UNRWA Situation Report #110 on the situation in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

All information from 23-26 May 2024, is valid as of 26 May 2024 at 22:30 

Days 230-233 of Hostilities 



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Key Points  

  • Ongoing strikes by Israeli Forces, encompassing aerial, land and maritime bombardment across the Gaza Strip. These result in civilian casualties, displacement and the destruction of residential structures and civilian infrastructure. The Israeli ground offensive continues to expand, particularly in the southern regions of Gaza City and eastern Rafah, notably around the Karem Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) and Rafah Crossings. 
  • Aid operations in Gaza continue to be disrupted by telecommunications network outages and  and internet service providers in carrying out repair works. This is due to damaged infrastructure, limited access to fuel and the conflict overall.   
  • On 26 May, a strike hit an informal IDP site in close vicinity to the UNRWA Logistics Base in Rafah.  Initial reports indicate that there are approximately 50 casualties among the displaced people. The exact numbers are yet to be confirmed.  UNRWA has not been able to access the site, and internet and communication outages have delayed full verification.  The UNRWA Logistics Base and IDP site that were hit were both located outside Israeli prescribed evacuation zones. 
  • Philippe Lazzarini, UNRWA Commissioner-General, posted  on his official X account (previously known as Twitter), commenting on the harrowing scenes from Rafah yesterday. The Commissioner-General reiterated that UNRWA is doing everything possible not to interrupt the delivery of humanitarian assistance. However, of the 200 trucks with humanitarian supplies offloaded on the Palestinian side yesterday (26 May), only 30 trucks were picked up due to heavy movement restrictions, ongoing Israeli Forces airstrikes and the launch of rockets by Hamas. 
  • Families that have been already displaced several times are on the move again due to military operations and Israeli evacuation orders. As of 26 May 2024, the estimated number of people displaced from Rafah is nearly 945,000 people since 6 May, with a further 100,000 people displaced in northern Gaza. Most UNRWA shelters in Rafah have been vacated, with internally displaced people moving to Khan Younis and Deir Al Balah. 
  • According to UNICEF, there has been a significant reduction in clean water production across the Gaza Strip affecting access to water supply service to around 500,000 people. This reduction is attributed to damage to several facilities, including treatment plants, boreholes, and pumping stations, which have been rendered inoperable due to continuous bombardment, shortage of fuel, or inaccessibility for maintenance work.
  • The current Israeli military operation in Rafah is directly impacting the ability of aid agencies to bring critical humanitarian supplies into Gaza as well as the ability to rotate critical humanitarian staff.  Some fuel supplies and food aid came through Kerem Shalom on 25/26 May, food supplies remained however inaccessible due to the security situation.  Since 5 May 2024, the UN has not been able to maintain presence at Rafah/Kerem Shalom crossings to monitor and count private sector cargo entering/exiting the terminal.  Figures reflected from 6 May onwards are for humanitarian aid (UN/INGO) cargo only and excludes commercial activity.  Due to the situation on the ground, updates may take some time to be fully reflected on the dashboard, for updates on trucks please check:   
    Gaza Supplies and Dispatch Tracking | UNRWA
  • As of 26 May, the total number of UNRWA colleagues killed since the beginning of hostilities is 192, an increase of one.

The West Bank, including East Jerusalem

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

  • Between 20 and 26 May there were at least 164 recorded Israeli Security Forces (ISF) search and arrest operations across the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. More than 118 Palestinians were detained during this period. There were 16 Palestinians killed, the majority of them during a large-scale ISF operation in Jenin Camp and Jenin city.
  • On 21 May, a major ISF operation started  in Jenin camp and Jenin city in the northern West Bank. It concluded on 23 May after nearly  43 hours. In total, there were 12 reported fatalities, including four children. During the operation, ISF personnel forcefully entered and used the UNRWA Health Centre, causing significant damage to both facilities and equipment. The ISF invaded two other UNRWA facilities installations during the operation.
  • At least 30 incidents of Israeli settlers’ violence were recorded between 20 and 26 May across the West Bank.  On 23 May, settlers established a new settlement outpost at Al ‘Auja Spring, near Jericho in the central West Bank. On 25 May, settlers attacked the village of Qusra, in the northern West Bank, leading to clashes between ISF, settlers, and Palestinians. Over 24-25 May, settlers attacked Palestinian farmers, municipality crews and agricultural sites in different locations of the southern West Bank, including Al Maniya, Bani Na’im, Al Khadr and Kisan. One Palestinian farmer was shot by Israeli settlers while working on his land west of Hebron on 26 May.

View on military operations taking place in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip. © 2024 UNRWA Photo
View on military operations taking place in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip. © 2024 UNRWA Photo

Overall Situation 

The Gaza Strip

  • According to the Ministry of Health in Gaza as of 27 May, at least 36,050 Palestinians have been reportedly killed in the Gaza Strip since 7 October. Another 81,026 Palestinians have been reportedly injured. 

 

The West Bank, including East Jerusalem

  • According to OCHA, between 7 October 2023– 22 May 2024, 489 Palestinians, including at least 117 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.  

Seven incidents have been reported, some of which occurred earlier impacting UNRWA installations and internal displaced people (IDPs) sheltering there. While verification of details and casualty figures remain ongoing, initial reports indicate:

  • On 20 May 2024, two schools in eastern Rafah were demolished by a controlled detonation conducted by the ISF.
  • At an unknown date, presumably during the ISF ground incursion in Khan Younis in February 2024, the perimeter walls, gate and part of the building of a water pump were destroyed resulting in severe damage.
  • At an unknown date and time, a school in Khan Younis was hit by projectiles at different locations: a roof of a classroom, a classroom wall and an external perimeter wall.
  • On 23 May 2024, four IDPs were reportedly injured in a school in Deir Al Balah as a result of shooting from an ISF quadcopter. First aid was delivered to the injured who were then transferred to a hospital.
  • On 23 May 2024, an ISF quadcopter reportedly opened fire at the guards in a warehouse in Rafah. The guards fled, no injuries were reported. Upon their return, the guards found a bullet in the middle of the hall, near the service team caravans.
  • On 26 May 2024, a strike hit the informal IDP site outside the UNRWA Logistics Base (logbase) in Rafah. Initial reports indicate approximately 50 casualties among the IDPs in the site, numbers are yet to be confirmed. UNDSS expects the number of fatalities to increase. ICRC and IMC hospitals received several injured individuals. The total number of injured remains unconfirmed. So far, no injuries were reported inside the Logbase, but it should be noted that UNRWA has not been able to access the Logbase on the day following the incident and therefore fully verify the impact of the strike.

394* 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 57 incidents of military use and/or interference at UNRWA premises. 179 different UNRWA installations have been impacted. 

UNRWA estimates that in total at least 450* internally displaced people (IDPs) sheltering in UNRWA shelters have been killed and at least a further 1,476* 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 and please note this number does not yet include the incident of 26 May 2024.

UNRWA Response  

The Gaza Strip  

Health 

  • UNRWA health centres in the last 12 days have not received any medical supplies due to Rafah and Kerem Shalom crossing closure/disruptions.  This affects the stock of medicines, mainly general items such as antibiotics for children and anti-epileptic drugs. Certain laboratory and dental items and vaccines are out of stock. 
  • As of 23 May, 109 medical points and seven (out of 24[1]) UNRWA health centres were operational. These health centres provide primary health care, including outpatient services, non-communicable disease care, medications, vaccination, antenatal and postnatal health care and dressing for injured patients. 
  • On 11 May, four medical points in the North area were closed due to the security situation, UNRWA continued to adapt to the fluid situation and set up an additional medical point in UNRWA Gaza Training Centre on 16 May.  On 21 May, an additional medical point was open in al-Mawasi (Khan Younis) due to increased demand for health services. 
  • Nearly 665 healthcare staff continue to work in operational health centres. On 23 May, they provided 8,548 medical consultations.  UNRWA has also conducted another 8,799 medical consultations through 321 staff at the shelters.  
  • As of 23 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 918 cases. UNRWA teams responded to cases in health centres and medical points through individual consultations, awareness sessions and support for cases of gender-based violence. UNRWA teams provided medical care for 330 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). From January – 19 May nearly 103,000 children were vaccinated against measles, mumps and rubella, hepatitis, tuberculosis and other diseases in UNRWA health centres.

[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 more than 300 counsellors, UNRWA continues to provide life-saving psychosocial support services in Gaza, including psychosocial first aid, individual and group counselling, fatigue management sessions, recreational activities, Explosive Ordnance Risk Education (EORE) as well as protection case assistance. targeting children, youth and adults.
  • Since the onset of the conflict, it is estimated that 650,000 IDPs including over 400,000 children have benefited from a total of 205,746 PSS sessions/activities. During the period from 17 - 23 May 2024, a total of 40,701  IDPs, including 28,704 children, benefited from these services. Specifically, counsellors addressed 1,696 individual consultations and provided 506 group awareness sessions benefiting 5,222 adults. Additionally, they conducted 981 recreational activities engaging 19,019 children. Counsellors also provided 716 EORE sessions to 6,775 adults and 713 sessions to 9,685 children.

 Food Security

  • As of 22 May, 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 337,468 families have received two rounds of flour and another 237,162 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 Juliette Touma, UNRWA Director of Communications, in an interview to BBC Radio 4:

"The assumption that there is a safe place in Gaza is false, misleading and inaccurate. No place is safe in Gaza. No one is safe in Gaza. Not aid workers, not medical workers, not UN staff, no one has been spared."

ENDs- 

 


 

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View on military operations taking place in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip. © 2024 UNRWA Photo