The period between the 10th and the 21st May 2021 marked one the most severe escalation in hostilities between Palestinian armed groups in Gaza and Israel Army Forces, not witnessed since 2014. The ceasefire came into force at 2:00 am on Friday the 21st of May and was celebrated across the West Bank and Gaza. We World followed closely the unfolding of the events and welcomed the announcement of the ceasefire, yet stressed the need to “[...] ensure that all parties strictly adhere to International Humanitarian Law (IHL), including the principles of distinction, proportionality and the taking of precautions in attack”.
At the time of writing, the truce has been respected by all parties. Israel has conducted 1.500 air, land and sea strikes over Gaza while armed groups in Gaza targeted Israel with 4.000 rockets and mortars. The population in Gaza lacks a warning and defense system, as well as safe shelters vis-à-vis the highly performative Iron-Dome Israeli defence system.
As of the 22nd of May, 242 persons are reported dead in the Gaza Strip. Among those victims, 66 children and 38 women(4 of which were pregnant).Total reported injuries are 1.948 (610 children, 398 women). The already compromised humanitarian situation in Gaza dramatically worsened as a result of the latest escalation, with severe damage caused to homes, the supply of basic services and infrastructure (including main roads, hospitals, schools etc.), along with over 77,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).
In Israel, 12 casualties in total have been reported as a consequence of the missile strikes, including 2 children and 5 women. Homes, livelihoods and infrastructure were also damaged.
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