UNRWA Situation Report #111 on the situation in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem

Wednesday, June 5, 2024

All information from 27 May-2 June 2024, is valid as of 2 June May 2024 at 22:30 

Days 234-240 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 Forces’ 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. 
  • During the reporting period aid operations in Gaza continue to affected by disruptions to the telecommunications network, with internet service providers unable to in carrying out significant repair works.  Whilst we are seeing a slow gradual improvement of connectivity across the Gaza Strip, significant connectivity challenges remain. 
  • 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 1 million 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 Oxfam, more than two-thirds of Gaza’s population are now estimated to be crammed into an area of 69km2 – less than a fifth of the Gaza Strip.
  • On 28 May, the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General of the United Nations issued a statement  urging that the Israeli authorities allow, facilitate and enable the immediate, safe and unhindered delivery of humanitarian supplies in accordance to Security Council resolution 2720 and 2712.
  • In May,the  Nutrition Cluster conducted a food survey which found that 85 per cent of children did not eat for a whole day at least once in the three days before the survey was conducted, with dietary diversity worsening. 
  • According to Oxfam, living conditions  in Al-Mawasi have resulted in 500,00 people sharing 121 latrines, or 4,130 people having to share each toilet.
  • 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.  UNRWA has maintained a presence in Rafah with a focus on continuing missions to Kerem Shalom to retrieve fuel and aid commodities.  Between 28 May – 1 June, only 232 trucks of humanitarian aid entered via Kerem Shalom, a significant reduction in aid entering prior to the Rafah military operation.  During this period, UNRWA remains the largest UN agency operating via the Kerem Shalom border crossing, with the majority of aid being flour and/or food items.
  • Figures reflected from 6 May onwards are for humanitarian aid (UN/INGO) cargo only and exclude 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
  • According to WHO[1], challenges in increasing aid flow remain. During the reporting period there were 60 WHO trucks in Egypt ready to get into Gaza.  WHO highlighted the urgent need for crossings to be opened not just for medical supplies, but for all other humanitarian supplies.  Furthermore, WHO warned that more Gazans will die unless desperately needed medical evacuations for seriously sick or injured people are permitted.  WHO estimates that over 10,000 people are believed to require urgent transport outside Gaza for treatment but have been unable to do so following the closure of Rafah crossing since 6 May.
  • As of 29 May, the total number of UNRWA colleagues killed since the beginning of hostilities is 192.
    [1] Geneva Press Briefing: UNRWA, IOM, IFRC, UNICEF, ITU | UN Web TV

 

The West Bank, including East Jerusalem

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

  • Between 27 May and 2 June, there were at least 175 recorded ISF search and arrest operations across the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. More than 135 Palestinians were detained during this period, including Palestine Refugees. There were four Palestinians killed, including two children shot by the ISF in Aqbat Jabr Camp on 1 June, in the central West Bank.
  • On 30 May, the ISF began an operation in Ramallah, which resulted in the burning down of the vegetable market and at least one injury. On 30 May, at least six Palestinians were injured with live ammunition during an ISF operation inside Jenin Camp and Jenin city. During the course of the operation, ISF bulldozers damaged vehicles, roads, and camp infrastructure. On 31 May, an ISF operation in Al Fawwar Camp saw at least one paramedic from the Palestinian Red Crescent Society injured, and extensive use of tear gas.
  • On 29 May, two ISF personnel were killed in a ramming attack by a Palestinian near ‘Awarta checkpoint, in the northern West Bank.

Displaced families continue to flee from Rafah, southern Gaza Strip. © 2024 UNRWA Photo by Ashraf Amra
Displaced families continue to flee from Rafah, southern Gaza Strip. © 2024 UNRWA Photo by Ashraf Amra

Overall Situation 

The Gaza Strip

  • According to the Ministry of Health in Gaza as of 3 June, at least 36,479 Palestinians have been reportedly killed in the Gaza Strip since 7 October. Another 82,777 Palestinians have been reportedly injured. 

 

The West Bank, including East Jerusalem

  • According to OCHA, between 7 October 2023– 27 May 2024, 502 Palestinians, including at least 122 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. 
  • 32 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 a full list of incidents can be found in the Annex 1 at the end of this sitrep. 
  • In total, 430* 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 72 incidents of military use and/or interference at UNRWA premises. 186 different UNRWA installations have been impacted. 
  • UNRWA estimates that in total at least 455* 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 continue to be subject to change once further verifications have been conducted.

UNRWA Response  

The Gaza Strip  

Health 

  • UNRWA health centres in the last 10 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 29 May, 90 medical points and six (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 northern Gaza 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.  On 28 May due to the military operation in Rafah an UNRWA health centre was closed due to the security situation. 
  • Nearly 756 healthcare staff continue to work in operational health centres. On 29 May, they provided 15,615 medical consultations.  UNRWA has also conducted another 1,614 medical consultations through 242 staff at the shelters.  
  • As of 29 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 649 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 364 post-natal and pregnant women at high risk. 
  • UNRWA has continued to provide vaccination services since the beginning of 2024.  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 209,915 PSS sessions/activities. During the period from 24 - 30 May a total of 32,511 IDPs , including 22,186 children, benefited from these services. Specifically, counsellors addressed 1,819 individual consultations and provided 413 group awareness sessions benefiting 5,577 adults. Additionally, they conducted 695 recreational activities engaging 15,579 children. Counsellors also provided 439 EORE sessions to 4,530 adults and 493 sessions to 6,607 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 the op-ed published on the New York Times by Philippe Lazzarini, UNRWA Commissioner-General:

" The war in Gaza has produced a blatant disregard for the mission of the United Nations, including outrageous attacks on the employees, facilities and operations of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees. These attacks must stop and the world must act to hold the perpetrators accountable."


Annex 1 – Incident reportedly affecting UNRWA premises in the Gaza Strip

32 incidents have been reported, some of which occurred earlier impacting UNRWA installations and internal displaced people (IDPs) sheltering there.  Whilst verification of details remain ongoing a full list of incidents can be found below:

•               Six incidents of the same nature occurred on 13 May 2024 in northern Gaza: 

o             On 13 May 2024, ISF tanks reportedly shelled six schools in North Gaza, causing damage to the buildings .  It was also reported that IDPs sheltering in these buildings were forced to evacuate. 

• On 13 May 2024,  an ISF tank reportedly shelled a school in North Gaza, causing the building to sustain damage. The full extent of damage is at present unknown but includes destruction of the building’s outer wall and damage to the southern building. It was further reported that IDPs sheltering in the building were forced to evacuate.

• On 13 May 2024, an ISF tank reportedly shelled a school in North Gaza, causing damage to the building. The full extent of damage is at present unknown, but includes destruction of the building’s outer wall and damage to several buildings. It was further reported that IDPs sheltering in the building were forced to evacuate.

• On 13 May 2024,  ISF tank reportedly shelled a school in North Gaza, causing damage to the building, full extent of which is at present unknown, but includes: destruction of the building’s outer wall and damage (including from fire) to the building. It was also reported that IDPs sheltering in the building were forced to evacuate.

• On 17 May 2024,  ISF tank reportedly shelled a health centre in North Gaza causing damage (including from fire) to the building. The extent of the damage is at present unconfirmed. It was also reported that IDPs sheltering in the building were forced to evacuate. 

•  On 17 May 2024,, an ISF tank reportedly fired two shells at a distribution centre in North Gaza causing damage to the building, including from fire inside the building. The full extent of the damage is at present unconfirmed.

• On 17 May 2024,, an ISF tank reportedly fired two shells at RSS, ICIP and Logistics offices in North Gaza causing damage to the building, including from fire inside the building. The full extent of the damage is at present unconfirmed.

• On 17 May 2024 (estimated date), at an unknown time, ISF troops reportedly destroyed the southern wall of a school in North Gaza and caused fire damage to the building.

• On 17 May 2024 (estimated date), at an unknown time, ISF troops reportedly bulldozed the main gate and the school yard of a school in North Gaza and caused fire damage to the school buildings.

• On 17 May 2024 (estimated date), at an unknown time, ISF troops reportedly bulldozed the eastern wall, the guards’ room and the yard of a school in North Gaza and caused fire damage to the school buildings.

• On 17 May 2024 (estimated date), at an unknown time, ISF troops reportedly bulldozed the main gate and the yard of a school in North Gaza and caused fire damage to the school buildings.

• On 17 May 2024 (estimated date), at an unknown time, ISF troops reportedly bulldozed the school yard and the guards’ room of a school in North Gaza and caused fire damage to the school buildings.

• On 17 May 2024 (estimated date), at an unknown time, ISF troops reportedly bulldozed the guards’ room and demolished the schoolyard of a school in North Gaza and caused fire damage to the school buildings.

• On 17 May 2024 (estimated date), at an unknown time, ISF troops reportedly bulldozed the schoolyard of a school in North Gaza and caused fire damage to the school buildings.

•  On 17 May 2024 (estimated date) at an unknown time, a rented sanitation garage in North Gaza was reportedly completely destroyed by an ISF airstrike and subsequently bulldozed by ISF troops.

• On 17 May 2024 (estimated date) at an unknown time, a water pump in North Gaza was reportedly completely destroyed by an ISF airstrike and subsequently bulldozed by ISF troops.

• On 17 May 2024 (estimated date) at an unknown time, a water pump in North Gaza was reportedly completely destroyed by an ISF airstrike and subsequently bulldozed by ISF troops.

• On 19 May 2024, at an unknown time ISF troops reportedly opened fire at a school in North Gaza using heavy machinery guns and causing damage to the building. The extent of the damage is at present unconfirmed.

• On 20 May 2024, at an unknown time, ISF tanks reportedly surrounded a school in North Gaza forcing IDPs sheltering there to evacuate. 

• On 20 May 2024, at an unknown time, ISF tanks reportedly surrounded a school in North Gaza forcing IDPs sheltering there to evacuate. This incident appears to be linked to an evacuation order issued by the ISF on 19 May 2024 in relation to locations west of the Indonesian Hospital in Jabalia Camp.

• On 20 May 2024 (estimated date), at an unknown time, ISF troops reportedly bulldozed a water pump in North Gaza, causing it severe destruction.

• On 20 May 2024 (estimated date) at an unknown time, a water pump in North Gaza was reportedly completely destroyed by an ISF airstrike and subsequently bulldozed by ISF troops.

• On 25 May 2024, at 17:55, the IAF reportedly fired two missiles towards the guards’ room in the Al Nuseirat Distribution Centre, in Middle Area and its adjacent building - the Women’s Activities Centre (not an UNRWA installation). No injuries were reported in the Distribution Centre, but the guards’ room was destroyed, and three offices sustained damage. 6 persons were reportedly killed in the Women’s Activities Centre. 

• On 27 May 2024, an ISF tank reportedly shelled the second floor of a health center in Middle Area causing damage, full extent of which is yet to be confirmed. No injuries were reported. 

•  On 28 May 2024, ISF conducted an incursion into a school in Rafah and positioned their troops there as well as in the nearby mosque and a medical clinic (neither are UNRWA installations). On the following day (29 May 2024) Al Qassam Brigades announced that they had targeted ISF troops near the school using an improvised explosive device (IED).

• On 30 May 2024, at 11:00 an ISF tank reportedly shelled the third floor of the east side of a health centre in Middle Area, causing the building to sustain damage, extent of which is yet to be verified. No injuries were reported.

• On 30 May 2024, at 12:00 an ISF tank reportedly shelled the third floor of a school in North Gaza, killing 5 IDPs. It was reported that the IDPs went to check on their belongings, following the ISF’s withdrawal from the east of Jabalia area. No information has been provided on the number of injured IDPs, if any. The shelling also caused the building to sustain damage, the extent of which is yet to be verified. 

 

ENDs- 


 

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Displaced families continue to flee from Rafah, southern Gaza Strip. © 2024 UNRWA Photo by Ashraf Amra