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Source: Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
14 August 2014





This report is produced by OCHA oPt in collaboration with humanitarian partners. This report covers the period from 13 August (0800 hrs) to 14 August (0800 hrs). The next report will be issued on 15 August.

Highlights











Situation Overview

The 72-hour ceasefire, which expired at midnight on Wednesday, has been extended for an additional 120 hours until midnight, 18 August. The ceasefire is holding despite incidents recorded on either side of the deadline, while negotiations continue in Cairo between the parties towards reaching a permanent ceasefire.

An unexploded bomb left over from the recent military operations in Gaza detonated in Beit Lahiya yesterday morning, killing six people, including three members of the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) police, an Italian journalist and his interpreter. Six persons were injured, including members of the EOD police. The incident underlines the threat which thousands of explosive remnants of war (ERW) dispersed throughout civilian areas pose to children, farmers, humanitarian workers and IDPs returning home. UN premises have also been contaminated by ERW. The UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS) has so far cleared 27 UNRWA installations, and provided risk education for 26,000 people and 123 humanitarian workers. A lasting ceasefire, however, is required to undertake unexploded ordnance clearance, damage assessments and repair work to damaged educational facilities, as well as preparation for the new school year.

Hostilities and casualties

According to initial figures, five rockets were fired from Gaza towards Israel and seven airstrikes were conducted by Israeli forces on Gaza in the past 24 hours; no casualties or damage to property were recorded. Since the last update, the Protection Cluster has recorded a further eight fatalities; including five adults and one child who were killed in earlier incidents but had not yet been recorded, and two who died from injuries sustained earlier. According to initial reports, three of the eight were members of armed groups, two were civilians, and the status of the other three is still unknown.

This brings the cumulative death toll among Palestinians since 7 July to at least 1,973, according to preliminary data collected by the Protection Cluster from various sources, including 327 persons who could not be yet identified or their status established. Of the initially verified cases, 1,416 are believed to be civilians, including 459 children and 238 women, and 230 members of armed groups. The fatalities recorded yesterday have not yet been included in the cumulative figures.

According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, as of 17:00 on 10 August, 9,986 Palestinians, including 3,009 children and 359 elderly, have been injured.

Since 8 July, three civilians in Israel have been killed, including one foreign national, and dozens directly injured by rockets or shrapnel. The total number of Israeli military fatalities stands at 64.

Displacement

The number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in emergency shelters has declined with the extension of the ceasefire. As of yesterday afternoon, there were 209,459 hosted in 87 designated UNRWA schools and 15,400 in seven government shelters supported by UNRWA. Nearly 115,000 IDPs residing with host families have been registered and reached by various shelter partners.

UNRWA's hygiene and water campaign for shelters was launched on 10 August, involving the dissemination of information on water conservation, appropriate hygiene practices and treatment of scabies and lice, although surveillance so far shows no disease outbreaks and no evidence of malnutrition.

UNRWA has started to distribute maternity packages to mothers who have given birth during the current hostilities, and who are registered as IDPs in its shelters across the Gaza Strip. Mental health services and post-natal care especially for breast-feeding mothers have been raised as concerns requiring special attention among displaced persons.

Infrastructure and services

The extended ceasefire has allowed for ongoing assessment of the massive infrastructure damage suffered since 7 July. It is estimated that 8,832 housing units have been totally destroyed, requiring reconstruction, and 7,960 have been severely damaged and are uninhabitable until major repairs can take place. Another 5,635 housing units have suffered major damage but are still inhabitable in part, while 33,625 have suffered minor damage.

A total of 230 schools (90 UNRWA and 140 government-run) have sustained some degree of damage, including 25 schools entirely destroyed or severely damaged. These facilities will not be usable in time for the new school year, which will not start on 24 August as scheduled.

As of 12 August, 15 clinics remained closed (6 Ministry of Health (MoH), seven UNRWA and two NGO) of the 88 clinics monitored by WHO (53 MoH, 21 UNRWA and 14 NGO). Seven closed due to damage and eight others were closed due to their location in insecure areas. A total of 43 clinics have incurred damage since 7 July.

Health Update

Hospitals continue to require steady access to adequate amounts of fuel, pharmaceuticals and medical supplies, including spare parts for medical equipment. The MoH Central Drug Store reported on 14 August that drug stock levels were maintained from June levels, improving one per cent for drug stocks and improving two per cent for medical disposables from June levels. In July, 27 per cent of essential medicines and 52 per cent of medical disposables were at zero stock, as incoming medical supplies were balanced by a high rate of consumption - times the usual monthly rate - especially in emergency medicine.

The extended ceasefire has also enabled the (MoH) to increase the referral of casualty patients to outside hospitals, especially to Turkey and East Jerusalem hospitals, which has reduced bed occupancy in surgical wards in Gaza from more than 100 percent to 80 percent, helping to improve quality care. On Wednesday, 18 injured Palestinians were transferred from Gaza to Ben-Gurion Airport by Israeli ambulances, from where they were medically evacuated by a Turkish aircraft to Ankara.

A total of 93 specialist physicians and nurses have entered Gaza on short missions since 7 July from the (MoH) in the West Bank (45), Palestinian and Arab physicians' groups (25) and international humanitarian agencies (23). A second medical delegation of specialist physicians and nurses from the MoH in the West Bank entered Gaza on 6 August. The latest delegation was a five-member surgical team from MAP-UK which entered Gaza on 12 August.

Key humanitarian priorities

Humanitarian space: access for humanitarian workers to carry out life-saving activities should be maintained, among other reasons, to complete search and rescue operations in several areas, and repair critical water and electricity infrastructure. Removal of the threat of numerous UXO in built up areas is vital.

Joint needs assessments First phase initial rapid needs assessment was launched yesterday to inform responses by humanitarian organizations. The second phase will start on Monday dependent on the ceasefire holding.

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

Strengthen response to IDPs: improving priority response to IDPs in non-UNRWA facilities and with host families; ensuring common standards of response to IDPs throughout the Gaza strip, including comprehensive and common registration.

Erez: Open for movement during normal working hours on 12 and 13 August (08:00-16:00).
Belt Hanoun (Arba-Arba): Operational.
Kerem Shalom: Open as per its regular operating hours. On 12 August, a total of 270 truckloads of mostly food and medicine entered.
Rafah: Open from 09:00 to 15:00. No goods entered on 13 August
.

Humanitarian needs and response

Field teams and humanitarian partners are in the field carrying out assessments today. Updated information on needs and response will be included tomorrow.

General Coordination

The joint rapid needs assessment, led by the EOC in Gaza which started on13 August, continued today, following preparations in the past days, including liaison with relevant government counterparts, the allocation of cluster representatives to various teams, and the conduct of relevant trainings. Various technical authorities have committed their support. The assessment will take place in two phases: an overview at the governorate level, followed by an assessment at the municipality and refugee camp level starting on Monday, with the aim of covering 19 of the 25 municipalities and eight refugee camps on the first day. Data collected will be entered on tablets and linked directly to a database. The information will be subsequently validated and analysed, before it is disseminated. Protection and gender concerns have been integrated throughout the process as have questions on the information needs of affected communities.

Since its activation, the Logistics Cluster has facilitated the transportation of over 1,200 pallets of humanitarian relief supplies via 47 trucks from the West Bank on behalf of 17 humanitarian organisations for distribution within the Gaza Strip.

Funding

Based on available information, funding to the Gaza Crisis Appeal stands at $114 million, of this $96 million is for UNRWA, $16.5 million for WFP and $1 5 million (reported) for others which are mainly for Food, leaving large gaps to respond in other critical sectors such as Health, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, Education and Shelter and Non Food Items. Many key UN and NGOs partners identified for the Gaza response have received little to no funding to date for their projects in the Crisis Appeal The Crisis Appeal is available online at www.ochaopt.org.

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. To date, eleven project proposals were approved for a total of US$ 2.6 million Further funding for the ERF is still being sought.

UN humanitarian agencies, in cooperation with NGO partners are in the process of 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, maes@un.org, +972 592 911 047
Ray Dolphin, Analysis, Communications and Protection Unit, OCHA oPt, dolphin@un.org, +972 54 331 1827

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

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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