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OPT: Situation Report on the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip No.13

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The following information is based on reports from member states, the UN Country Team for the occupied Palestinian territory, humanitarian partners and authorities involved in the humanitarian response.

1. General Overview

1. A unilateral ceasefire in Gaza was declared by Israel at 0200 hrs (0000 hrs GMT) on 18 January. Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) troops remain inside Gaza, but have withdrawn from some of the most populated areas, including Al Zaitoun, Beit Lahiya, and Beit Hanoun. Israel stated that it will not fully withdraw forces until there is a cessation of rocket fire into Israel from Palestine.

2. Limited violence, including Israeli bombardment and rocket fire from Palestine into Israel continued until the afternoon (local time) on 18 January. As at 1600 hrs (1400 hrs GMT), seventeen rockets were fired into Israel from Palestine on 18 January. At 1600 hrs (1400 hrs GMT) on 18 January, Hamas announced a week-long ceasefire, during which they said the IDF is to leave Gaza

3. The UN Secretary General stated that he was, "relieved that the Israeli Government has decided to cease hostilities…and that Hamas must stop firing rockets". He urged that the ceasefire be the first step toward establishing a durable and sustainable ceasefire leading to the full withdrawal of Israeli troops from Gaza, as called for by Security Council resolution 1860. He also stressed that urgent access for the people of Gaza is the immediate priority, and that the UN is ready to support these efforts.

4. On 17 January a UN Relief and World Agency (UNRWA) school was shelled. Two children were killed in the attack and fourteen were injured. The school was functioning as an emergency shelter at the time it was hit, and was hosting 1,600 people. The UN Secretary General condemned the incident as "outrageous" and, "strongly demanded a thorough investigation into these incidents, and the punishment of those who are responsible for these appalling acts."

5. To better establish the immediate humanitarian and early recovery needs, planning is underway to conduct an inter-agency assessment in Gaza, followed by sector-specific assessments, as the security situation permits.

6. Casualty figures:

Total # since 27 December
# / percent of total that are children since 27 December
# / percent of total that are women since 27 December
Palestinian Fatalities*
1,300
410 / 32 percent
104 / 8 percent
Palestinians Injured*
5,300
1,855 / 35 percent
795 / 15 percent
Israeli Fatalities**
13
Unknown
Unknown
Israelis Injured***
84
Unknown
Unknown

* According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health (MoH), as of 1600 hrs (1400 hrs GMT) 18 January, not including those treated for shock.
**According to Israeli Police Spokesman and Magen David Adom.
*** According to Magen David Adom, not including those treated for shock.

UN Casualties in Gaza since 27 December
Fatalities
Injured
UNRWA Staff
5
5
UNRWA Contractors
3
4
WFP Contractors
1
2
TOTAL
9
13
Humanitarian Installations/Convoys
# hit in Gaza since 27 December
UN Buildings
50
UN Compounds
1
NGO Installations
1
NGO Compounds
To be confirmed
Convoys
4

7. On 16 January, Foreign Minister Livni signed a Memorandum of Understanding with US Secretary of State under which the US and NATO will aid in countering the smuggling of weapons into Gaza. The Egyptian Foreign Minister stated that Egypt would not be bound by a US-Israeli Memorandum of Understanding.

Disclaimer

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