UNRWA Situation Report #84 on the situation in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem

Friday, March 1, 2024

All information from 27–28 February 2024, is valid as of 28 February 2024 at 22:30 

Days 144-145 of Hostilities  



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Key Points  

The Gaza Strip 

  • Intense Israeli bombardment from air, land and sea continued to be reported across much of the Gaza Strip, resulting in further civilian casualties, displacement, and destruction of civilian infrastructure.
  • The Ministry of Health in Gaza reports that two infants died in northern Gaza as a result of dehydration and malnutrition, as a quarter of Gaza’s population faces catastrophic levels of food insecurity.
  • Supply routes into the Gaza Strip have functioned inconsistently throughout the reporting period. On 27 February, only 135 trucks entered the Gaza Strip via both Rafah and the Karem Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) crossing points.
  • February continues to see very little aid coming in, with an average of nearly 97 trucks entering per day, whereas approximately 150 trucks of supplies were entering Gaza per day in January 2024. The number of trucks entering Gaza remains well below the target of 500 per day, with significant difficulties bringing supplies in through both Karem Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) and Rafah. UNRWA trucks have struggled to enter the Gaza Strip due to security constraints and temporary closures at both crossings. UNRWA has at times had to temporarily stop dispatching supplies due to security concerns. Security to manage the crossing has been severely impacted due to the killing of several Palestinian policemen in Israeli airstrikes near the crossings recently. 
  • As of 28 February, the total number of UNRWA colleagues killed since the beginning of hostilities is now 160.
  • As of 28 February, up to 1.7 million* people (over 75 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 Khan Younis and the Middle Area in recent weeks, a significant number of displaced people have moved further south. 

 

*This includes one million individuals residing in or near emergency shelters or informal shelters. As of 12 October, approximately 160,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) were recorded in North Gaza and Gaza governorates. 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 Israeli Security Forces (ISF), and the constant need for safer locations have resulted in people being displaced multiple times.

**UNRWA reported 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 

  • Between 27 and 28 February, at least 58 Israeli Security Forces (ISF) search and arrest operations were reported across the West Bank, averaging nearly 30 per day. More than 50 Palestinians were detained during this period, including five children.
  • An ISF operation started in the early morning of 28 February in Jenin city and Jenin Camp, northern West Bank. The operation reportedly included drone strikes and the use of armoured bulldozers, which damaged roads and infrastructure.
  • There were several reports of settler violence during this period, including two incidents involving children in Masafer Yatta in the southern West Bank. On 27 February, settlers under ISF protection opened fire at Palestinian children, with no injuries reported. On 28 February, four Palestinian children gathering herbs were physically assaulted by settlers under ISF protection.

Displaced families seek shelter in an UNRWA school in Deir al-Balah, the Middle Areas, Gaza Strip, February 2024. © 2024 UNRWA Photo by Ashraf Amra
Displaced families seek shelter in an UNRWA school in Deir al-Balah, the Middle Areas, Gaza Strip, February 2024. © 2024 UNRWA Photo by Ashraf Amra

 

Overall Situation 

The Gaza Strip

  • According to the Ministry of Health in Gaza as of 28 February, at least 29,954 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 70,325 Palestinians have been reportedly injured. 

 

The West Bank, including East Jerusalem

  • According to OCHA, between 7 October 2023–28 February 2024, 404 Palestinians, including 102 children, have been killed in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. 

Humanitarian Access, Protection of Civilians 

The Gaza Strip

  • 335* 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. 155 different UNRWA installations have been impacted. 
  • UNRWA estimates that in total at least 404* internally displaced people (IDPs) sheltering in UNRWA shelters have been killed and at least a further 1,385* 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  

Due to the security situation in combination with interruptions in internet connectivity we are unable to provide any additional updates since Sitrep 75.  

UNRWA Shelters 

  • As of 28 February, 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 25 February, seven (out of 22) UNRWA health centres were operational. Of these, one is in the north, two are in Middle Area, one in Khan Younis and three are in Rafah. Health centres provide primary health care services, including outpatient services, non-communicable disease care, medication, vaccination, antenatal health care, postnatal health care and dressing for injured patients. 
  • A total of 665 health care staff continue to work in seven operational health centres and on 25 February they provided 14,993 medical consultations.
  • Another 9,890 medical consultations were conducted by 304 staff at shelters, and 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 377,854.
  • Between 7 October–25 February, UNRWA has provided over 2.48 million medical consultations across UNRWA health centres and UNRWA shelters.
  • As of 25 February, mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) services continued in the Middle and Khan Younis areas with teams of health professionals consisting of psychiatrists and three supervisors to assist special cases referred from health centres and shelters. The teams responded to 1,197 cases in health centres and 52 in medical points through individual consultations, awareness sessions, and support for cases of gender-based violence.  Medical care for post-natal and high-risk pregnant women was provided at health centres, supporting 388 women. 
  • In early January, UNRWA received vaccines from UNICEF for its health centres. Eleven different types of vaccines were received (refrigerated and freezer storage). This allowed for vaccinations to restart. Between 3 January and 3 February, over 22,300 children were vaccinated against measles, mumps and rubella and others.  On 25 February, an additional 986 children were vaccinated.  

 

Psychosocial support (PSS)

  • UNRWA continues to provide psychosocial support services including psychosocial first aid services, PSS consultations and intervention sessions, sessions on handling psychological fatigue, and group and recreational activities. Since the war, over 148,000 IDPs have been supported.

 

Food Security

  • As of 28 February, UNRWA continued to distribute flour outside of shelters in the southern governorates. To date, a total of 371,457 families have been assisted, of which 93,543 have received two rounds of flour.  

 

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)

Due to the security situation in combination with internet connectivity we are unable to provide any additional updates since sitrep 67. 


Quote from Dr. Angie, UNRWA pediatrician:

“We are currently introducing a new programme to track malnutrition among children. […] Our target group is children between six months and five years of age. […] Children who have signs of malnutrition will start treatment and will get weekly follow-ups.”

 

#HearTheirVoices  

 

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Displaced families seek shelter in an UNRWA school in Deir al-Balah, the Middle Areas, Gaza Strip, February 2024. © 2024 UNRWA Photo by Ashraf Amra