• A total of 22 Palestinian children were killed in the first quarter of 2016, and 25 in the last quarter of 2015 (30 children were killed in 2015). A total of 26 people, including nine children, were displaced due to the demolition of Palestinian houses in East Jerusalem by the Israeli authorities.
• In May, 1,880 children benefitted from child protection services including life skills support, case management and child-parent interaction programs. 2,951 caregivers attended awareness raising sessions on the protection of children and positive discipline.
• In Gaza and the West Bank, 14,341 pregnant and lactating women received micronutrient supplementation, while 2,598 children aged under five years (50% girls) benefitted from the distribution of iron drops.
• 6,760 students (57% boys, 43% girls) from 113 schools (grade five and six) coming from the most vulnerable communities in Gaza completed remedial class programmes to better prepare for June national final exams.
• In Gaza, UNICEF completed approximately 85% of the works for the rehabilitation and upgrading of water lines and networks. In the West Bank, UNICEF completed 95% of the works for the rehabilitation and extension of the existing water networks (Northern Jordan Valley), and 60% of the works in communities from Tubas, Jericho, and Bethlehem.
• UNICEF has nearly completed the construction of a EUR 10 million seawater desalination plant in Gaza, to cover over 75,000 Palestinians with safe drinking water.
• The controls and restrictions on importation of supplies remain one of the key challenges.
# of people affected
(OCHA April 2015)
# of people targeted out of
# of people targeted
(Source: UNICEF Humanitarian Action for Children 2016)
Funds Received *
USD 7.09 million
*as of 30 April, 2016
Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs
On 22 May, the Israeli authorities announced the lifting of the ban on the import of cement to the Gaza Strip for the private sector. By the end of April 2016, 4,064 homes (about 23 per cent) have been reconstructed or repaired with UN and other international support. Approximately 18,000 homes were destroyed or severely damaged in 2014. The Egyptian-controlled Rafah Crossing continued to be closed during the reporting period, except on 11 and 12 May. At least 30,000 people, including around 9,500 medical cases, and 2,700 students, are registered and waiting to cross, according to the Palestinian authorities.
In East Jerusalem (EJ), the Israeli authorities demolished three Palestinians homes and one praying room, for the stated reason that they did not have Israeli building permits, displacing 26 Palestinians, including nine children. Since the beginning of 2016, a total of 72 structures were demolished in EJ, including three on "punitive grounds". In the West Bank, the number of Palestinian structures that have been demolished or confiscated by Israeli Security Forces in 2016 has increased in trend compared to 2015. To date, at least 900 Palestinians have been displaced. The demolition and removal of water wells, solar panels and animal shelters has impacted the livelihoods of over 2,500 Palestinians.
Humanitarian leadership and coordination
UNICEF, as part of the UN Country Team, coordinates with the Palestinian Government to support its role in humanitarian response, early recovery and reconstruction. UNICEF leads the WASH cluster in close collaboration with the Palestinian Water Authority and co-leads the Education Cluster with Save the Children in Gaza. At the national level, Education Cluster has transitioned to sector working group, Co-Chaired by the Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MOEHE) and UNICEF, responsible for coordinating emergency response. UNICEF also leads the Child Protection Working Group and affiliated groups on Mental Health and Psychosocial Services (MHPSS), and on Monitoring and Reporting of Grave Violations against children (Children and Armed Conflict reporting mechanism). UNICEF co-leads the Nutrition Working Group under the Health Cluster, in close collaboration with the Ministry of Health and WFP, in Gaza and at the national level. UNICEF is leading Cluster transition ing in WASH and Education in the West Bank, through capacity building towards increased Government ownership and more effective coordination.
UNICEF promotes 'resilience-focused development', providing children and families with what they need to be better prepared for and better manage crises, and recover from them more rapidly. It requires addressing the underlying drivers of inequity and fragility that cause grave violations, social deprivation and stresses. It also means bridging the arbitrary divide between development and humanitarian assistance, integrating risk factors into programming, and strengthening systems that can anticipate as well as absorb shocks in the event of conflict, violence or disasters.
In Palestine, UNICEF ensures complementarity with national efforts in the most vulnerable communities, especially in Gaza, Area C of the West Bank and East Jerusalem. UNICEF provides technical expertise and support in strengthening child protection systems and services, including case management and referrals. Monitoring and reporting on grave violations against children informs evidence-based advocacy for improved protection of children, as well as programming. Children crossing checkpoints in the West Bank are protected to ensure safer access to schools. Children affected by conflict benefit from education supplies and remedial learning. Adolescents engage in learning and recreational programmes, to become agents of positive change in communities. UNICEF also supports the rehabilitation of water and sewage systems in affected communities in Gaza and the West Bank. In addition, UNICEF supports the provision of essential and life-saving paediatric medicines and medical consumables; micronutrient supplementation and infant and young child feeding for children and women in Gaza.
Summary Analysis of Programme response Education and Adolescents
In partnership with the international NGOs Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine (EAPPI) and Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT), UNICEF continued to provide protective presence to 4,334 children and 333 teachers on their way to and from school in the West Bank.
In cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MoEHE), UNICEF supported remedial classes in Arabic language and Mathematics in Gaza, benefitting 6,760 students (57% boys and 43% girls) from 113 schools (grade five and 6). UNICEF and the MoEHE prioritized children experiencing learning difficulties and low achievements at school.
Within the Adolescent Development and Participation programme (ADAP), 5,120 adolescents (33% girls) led non-violence campaign activities to raise awareness on prevention and elimination of violence, including bullying, domestic violence, and early child marriage. Anti-violence campaigns took place in Gaza and the West Bank, and included community discussions between adolescents and adults, including sports event.
Following the earlier completion of the Child Protection mapping in seven governorates across Gaza and the West Bank, UNICEF facilitated a two-day planning workshop in Gaza. The technical working group, composed of national child protection experts, both from government and civil society, met and developed a draft action plan to strengthen the social welfare sector to respond to the needs of vulnerable children and families. This will be harmonized with a similar action planning workshop in the West Bank.
In partnership with the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), UNICEF supported a series of trainings towards the roll out of the 'Inter-agency Standard Operating Procedures for Child Protection and Gender Based Violence' case management in Gaza. So far, three Training of Trainers were organized targeting 61 school counselors and their supervisors working in schools in vulnerable areas. At least 125 social workers working with the Ministry of Social Affairs also gained new knowledge.
Data provided by the Working Group on Grave Violations (WGGV) against children documented 516 incidents affecting at least 1,700 children since the beginning of the year.
In Gaza, UNICEF and the Coastal Municipalities Water Utility (CMWU) continued the works to upgrade the Al Zahra sewage pumping station. Due to the temporary suspension of import of the cement, the remaining works will be finalized in January 2017. The pumping station will treat the wastewater for around 10,700 people.
econstruction work continued in three wells in Khan Younis, Maghazi and Dier AlBalah which had been destroyed during the last war in Gaza. In coordination with CMWU, UNICEF suported the installation of the well pumps in Maghazi and Dier AlBalah. The remaining electromechanical works including the activation of generators and connection to the networks in all three locations will be completed by early September 2016.
In Nusseirat and Rafah, UNICEF and CMWU completed approximately 85% of the works for the rehabilitation and upgrading of the water lines and water networks. In May, CMWU installed additonal 1,190 meter pipes. In light of the temporary ban to import cement in Gaza, works will be completed towards the end of July.1 UNICEF coordinated with its partners and national counterparts to identify measures limiting the impact of the ban on the overall WASH planning2.
In the Gaza Strip, UNICEF has nearly completed the construction of a EUR 10 million seawater desalination plant, which will provide over 75,000 Palestinians with safe drinking water in Rafah and Khan Younis3. Since March 2014, UNICEF and its partners, the Palestinian Water Authority and the Coastal Municipalities Water Utilities, have completed the construction of a 2000m3 storage tank for desalinated water, several administrative and operational buildings, power transmission and electrical systems, water distribution and seawater desalination systems based on the reverse osmosis process. The testing is expected to start in June.
In the West Bank, including the North Jordan Valley, UNICEF continued the rehabilitation and extension of the existing water networks. In partnership with the international NGO, Action Contre le Faim (ACF), 95% of the works have been completed. This intervention will provide 2,854 people with increased access to safe water.
UNICEF and the international NGO Gruppo Volontariato Civile (GVC) completed approximately 60% of the rehabilitation and construction works of the water networks in selected communities from Tubas, Jericho, and Bethlehem. This project will benefit 4,200 people living in the communities surrounding the water pipes.
UNICEF continued to provide essential, life-saving supplies to the public health facilities in Gaza and the West Bank. In Gaza, UNICEF supplied 351,440 bottles of normal saline infusion which will serve up to 150,000 women and children under five to the Ministry of Health (MoH). In the West Bank, the Ministry of Health used UNICEF-procured supplies to provide medical treatment to 26,193 of women, including under five children (70% of beneficiaries). In May, 14,341 pregnant and lactating women received micronutrient supplementation at the primary and secondary healthcare level. 2,598 under five children (50% girls) were administered iron drops to prevent anemia.
Within the national breastfeeding promotion programme, 5,516 women in Gaza and the West Bank gained knowledge about breastfeeding and infant young child feeding practices. Paramedical staff working in primary and secondary health facilities conducted counselling sessions. In partnership with the national NGOs Near East Council of Churches (NECC) and Union of Health Workers Committee (UHWC), UNICEF supported postnatal home visits. As a result, skilled midwives provided 688 women with counselling on mother's health.
In collaboration with the Ard El Insan Child Nutrition Centre and NECC, UNICEF provided therapeutic feeding to 429 malnourished children in Gaza. UNICEF distributed additional 168,000 sachets of Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) and 63,900 Plumpy Sup sachets to the Ard El Insan Centre to prevent and reduce the risk of severe acute malnutrition. These supplies will ensure the effective management of 3,200 malnourished children featuring different levels of malnutrition for the next six months.
To strengthen the quality and access of neonatal care, UNICEF supplied the Salfeet and Yatta public hospitals in Gaza with essential medical equipment, including but not limited to: incubators, phototherapy units and transport incubators. The neonatal care units of both hospitals assist an average of 20 new-borns per month.
Communications for Deveiopment (C4D)
A cross-sectoral country-level Communication for Development (C4D) Strategy was finalized in May 2016, with a focus on two priorities: violence against children and Early Childhood Development. In the WASH sector, under the Seawater desalination plant project in Gaza, a specific C4D strategy with defined activities and budget were finalized with the CMWU, who will implement it with UNICEF guidance. The strategy aims at increasing safe handling and water conservation practices, and at raising awareness in relation to quality supply of safe drinking water.
Supply and Logistics
UNICEF SoP completed a supply contingency plan, as part of emergency preparedness. A new warehouse facility with larger storage capacity was secured in Gaza for emergency prepositioned supplies. All Gaza emergency supplies previously kept in Ashdod have been transferred to Gaza. In addition, the validity of the existing long term arrangements for the transportation and delivery of supplies in Gaza has been extended for additional 24 months. A market survey exercise for the expansion of the vendor base and evaluation of existing vendors was concluded. The controls and restrictions on importation of supplies remain one of the key challenges in the supply chain delivery. Supplies perceived to be susceptible for dual use take longer time to secure approvals from the relevant authorities. To date, six water tankering trucks ordered in November 2015 for humanitarian assistance in Gaza are yet to be approved.
Media and External Communication
The impact of the conflict on children continued to be the main focus of advocacy in May. Two Bulletins on Children and Armed Conflict (CAAC) covering grave violations against Palestinian and Israeli children in the second semester of 2015 were released. Local and foreign media wrote about the increasing number of arrest and military detention of Palestinian children, and noted the high number of Palestinian child casualties in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, at the end of 2015. UNICEF briefed Government Officials, EU member states and diplomats on child protection issues, including grave violations against children and restrictions on access to education.
During May 2016, the situation continued to be tense across the State of Palestine, with several demonstrations and clashes, particularly in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The majority of the clashes occurred during demonstrations commemorating the 68th anniversary of the 1948 "Nakba". A 17-year-old Palestinian girl was shot dead by the Israeli Border Police in Jerusalem. Since the beginning of 2016, 52 Palestinian were killed by Israeli forces, compared to 89 in the last quarter of 2015. At least 49 Palestinians, including four children and one woman, were injured by Israeli forces. A total of 22 Palestinian children were killed in the first quarter of 2016, and 25 in the last quarter of 2015 (30 children in total were killed in 2015). In the Israeli-controlled H2 area of Hebron city, a group of Israeli settlers entered a Palestinian house and physically assaulted and injured a 16-year-old Palestinian boy and his father. The situation in Gaza also remained volatile.
Next Sit Rep: 14/7/2016
UNICEF State of Palestine: http://www.unicef.org/oPt/
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UNICEF State of Palestine on Twitter: https://twitter.com/UNICEFpalestine
UNICEF Humanitarian Action for Children 2015: http://www.unicef.org/appeals/state of palestine.html