land routes on 21 October 2023.  The total number of trucks in April was 5,671 trucks (an average of 189 trucks per day) via Kerem Shalom and Rafah land crossings into the Gaza Strip.  The first five days of May have seen a greater number of trucks entering with an average of 252 trucks per day. This is still much less than the daily average of 500 trucks per day needed.
  • As of 5 May, the total number of UNRWA colleagues killed since the beginning of hostilities is 188, an increase of six since the last report.
  • As of 5 May, 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. 

  • Between 29 April and 5 May there were at least 159 ISF search and arrest operations recorded across the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. At least 105 Palestinians, including Palestine Refugees, were detained during this period.
  • At least five Palestinians were reportedly killed in Deir al Ghusun, in the northern West Bank, on the night of 3-4 May following an exchange of fire between ISF and Palestinians. Anti-tank grenades were used against a house targeted in an ISF operation.
  • A resident of Nur Shams Camp was killed in an exchange of fire with the Palestinian National Security Forces (PSF) on 1 Mayin Tulkarm, in the northern West Bank.

People at risk of facing additional displacement in the face of a possible Israeli offensive in Rafah, Southern Gaza Strip, May 2024. © 2024 UNRWA Photo by Mohammed Hinnawi
People at risk of facing additional displacement in the face of a possible Israeli offensive in Rafah, Southern Gaza Strip, May 2024. © 2024 UNRWA Photo by Mohammed Hinnawi

Overall Situation 

The Gaza Strip

  • According to the Ministry of Health in Gaza as of 6 May, at least 34,735 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 78,108 Palestinians have been reportedly injured. 

 

The West Bank, including East Jerusalem

  • According to OCHA, between 7 October 2023– 24 April 2024, 469 Palestinians, including at least 112 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. 
  • Six incidents have been reported impacting UNRWA installations and internal displaced people (IDPs) sheltering there. While verification of details and casualty figures remain ongoing, initial reports indicate:
    • On 29 April 2024, shrapnel fell inside the schoolyard of a school in Rafah as a result of a strike on a nearby location. No injuries or damages were reported.
    • On 1 May 2024, a stray bullet penetrated the roof of a store in the Logistics Base in Rafah falling on the tents inside the store. The stray bullet caused minor damage, no injuries were reported.
    • On 2 May 2024, a school in Rafah sustained collateral damage (several windows shattered) as a result of strikes that hit a residential area adjacent to the school.
    • On 5 May 2024, the IDF instructed the UNRWA logistics team at the Kerem Shalom crossing to suspend operations and evacuate the location. The evacuation order was given after Palestinian armed groups had fired mortars towards the Israeli Army in the vicinity of Karem Shalom Crossing, reportedly killing four Israeli soldiers. The Israeli Forces responded with tank shells.
    • On 5 May 24, as a result of a strike on a house adjacent to the  Health Centre in Rafah, a displaced child who was inside the health centre sustained a minor injury due to shrapnel that hit his foot. The health centre sustained damages whereby the solar panels, windows, water tanks and walls were damaged.
    • On 5 May 2024, containers inside a school in Nuseirat, in the Middle Area, were directly hit by a strike. Casualties were reported, further verification is ongoing.
  • 368* 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 51 incidents of military use and/or interference at UNRWA premises. 169 different UNRWA installations have been impacted.  
  • UNRWA estimates that in total at least 429* IDPs sheltering in UNRWA shelters have been killed and at least a further 1,430* 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 5 May, 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 2 May, 113 medical points and eight (out of 24[1]) UNRWA health centres were operational. Of those, one is in the north, two 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 1 May UNRWA health operations expanded further into northern Gaza where four medical points became operational.
  • On 13 March, UNRWA opened a temporary health centre to provide health services for the people in al-Mawasi, west of Khan Younis. 
  • Nearly 803 healthcare staff continue to work in operational health centres. On 2 May, they provided 12,333 medical consultations.
  • UNRWA conducted another 10,197 medical consultations through 375 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 displaced people.
  • As of 2 May, 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 991 cases. UNRWA teams responded to 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 479 post-natal and pregnant women at high risk. 
  • In early January, UNRWA received vaccines from UNICEF for its health centres. Eleven different types of vaccines were received (refrigerated and freezer storage). On 2 May, over 782 children were vaccinated against measles, mumps and rubella, hepatitis, tuberculosis and other diseases.

[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)

  • UNRWA counsellors continue to provide live-saving psychosocial support in Gaza, including psychosocial first aid, individual and group counselling, fatigue management sessions, recreational activities, Explosive Ordnance Risk Education (EORE) as well as protection cash assistance targeting children, youth and adults.
  • Since the onset of the conflict, it is estimated that 590,000 IDPs, including over 320,000 children, have benefited from a total of 167,559 PSS sessions/activities. During the period 9 – 19 April 2024, a total of 20,361 IDPs, including 13,399 children, received these services. Specifically, counsellors addressed 850 individual cases and provided 644 group awareness sessions benefiting 5,543 adults. Additionally, they conducted 515 recreational activities engaging 11,431 children. Counsellors also provided 119 EORE sessions to 1,487 adults and 1,740 children and contributed to supporting 160 protection cases.

 Food Security

  • As of 29 April, UNRWA continued to distribute flour outside of shelters in the southern governorates. To date, a total of 380,225 families (nearly 1.9 million people) have been reached, of whom 322,060 families have received two rounds of flour and another 189,182 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. 


Tweet from Philippe Lazzarini, UNRWA Commissioner-General:

"An Israeli military offensive will lead to an additional layer of an already unbearable tragedy for the people in Gaza. It will make even more difficult to reverse the expansion of the already man-made famine. What is needed is a Ceasefire, not new forced displacement and anxiety of endless suffering. Together with our partners, we will stay and deliver critical assistance in Rafah as long as possible."

ENDs- 

 


 

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People at risk of facing additional displacement in the face of a possible Israeli offensive in Rafah, Southern Gaza Strip, May 2024. © 2024 UNRWA Photo by Mohammed Hinnawi