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Source: Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
29 July 2014




This report is produced by OCHA oPt in collaboration with humanitarian partners. It covers the period from 27 July (1500 hrs) to 28 July (1500 hrs). The next report will be issued on 29 July.

Highlights


Latest developments: 17:00. Ten Palestinian children were reportedly killed when a missile struck a park in Beach Camp. Mortars fired from Gaza killed four Israelis, reportedly soldiers and wounded several others in southern Israel.

22:00. Notices were distributed to Beit Hanoun and all areas in northern Gaza to the east of the three km "buffer zone", to evacuate to Gaza city. Evacuation notices were also distributed in eastern Gaza city earlier in the day.

24.00: It was also reported that evacuation notices were sent to Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza.










Situation Overview

The Gaza emergency entered its twenty-first day with a marked reduction in hostilities overnight, which coincided with the beginning of the Eid al Fitr holiday. The relative calm amid intensified international diplomatic efforts, including at the UN

Excludes individuals whose bodies were recovered during the pause but not yet identified. Data on fatalities and destruction of property is consolidated by the Protection and Shelter clusters based on preliminary information, and is subject to change based on further verifications.

Security Council, raised hopes for a more comprehensive ceasefire. However, rocket firing into Israel and Israeli strikes at targets in Gaza resumed throughout the morning and afternoon, intensifying in the evening.

Let me begin by reinforcing last night;s call of the Security Council, calling for an immediate, unconditional humanitarian ceasefire. As the world marks Eid al-Fitr, it is time for an immediate, unconditional humanitarian ceasefire. In the name of humanity, the violence must stop.
Remarks of Secretary-General at Press Encounter, 28 July 2014.

Hostilities and casualties

Since the last situation update, 46 persons have reportedly been killed and the bodies of 28 were retrieved or identified, including at least ten children and six women. During the 12-hour humanitarian pause on 26 July, over 100 bodies of Palestinians were reportedly retrieved from various areas within the Israeli declared three-km-wide "buffer-zone" along the fence with Israel, of which a total of 84 have now been identified, while others are still pending identification according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.

From 7 July to 14.00 today, according to preliminary data collected by the Protection Cluster from various sources, Israeli air, naval and ground strikes in Gaza have killed at least 1,065 Palestinians. This includes at least 795 civilians (75 per cent of total fatalities); including 229 children and 118 women, 178 members of armed groups and 91 persons whose status is yet unknown. According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, 6,233 Palestinians, including 1,949 children and 1,169 women, had been injured as at 12.00 a.m. on 27 July.

With hundreds of Palestinians already killed in Gaza and horrifying levels of physical destruction, [the Secretary-General] urges those responsible to step back from provoking or inflicting yet more tragic violence on civilians there.
Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General on the situation in Gaza, 28 July 2014

Indiscriminate firing by Palestinian armed groups in Gaza into southern and central Israel stopped overnight but resumed this morning, with most falling in open areas or intercepted by the Iron Dome system, resulting in no additional civilian fatalities during the reporting period. Since 8 July, three civilians in Israel have been killed, including one foreign national, and a few dozen directly injured by rockets or shrapnel. One Israeli soldier was killed in the reporting period, bringing to 44 the number of Israeli military fatalities since the beginning of the ground offensive on 17 July.

Displacement

Overall, during the reporting period approximately 6,000 more people have sought refuge at UNRWA schools operating as emergency shelters, which are now hosting 178,992 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in 82 schools. That is over 10 per cent of the total Gazan population and more than triple those sheltered by UNRWA at the peak of the three-week long Israeli Operation "Cast Lead" in 2008/09. An average of 2,000 IDPs are taking refuge in each of the 82 UNRWA shelters, schools which normally have the capacity to accommodate only 500 people, and have not been designed as living spaces. Shelters are under great pressure, without adequate water sanitation and hygiene (WASH) infrastructure in place. In order to maintain minimum standards of health and hygiene, UNRWA is sending additional supplies of cleaning products to shelters as well as putting in place plans to prevent health epidemics, such as scabies and head lice. The end of the fasting month of Ramadan is also expected to place increased pressure on UNRWA;s food and water supplies.

It is estimated that another 10,000 IDPs are residing in 13 government schools and public buildings. This is in addition to the approximately 22,000 individuals who have been displaced, and are hosted by friends or relatives as destruction or damage to their homes has rendered them uninhabitable. It remains unknown how many people who have fled the conflict are staying with host families, but it is estimated that this number ranges in the tens of thousands.

Key humanitarian priorities

Protection of civilians• ensuring respect for the IHL principles of distinction, proportionality and precaution in attack.

Humanitarian space: increased access for humanitarian workers to carry out life-saving activities, for example, through regular and meaningful humanitarian pauses or corridors for the evacuation of the injured. This is needed among other reasons, to complete search and rescue operations in several areas, and repair critical water and electricity infrastructure.

Scale up response to IDPs: additional shelters are needed to reduce overcrowding and accommodate new IDPs, alongside the replenishment of food, water, and NFI stocks. Assistance for IDPs living with host families also needs to be increased, particularly the provision of NFIs and water.

Update on Gaza Crossings:
Erez: On 28 July, the crossing was open as per its regular schedule, from 08:30-16:00 for pre-coordinated movement only.
Beit Hanoun (Arba-Arba): Closed until further notice but still accessible.
Kerem Shalom: The crossing was open on 28 July as per its regular operation hours. On 27 July, 94 truckloads of mostly food, medicine and NFIs entered Gaza through Kerem Shalom, in addition to diesel, fuel and cooking gas.
Rafah: Open today from 9:00-15:00 for medical evacuations. A minimum of 27 injured Palestinians exited Gaza through Rafah over the past two days.

Humanitarian needs and response

Protection

Needs


Response
Gaps and Constraints
Shelter and Non-Food Items (NFI)

Needs


Response
Gaps and Constraints
Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)

Needs


Response
Gaps and constraints
Health and Nutrition

Needs


Response
Gaps and constraints
Food Security

Needs


Response
Gaps and Constraints
IEducation

Needs


Response

NTR

Gaps & Constraints


General Coordination

The Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) continues its daily meetings, focusing primarily on the coordination of the IDP response and challenges related to humanitarian space. Some EOC members also carried out monitoring visits to hospitals and government school shelters. Most EOC members used the humanitarian pause to pre-position supplies, reach previously inaccessible areas and conduct rapid assessments and monitoring visits. The EOC Secretariat met in Ramallah to discuss a coordinated approach to appeals by different Ministries. OCHA discussed the preparation of the HCT Gaza Crisis Appeal with MOPAD. The Launching of the humanitarian appeal is scheduled for 1 August, in Ramallah

OCHA, UNRWA, Ministry of Social Affairs (MoSA), Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MoEHE), Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PCRS) and Internal Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) continue the coordination of opening up additional government schools for IDP shelters.

Funding

A number of bilateral contributions have already been received from donors who have provided funding for urgent needs in the most critical sectors. Based on latest cluster/sector analysis, it is estimated that US $69 million is now needed for immediate assistance in Gaza, excluding UNRWA;s requirements. Some clusters have also made a latest estimate so far of up to US $220 million that is needed for medium term interventions once the security situation permits. The Humanitarian Country Team has begun development of a dedicated Gaza Crisis Appeal which will be finalized by 1 August to address urgent humanitarian needs resulting from the conflict. The appeal once fmalized will supersede earlier HCT estimates.

UNRWA has issued its own emergency flash appeal which was revised up to US $115 million this week. The amount requested will help UNRWA respond to the urgent needs of the currently, 159,000 IDPs taking shelter in its facilities, while replenishing emergency supplies and preparing for vital interventions necessary after a cessation of military activities.

The 2014 Strategic Response Plan (SRP) for the oPt has received US$ 170 million (43 per cent) out of a total request of US$ 390 million Nearly 90 per cent of 1.9 million vulnerable people targeted in the SRP are in Gaza. Gaza-specific projects have received 32 per cent of their requested funding.

The Emergency Response Fund (ERF) is an additional mechanism available to fund interventions in Gaza through rapid and flexible support to affected civilian populations. The ERF has begun processing project applications in regards to the Gaza emergency. Thus far, two ACF project proposals, (totaling US$ 368,624) to distribute NFI and water storage tanks to 1,475 households in Gaza, are being processed. Three additional proposals were approved today: support for the emergency needs of neonatal units in Gaza hospitals by procurement of essential drugs and disposables submitted by Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP), the provision of food packages and hygiene kits to IDPs hosted in Shelters in Rafah and Khan Yunis by Dan Church Aid; and for the management of ERW to reduce the risk posed to civilians by UNMASt. A number of donors have come forward with expressions of interest or pledges for the ERF including Denmark, Ireland, Sweden, and Switzerland, as well as Italy, which is a new donor set to come on board. Further funding for the ERF is still being sought.

UN humanitarian agencies, in cooperation with NGO partners are fmalizing an application to the CERF Rapid Response window covering urgent needs in food assistance, psychosocial support, WASH, rubble removal and critical drugs.





Background to the crisis

On 7 July 2014, the Israeli army launched a large military operation in the Gaza Strip, codenamed "Protective Edge", with the stated objective of stopping Palestinian rocket firing at southern Israel and destroying the military infrastructure of Hamas and other armed groups.

This development marked the collapse of the Egyptian-brokered ceasefire understanding reached between Israel and Hamas in November 2012, which has been gradually undermined since December 2013. The latest escalation round started in early June, characterized by an intensification of Israeli airstrikes and rockets launched from Gaza at southern Israel. Tensions further increased following the abduction and killing of three Israeli youths in the southern West Bank, on 12 June, which the Israeli government attributed to Hamas. Overall, in the period leading up to the start of the current operation a total of 15 Palestinians, including one civilian, were killed, and another 58 others, mostly civilians, injured, as a result of Israeli airstrikes in the Gaza Strip; seven Israelis, five of whom were civilians, were injured due to rocket fire.

The current crisis comes against a backdrop of heightened vulnerability and instability. Unemployment increased dramatically since mid-2013, following a halt of the illegal tunnel trade, exacerbating the impact of the Israeli blockade in place since June 2007. Additionally, former de facto government employees, including the security forces, have not been paid salaries regularly since August 2013 and no salaries at all since April 2014. Delivery of basic services has been also undermined due to an ongoing energy crisis, involving power outages of 12 hours per day.

For further information, please contact:
Katleen Maes, Head of the humanitarian Emergency Operations Center in Gaza, nnaes@un.org, +972 59 291 1047
Yehezkel Lein, Head of Analysis, Communications and Protection Unit, OCHA oPt, lein@un.org, +972 54 331 1809

For media enquiries, please contact:
Hayat Abu-Saleh, Communications and Information Analyst, OCHA oPt, abusaleh@un.org, +972 (0) 54 3311816 For more information, please visit www.ochaopt.org

Endnote
1Data on fatalities and destruction of property is consolidated by the Protection and Shelter clusters based on preliminary information, and is subject to change based on further verifications.


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