ACAPS Thematic Report: Palestine - Humanitarian needs after the escalation of hostilities in the Gaza Strip - September 2021, 05 October 2021

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Four months after the escalation of hostilities in the Gaza Strip, humanitarian needs remain, and reconstruction efforts are stalled. The consequences of the violence in May have further deteriorated the already poor humanitarian conditions faced by the Palestinian population across Gaza and the West Bank, including pre-existing movement restrictions, administrative and physical barriers to accessing basic services, the destruction and confiscation of homes and assets, as well as increasing poverty and unemployment rates (OCHA 28/07/2021; World Bank 06/07/2021). 1.3 million people, including 611,000 children, have experienced additional challenges in accessing basic services, such as water and healthcare, as a result of the conflict escalation in May (UNICEF accessed 21/09/2021).
Background: rising tensions and violence between in the West Bank and East Jerusalem in April led to an escalation of hostilities from 10–21 May, with Palestinian armed group Hamas firing rockets into Israel, and the Israeli army carrying out airstrikes and artillery attacks in densely populated civilian areas of the Gaza Strip (OHCHR 27/05/2021; Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor 01/09/2021). During the escalation, 260 Palestinians, including 66 children, were killed and thousands of houses, livelihood structures, and critical infrastructure were destroyed (OCHA 08/09/2021 and 06/06/2021; Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor 01/09/2021). In the West Bank, 26 Palestinians were killed in protests during the escalation, and about 6,900 people were injured. Hamas rockets killed 13 people in Israel, including two children, and damage to civilian infrastructure and houses was reported (OCHA 04/06/2021;
OHCHR 29/07/2021). The conflict escalation was prompted by a series of events that occurred in East Jerusalem in April and May. A violent police response to Palestinians protesting against forced evictions in Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood, as well as the use of force against worshippers at Al-Aqsa Mosque and in the Damascus Gate area triggered the unrest that culminated in the escalation (ICG 14/05/2021).