oPt

Occupied Palestinian Territory (oPt): Response to the escalation in the oPt - Situation Report No. 9 (August 2021)

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HIGHLIGHTS

  • Unrest increases in Gaza, following the resumption of protests near Israel’s perimeter fence around the Gaza Strip.
  • The Israeli authorities have eased some of the fishing, import and other restrictions imposed on Gaza following the escalation in May.
  • In Gaza, about 8,250 internally displaced people (IDPs) remain with host families or in rented accommodation.
  • Israeli forces in the West Bank killed seven Palestinians, including one child, in various incidents. and injured at least 400 others.
  • The humanitarian community has raised US$64.1 million of the $95 million requested in the emergency response plan to support 1.1 million Palestinians for three months.

SITUATION OVERVIEW

Gaza Strip

Tension has increased between Palestinian armed groups and Israel during the reporting period. On 16 August, armed groups launched two rockets from Gaza towards southern Israel, the first since the end of May. The launching of incendiary balloons by armed groups in Gaza has also increased, sparking fires in Israel. On 21 August, perimeter fence around Gaza. This has been followed by another demonstration on 23 August and the resumption of night protests near the fence. A 31-year-old man and a 12-year-old child were killed by Israeli gunfire and over According to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), during the escalation in Gaza in May, 260 Palestinians were killed, including 66 children. It has been assessed that 129 of the fatalities were civilians and 64 were members of armed groups, while the status of the remaining 67 has not been determined. Over 2,200 Palestinians were injured during the hostilities, including 685 children and 480 women, some of whom may suffer a long-term disability requiring rehabilitation.

At the height of the escalation, 113,000 IDPs sought shelter and protection at UNRWA schools or with hosting families. According to the Shelter Cluster, there are still about 8,250 IDPs, primarily those whose houses were destroyed or so severely damaged as to be uninhabitable.

Schools in Gaza and the West Bank reopened for the new school year on 16 August. Education is now taking place face-to-face in all schools, subject to COVID 19 related protocols set by the Ministry of Health (MoH) and Ministry of Education (MoE). In Gaza, pupils of three damaged schools are attending nearby facilities until reconstruction is complete; Education Cluster partners have managed to finish all major rehabilitation work in the other affected schools.

On 19 August, the State of Qatar announced a contribution of US$ 40 million over four months to the United Nations to provide cash assistance to some 100,000 needy families in Gaza; this is in addition to the $ 10 million per month that Qatar provides for fuel to the Gaza Power Plant. The UN Special Coordinator, Tor Wennesland, welcomed Qatar’s contribution as “vital to improving the dire socioeconomic and humanitarian situation in Gaza.”

On 30 August, the Israeli authorities resumed the entry of certain construction materials into Gaza, after a more than three-month ban on such imports for the private sector. This followed the re-entry of construction materials for humanitarian projects the previous week, whose blockage was critical in delaying the reconstruction process. On 1 September, the Israeli authorities further eased some of the restrictions, including expanding the permissible fishing zone along the southern part of the Gaza coast to 15 nautical miles; issuing another 5,000 permits for businessmen to exit Gaza; expanding the operation of Kerem Shalom crossing for the transfer of goods and equipment; and increasing the sale of water to Gaza from 12 to 17 million cubic metres.

The Rafah crossing with Egypt was closed on 23 August for three consecutive days in both directions and in one direction on 26 August, allowing only the entry of stranded Palestinians in Egypt. Rafah has resumed functioning since 29 August, with aid, including food and medicine from Egypt and other countries, continuing to enter through the crossing on most days. Egypt continues to allow commercial supplies, such as food, fuel and construction materials to enter Gaza through the Salah Ad Din gate.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.