Occupied Palestinian Territory: Gaza Emergency Situation Report (as of 13 July 2014, 1500 hrs)

Report
from UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Published on 13 Jul 2014

Highlights   

• According to preliminary data, at least 168 Palestinians have been killed since 7 July. 80 per cent of the fatalities (133) have been civilians, of whom 21 per cent (36) are children, raising concerns about respect for international humanitarian law.

• Indiscriminate rocket firing by armed groups from Gaza continues to target Israeli population centres, resulting in injuries but no fatalities to date.

• Leaflets were dropped on northern Gaza by the Israeli air force warning residents to evacuate by noon Sunday, ahead of anticipated attacks on rocket launchers in the area.

• US$ 60 million is urgently needed to cover out of stock medical supplies and medical referrals out of Gaza.

• At least 25,000 traumatized children in Gaza are in need of psychosocial support.

168 Palestinians killed, including at least 133 civilians, of whom 36 were children

1,140 Palestinians injured, of whom 296 are children and 233 women

940 Homes destroyed or severely damaged in Gaza

5,600 Palestinians displaced due to damage to their homes

16,000 Additional Palestinians taking shelter in UNRWA schools

32 Fishing boats have been burned, destroyed or partially damaged

Situation Overview

As the Gaza emergency enters its sixth day, the civilian population of the Gaza Strip continues to make up the majority of casualties. According to preliminary data collected by the Protection Cluster, since 7 July , at least 168 Palestinians, including 133 civilians (80 per cent of total fatalities), 26 members of armed groups and nine persons whose status could not be verified have been killed by Israeli air, naval and ground strikes in Gaza. An estimated 36 children and 26 women are among the fatalities.2 According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, 1,140 Palestinians including 296 children and 233 women have also been injured. These figures, along with reports about the circumstances of some incidents, where civilians or civilian objects have been directly hit by Israeli fire(see below for incidents during the period), while there was allegedly no rocket fire or armed group activity in the close vicinity, have raised concerns about the respect for the principles of distinction, proportionality and precaution in attack under international humanitarian law.

Indiscriminate rocket firing by armed groups in Gaza at Israeli localities continued with Israeli media reporting that approximately 1,500 rockets have been fired at Israel since the beginning of the emergencys. A barrage of rockets targeted the Tel Aviv metropolitan area on Saturday evening but all were intercepted by the Iron Dome system. A rocket which struck Ashkelon on Sunday afternoon reportedly wounded two Israelis. Overnight, Israeli forces also briefly entered Gaza from the sea, reportedly to attack a rocket launching site, in the first recorded ground incident occurring on land.

The targeting of Palestinian residential properties, some of which are the homes of alleged members of armed groups, continued. The number of homes destroyed or severely damaged by Israeli attacks since the start of the emergency has reached 940, bringing the estimated number of people displaced in these incidents to 5,600.

In the most serious incident overnight, an Israeli airstrike targeted a house east of Gaza city. According to initial information, 18 persons including six children and three women, one of them pregnant, were killed, and 16 others injured including the Director General of the Gaza police, reportedly the intended target who was visiting his relatives at the time.

Injury to utility workers is also of increasing concern. An employee of the Coastal Municipalities Water Utility (CMWU) was hit by an Israeli airstrike in Rafah and sustained serious injury today; two CMWU workers and a child were reportedly killed in similar circumstances on 11 July. Consequently, the CMWU has announced that they have suspended routine operations due to increased security risks and the alleged targeting of their technicians. Only critical facilities, particularly wells, easily accessible by technicians will be operated. As a result, over 1/3 of the population of Gaza may not have access to potable water. While damaged electricity lines resulting in major power outages have reportedly been repaired, electricity in the northern Gaza Strip is still interrupted as a result of additional lines being struck in recent days. According to the Ministry of Health, to date, eight health facilities and four ambulances have been damaged. One medical doctor has died and 19 health personnel have been injured due to airstrikes.

Leaflets were dropped on northern Gaza by the Israeli air force warning residents to evacuate by noon Sunday, ahead of anticipated attacks on rocket launchers in the area. Approximately 16,000 people are now taking shelter in UNRWA schools in the northern Gaza area.
The Erez passenger crossing remained closed today, except for the evacuation of Gazans holding dual nationality, some 530 of whom left Gaza today, along with a number of medical cases. The Kerem Shalom commercial crossing also remained closed and the Rafah border crossing with Egypt was open for the evacuation of a limited number of wounded Palestinians.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:

To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit http://unocha.org/.