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Source: United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)
9 August 2014


9 August 2014/ Issue No. 32

Update 16.30hrs

With the resumption of hostilities, 238,097 IDPs are currently seeking a safe space in 90 UNRWA schools. A new shelter was opened in the Middle Area (Maghazi).



Past 24 hours: In a statement, the UN Secretary-General expressed his deep disappointment that the parties were unable to agree to an extension of the ceasefire in their talks in Cairo. He condemned the renewed rocket fire towards Israel, stating that more suffering and death of civilians caught up in this conflict was intolerable.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said in a statement to the media(link is external): "We have not yet received a document with the Israeli answer to our demands. Just yesterday, we received a memorandum of understanding from the Egyptian side, and this document did not respond to any of our requests - the airport, the sea port, the buffer zone, the expansion of the fishing area, etc. There was also no explicit mention of the lifting of the siege. (…) We think Israel is dragging its feet. They did not respond to our demands and has not done a thing to show that there is a reason to extend the cease-fire. Now all options are open. (…) However, the door to continued conversations is not closed. The decision to comply with our requirements is in Israeli hands."


Sanitation is among the crucial services UNRWA provides to Palestine refugees in Gaza. UNRWA employs almost 730 sanitation laborers, including more than 450 Palestinians under the Agency’s Job Creation Programme. They are responsible for cleaning the streets and alleyways in 8 refugee camps, removing hundreds of tonnes of garbage per day and maintaining a healthy living environment in the camps.

Khalil Balata, living in the Beach refugee camp in Gaza, is one of them. Khalil and his family had to evacuate their home due to heavy bombings in their area. He is committed to fulfilling his duties as best as possible, even during these difficult times. Khalil believes that, despite the grave situation and danger facing him on the streets during the conflict, and his family's fear for his life and their own, he has to continue working. “Keeping the camps clean is important. Otherwise there is potential for disease to spread in the area. As sanitation laborers we do all we can to keep the area clean and our people safe from health issues," said Khalil.

One of Khalil’s colleagues is Mohammed Saeed Aaraisha who lives with his family of ten in Beach refugee camp as well. Mohammed's house sustained damages due to the bombing of a neighboring home. His children were injured. Mohammed continues to work as much as security allows, despite the imminent danger. "I leave my family ever day to go to work despite the situation. I remind myself that my people need me too. I can't leave them in such a time of crisis."


Reportedly, there were 71 rockets and 11 mortar shells fired towards Israel. There were also reports that 107 air-to-ground missiles were fired into Gaza in addition to 5 navy shells. 25 tank shells were fired into populated areas. Reportedly, 14 houses were bombarded.


UNRWA estimates that 97 installations have been damaged since 8 July 2014. Data on damage to UNRWA installations is based on preliminary information and subject to change based on further verification.


More information on the revised flash appeal can be found here.


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