UNRWA Situation Report #64 on the situation in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem

Monday, January 15, 2024

All information from 11- 13 January 2024, is valid as of 13 January 2024 at 22:30 

Days 97-99 of Hostilities  


 

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Key Points  

The Gaza Strip 

  • As of 12 January 2024, the total number of UNRWA colleagues killed since the beginning of hostilities has increased by four to 150. Since 7 October 2023, up to 1.9 million people (or over 85 per cent of the population) have been displaced across the Gaza Strip, some multiple times. Families are forced to move repeatedly in search of safety.  Following intense Israeli bombardments and fighting in the middle areas, more than half of the IDPs (approximately 270,000) have moved again further south. Due to the security situation tracking the latest IDP movements is becoming increasingly difficult.
  • As of 12 January, nearly 1.4 million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) are sheltering in 154 UNRWA facilities across all five governorates of the Gaza Strip, including 160,000 in the north and Gaza City, and more than 500,000 are in close vicinity of these installations and receiving assistance from UNRWA. A total of 1.9 million[1] IDPs are receiving assistance from UNRWA.  Significant population movements towards the south continue.

  • [1] This includes nearly 160,000 IDPs in north Gaza and Gaza City governorates as of 12 October. UNRWA's ability to provide humanitarian support and update data in the above areas is severely restricted. The hostilities, Israeli Forces’ evacuation orders and the constant search for safer places meant that people are displaced multiple times. UNRWA shelters often provide assistance to registered Palestine Refugees and other members of the community. There are instances where total numbers could be duplicated due to overlapping registrations, this is why we use “estimates” for these figures.

The West Bank, including East Jerusalem 

The next update for the West Bank including East Jerusalem will be provided on Tuesday 16 January.

 

Palestinian families fleeing from the middle areas of the Gaza Strip to Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, January 2024. © 2024 UNRWA Photo by Ashraf Amra
Palestinian families fleeing from the middle areas of the Gaza Strip to Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, January 2024. © 2024 UNRWA Photo by Ashraf Amra

Overall Situation 

The Gaza Strip

  • According to the Ministry of Health in Gaza as of 12 January, at least 23,708 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 60,005 Palestinians have been reportedly injured. 

 

The West Bank, including East Jerusalem

  • According to OCHA, between 7 October 2023 – 12 January 2024, 333 Palestinians, including 84 children, have been killed in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. 
  • Last year (2023), was the deadliest year for Palestinians in the West Bank including East Jerusalem since the UN began recording casualties in 2005.

Humanitarian Access, Protection of Civilians 

The Gaza Strip

Please note that the first incident listed below occurred on 5 Jan. It was only reported later; therefore it was not included in the sit rep covering that date.

  • UNRWA is working to verify details of incidents reportedly affecting UNRWA premises. Further information will be provided once it becomes available. 
    • On 5 January, a school in Khan Younis (south) was reported to have been directly struck and damaged, including destruction of parts of the external perimeter wall. No IDPs were reported to have been in the school at the time of the incident.
    • On 11 January, one IDP sheltering in a school in Khan Younis was injured as a result of shrapnel falling into the school. The IDP was transferred to the hospital. Nearly 6,000 IDPs were reported to be sheltering at the school at the time of the incident.
  • 232 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 23 incidents of military use and/or interference at UNRWA premises. 66 different UNRWA installations were directly hit, and 69 different installations sustained collateral damage.
  • UNRWA estimates that in total at least 330 IDPs sheltering in UNRWA shelters have been killed and at least a further 1,150* 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. 

 

* Figures are subject to change once further verifications have been conducted.  Cases of previous dates were updated (increasing the number of incidents).

UNRWA Response  

The Gaza Strip  

UNRWA Shelters 

  • As of 12 January, in total, nearly 1.4 million displaced people are now sheltering in 154 UNRWA installations, with another500,000 approximately accessing services from UNRWA.

 

  • The average number of IDPs in UNRWA shelters in the middle and southern areas is over 12,000 per shelter. This is more than four times their capacity. 

Health 

  • On 11 January 2024, only six (out of 22) UNRWA health centres were operational in the middle and southern areas with 9,875 patient visits recorded.
  • Midwives are providing care for post-natal and high-risk pregnant women at health centres. On 11 January, a total of 165 post-natal and high-risk pregnancy cases were attended to at the health centres.  
  • On 11 January, UNRWA continued to provide health care at UNRWA health centres and shelters with 690 staff maintaining health services.   
  •  On 11 January, UNRWA attended to 20,952 patients in UNRWA shelters and health centres.  
  • Mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) services were resumed in the middle area and Khan Younis (south) with a team of two psychiatrists and 20 counsellors and supervisors to assist special cases referred from health centres and shelters. On 11 January, the team responded to 1,962 cases through individual consultations, awareness sessions and support for gender-based violence cases.
  • UNRWA received vaccines from UNICEF for its health centres.  Eight different types of vaccines were received (refrigerated and freezer storage). This allowed for vaccination to restart. On 11 January, a total of 768 children were vaccinated against diseases such as measles, mumps and rubella, and others.

 

Psychosocial support (PSS)

  • UNRWA teams, including 264 social workers in the shelters, continue to provide psychosocial first aid and other specialized protection services to IDPs. As of 13 January, around 84,891 IDPs were reached.
  • School counsellors conducted 1,269 individual and family consultations in Rafah and Khan Younis (south), alongside 1,099 group sessions.  23,988 IDPs were reached, with the cumulative total of 68,582 PSS sessions since 7 October.
  • During the same period, school counsellors provided psychological support to nearly 477 UNRWA staff, through in-person and remote consultations. The total number of UNRWA staff who have received psychological support since the beginning of the hostilities is 7,601.

Food Security

  • UNRWA continued to distribute flour outside of shelters in the southern governorates. A total of 261,627 families have been reached so far.        

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)

  • During 11 January 2024, water wells in Jabalia (north), Khan Younis and Rafah (south) were operational. Nearly 5,000 cubic metres have been pumped. Khan Younis and Rafah water wells have operated in two shifts (12 hours) to provide potable/domestic water supply services.
    • Provision of potable water through tankers at Rafah and Middle area ensured availability of water in shelters, with some interruption in the Middle Area due to evacuation orders.  Khan Younis shelters are provided with water through UNRWA water well​.
    • Solid waste management services continued in Rafah, Khan Younis and Middle Area camps (partially). The service was suspended in Bureij camp due to the military operations. About 45 loadings were transferred to temporary dumping sites on January 11.

Quote from Rima, girl displaced in Deir al-Balah:

“What have we children done to have to hear the sound of bombardments? We want to go home and see our  loved ones. […] We should eat healthy food. Now, we drink polluted water.”

 

#HearTheirVoices  

 

ENDs -  


 

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    Palestinian families fleeing from the middle areas of the Gaza Strip to Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, January 2024. © 2024 UNRWA Photo by Ashraf Amra