Question of Palestine home || Permalink || About UNISPAL || Search

Follow UNISPAL RSS Twitter

Source: United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)
25 August 2014

25 August 2014


Situation Overview
Priorities & Messages

Humanitarian space must be guaranteed to carry out life-saving activities, repair critical water networks, remove UXOs and protect children.

Additional fuel is urgently needed to operate backup generators at essential facilities, including water, sanitation and health, for longer hours.

Strengthen response to IDPs in non-UNRWA facilities and with host families.

All parties have obligations under international law to protect children from violence and harm. This includes ensuring humanitarian access and space for essential services to reach the population in need.

Summary Analysis of Programme response

The major escalation in the conflict has resulted in severe restrictions on humanitarian access and emergency response. UNICEF and partners, like many UN agencies and NG0s, are unable to reach many conflict-affected populations due to the risk of harm to humanitarians. The Erez crossing between North Gaza and Israel has been closed intermittently due to heavy fighting, further hampering humanitarian access.

UNICEF's emergency response in Gaza is focusing on supporting conflict-affected populations inside collective shelters and in host communities. In East Jerusalem and the West Bank, UNICEF's support will expand with a focus on families affected by recent violence and hostilities.

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene

Child Protection

UNICEF is supporting partners to monitor and document all child fatalities. Daily reports are produced on killings, injuries and other grave violation against children including age and location analysis.

Emergency psychosocial teams (PCDCR) supported by UNICEF have provided initial psychosocial support to 4,449 children across the Gaza Strip. Other partners have also been conducting psychosocial activities in communal shelters. The formation of child/adolescent friendly areas in shelters is also in process.

Radio spots are aired on radio stations to alert children and their families on the dangers posed by UXOs (up to 1 million people in Gaza have been reached to date). Due to power cuts, UNICEF ensures that all protection partners working in the collective shelters also deliver messaging verbally.

Since 20 July, child protection and psychosocial text messages were sent to 710,000 subscribers of Jawwal in Gaza. The messages include actions that caregiver should take to reduce the vulnerability of children to death and injury, to reduce psychosocial distress and to prevent and respond to child abuse. UNICEF and Jawwal provided a free phone number to call for advice and support (Sawa Helpline 121).

Since 13 July, Sawa Child Protection Helpline has been operating 24/7 with increased capacity to take thirty calls at one time. Since 8 July 2014, Sawa has been able to provide counselling to 2,587 callers from Gaza (North Gaza 178; Gaza City 1508; Middle Area 70; Khan Younis 258; Raffah 533; and 41 non-documented). 589 calls were about concerns about the impact of the conflict on children, and 961 calls were about persistent fear of violence.

Preparations are ongoing for the provision of psychosocial response in schools to take place at the resumption of the school year in close coordination with Education colleagues.

Child Deaths

Between 8 July and 20 August 2014, at least 491 Palestinian children were killed.

207 boys and 184 girls, aged between 10 days and 17 years old.

67%, are 12 years old or younger.

Child casualties far exceed the combined number of children killed in the two previous conflicts in Gaza, which was 350 in 2008-9 and in 35 in 2012.

89 entire families have been killed since the escalation began.

Education and Adolescents

Health & Nutrition

Humanitarian leadership and coordination
  • UNICEF leads the Child Protection Working Group and affiliated groups for mental health and psychosocial sevices (MHPSS), and for monitoring and reporting of grave violations against children (MRM). These groups have been merged to maximise coordination of child protection responses during the emergency.
  • UNICEF continues to lead the WASH cluster and co-lead the Education cluster with Save the Children, both in Gaza and at the national level, with dedicated staff capacity.

Steve Catling, UNICEF Emergency Specialist, State of Palestine Tel: +972 54 778 7608 Email:
Twitter: UNICEFpalestine,

Follow UNISPAL RSS Twitter