Occupied Palestinian Territory (oPt): Response to the escalation in the oPt - Situation Report No. 10 (September 2021)

Situation Report
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  • The ceasefire in Gaza is largely holding, and the Israeli authorities have eased more of the 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 ten Palestinians, including one child, in various incidents during September 2021.
  • The humanitarian community has raised US$66.7 million of the $95 million requested in the emergency response plan to support 1.1 million Palestinians for three months.

Situation overview

Gaza Strip

The May 2021 ceasefire continues to largely hold, with the protests near the perimeter fence around Gaza, which began in August, suspended since 2 September. A Palestinian man was killed by Israeli gunfire near the fence on 1 September, bringing to three the number of Palestinians killed in the protests overall, with over 130 injured; an Israeli soldier was also fatally injured by Palestinian gunfire. Between 10 and 13 September, Palestinian armed groups launched four rockets from Gaza towards southern Israel, which were intercepted, causing some light injuries in Israel. Israeli forces struck positions reportedly belong to armed groups and open fields, causing damage to a house, a farm, and the armed groups’ positions. On other occasions, Palestinian armed groups launched incendiary balloons reportedly sparking three fires in Israel. One Palestinian in Gaza was also shot and killed by Israeli forces on 30 September in the Deir al Balah area, while reportedly hunting birds near the Israeli perimeter fence around Gaza.

According to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), during the escalation in Gaza in May, 261 Palestinians were killed, including 67 children. It has been assessed that 130 of the fatalities were civilians and 64 were members of armed groups, while the status of the remaining 67 has not been determined. Over 2,210 Palestinians were injured during the hostilities, including 685 children and 480 women, some of whom may suffer a long-term disability requiring rehabilitation. Thirteen people in Israel, including one soldier, were killed by Palestinian rocket fire.

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.

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 some thousands of permits for businessmen to exit Gaza; and expanding the operation of Kerem Shalom crossing for the transfer of goods and equipment. In September, steel bars entered Gaza through Israel for the first time since 2014, outside of the Gaza Reconstruction Mechanism (GRM).

On 13 September, for the first time since the May escalation, the disbursement of the Qatari financial assistance to poor families resumed in Gaza through a UN implemented mechanism, targeting 100,000 families. Each of the selected families will receive $100.00 per month until the end of the year.

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