UNRWA Situation Report #87 on the situation in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem

Friday, March 8, 2024

All information from 5–6 March 2024, is valid as of 6 March 2024 at 22:30 

Days 151-152 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.  Israeli airstrikes continue in heavily populated Rafah in southern Gaza.
  • According to UN Women[1], that an estimated 9,000 women have been reported killed by Israeli forces in Gaza to date, not including those believed to be buried under the rubble. UN Women estimates that 37 mothers are killed every day and at the current rate, 63 women will continue to be killed on average every day. 
  • The WASH cluster, including UNRWA and partners, conducted a rapid WASH assessment in February 2024. Preliminary observations show a deterioration of water and sanitation conditions, with 61 per cent of assessed sites having no showers, 93 per cent of sites with visible waste, and 20 per cent of sites with water points at risk of contamination. According to UNICEF[2],  up to 81 per cent of households lack access to safe and clean water.  Limited food, lack of access to humanitarian services and lack of safe drinking water continue to lead to increased numbers of malnourished children. According to Ministry of Health in Gaza, child malnutrition levels in northern Gaza are particularly extreme, with now at least 18 children reported to have died from malnutrition and dehydration in northern Gaza. UNFPA has cautioned that “malnutrition rates amount pregnant and breastfeeding women have spiked, posing significant health risks”.
  • The first six days of March saw an increase in the number of trucks entering Gaza with an average of 155 trucks per day crossing. This remains well below the operational capacity of both border crossings and the target of 500 per day, with challenges at both Karem Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) and Rafah. UNRWA trucks have struggled to enter the Gaza Strip due to the war and the inconsistent opening of both crossings. Security to manage the crossing has been severely impacted due to the killing of several Palestinian policemen in Israeli airstrikes near the crossings in early February. 
  • As of 6 March, the total number of UNRWA colleagues killed since the beginning of hostilities is now 162.
  • As of 6 March, 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 UNRWA shelters in North Gaza and Gaza governorates. UNRWA currently estimates that the population of North Gaza and Gaza governorates to be 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 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 5 and 6 March, at least 67 Israeli Security Forces (ISF) search and arrest operations were reported across the West Bank. More than 55 Palestinians were detained during this period. There were three Palestinians killed in these two days, including one child. 
  • On the morning of 5 March, ISF opened fire during a search operation in Balata Camp, northern West Bank, with one Palestinian injured with live ammunition and two detained. A search operation in Dheisheh camp, southern West Bank, on the evening of 6 March resulted in armed clashes between ISF and camp residents, with seven Palestinians reportedly injured with live ammunition. 
  • On 6 March, a Palestinian teenager reportedly stabbed and injured a settler near Neve Ya’akov settlement, in East Jerusalem. The child was detained by ISF, with the checkpoints of both Shu’fat and Qalandiya camps closed following the incident.

Displaced family among makeshift tents, Deir al-Balah, Gaza Strip, March 2024. © 2024 UNRWA Photo by Ashraf Amra
Displaced family among makeshift tents, Deir al-Balah, Gaza Strip, March 2024. © 2024 UNRWA Photo by Ashraf Amra


Overall Situation 

The Gaza Strip

  • According to the Ministry of Health in Gaza as of 6 March, at least 30,717 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 72,156 Palestinians have been reportedly injured. 


The West Bank, including East Jerusalem

  • According to OCHA, between 7 October 2023– 6 March 2024, 415 Palestinians, including at least 106 children, have been killed in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. 


Humanitarian Access, Protection of Civilians 

The Gaza Strip

The following reported incidents occurred earlier but information only became available during the reporting period.  

  • UNRWA is working to verify the details of incidents reportedly affecting UNRWA premises. Further information will be provided once it becomes available.
  • Different 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 3 Jan 2024 (estimated date), the ISF troops reportedly entered a school in Khan Younis, destroyed the school’s southern perimeter wall and carried out an excavation in the schoolyard. No injuries were reported. 
    • On 3 Jan 2024 (estimated date), the ISF reportedly fired tank rounds at a school in Khan Younis. The school’s perimeter wall was destroyed and some of the classrooms sustained fire damage. The ISF also carried out an excavation in the schoolyard. No injuries were reported. 
    • On 8 February 2024, the ISF reportedly entered an UNRWA Relief Services Office in Khan Younis destroyed its perimeter wall and the office building and carried out an excavation in the yard. No injuries were reported. 
    • On 20 February 2024, the ISF reportedly entered a school in Khan Younis. It was reported that several tank shells were fired, destroying parts of the perimeter wall and that an excavation was carried out in the schoolyard. No injuries were reported. 
    • On 29 February 2024, the ISF reportedly entered a training college in Khan Younis and destroyed parts of its southern perimeter wall. It was also reported that the building sustained structural damage in a number of places. No injuries were reported. 


  • 339* 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. 156 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 6 March, 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.  



  • As of 3 March, seven (out of 22) UNRWA health centres were operational. Of these, one is in the north, two are in Middle Area, one is 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 797 health care staff continue to work in seven operational health centres and on 2 March they provided 14,664 medical consultations.
  • Another 9,205 medical consultations were conducted by 302 staff at 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 377,854.
  • Between 7 October and 3 March, UNRWA has provided over 2.7 million medical consultations across its health centres and shelters.
  • As of 3 March, 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 1,397 cases in health centres and 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 384 women. 


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 3 March, UNRWA continued to distribute flour outside of shelters in the southern governorates. To date, a total of 373,193 families have been assisted, of which 130,486 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 an UNRWA nurse in Deir al-Balah Health Centre:

“I work in the respiratory unit where I treat 60-70 children with nebulizers every day. Before the war, […] there were no more than 20 cases a day. […] The caseload is high because of displacement. People are  in tents with no blankets or mattresses and no warmth at all. […] I try as much as possible to help and serve my people because this is the duty of all of us.”




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Displaced family among makeshift tents, Deir al-Balah, Gaza Strip, March 2024. © 2024 UNRWA Photo by Ashraf Amra