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.
Emergency Operations Centres (EOC) have been established in Gaza and Ramallah. The Gaza EOC meets every other day to focus on the emergency response including monitoring visits to collective shelter and conflict affected communities. The EOC also acts as an advocacy platform to raise challenges related to humanitarian access. The EOC Secretariat in Ramallah supports Gaza to provide a coordinated approach to appeals by different Ministries. A more limited coordination group focuses only on IDP needs, in which UNICEF also participates. UNICEF leads the Child Protection Working Group and affiliated groups for mental health and psychosocial (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
The security situation in Gaza remains critical. Humanitarian pauses have not been respected, with extremely heavy clashes in Rafah and around Kerem Shalom over the reporting period with 150 killed in Rafah alone in 1 day. Israeli forces pulled out from Beit Lahiya and announced that population can return, and there are reports of an IDF pull-out from East Khan Younes (Khuza'a). However, the troops remain inside all areas starting from Beit Hanoun, east Jabaliya and east Shajaiya and shelling in Rafah and Shajaiya continues. In the past 24 hours air forces have been active in all areas of Gaza causing injuries and death, situation is fluid.
Humanitarian access is extremely limited due to on-going airstrikes, shelling and missile fire from Israel. 44% of Gaza remains a no-go military operations zone. Some people continue to live there, and much of the essential infrastructure in need of urgent repair (wells and pumping stations) are rendered inaccessible.
In the West Bank and East Jerusalem the situation is becoming increasingly tense. Clashes between Palestinians and Israeli Security Forces occurred in Ramallah, the Old City and Sheikh Jarrah. An Israeli was killed and 5 injured when a Palestinian man drove a tractor into a bus in Jerusalem in what is being reported as a deliberate attack. Shortly after, a motorcyclist opened fire on Mount Scopus next to the Hebrew University injuring one Israeli.
Steve Catling, UNICEF Emergency Specialist, State of Palestine Tel: +972 54 778 7608 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Twitter: UNICEFpalestine, www.facebook.com/unicefstateofpalestine