Armed hostilities and insecurity escalated in the Gaza Strip between 10–21 May, following increasing tensions between Palestine and Israel reported in the West Bank and East Jerusalem since mid-April. Palestinian armed group Hamas fired rockets into Israel, and Israeli security forces (ISF) responded with airstrikes and shelling on Gaza. Clashes and unrest between Palestinians, ISF, and civilians took place in East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and across Israel (OHCHR 27/05/2021; UNICEF 24/05/2021).
The escalation of hostilities resulted in civilian casualties, displacement, infrastructure damage, and disruption of humanitarian activities and access to basic services on a scale not seen in Gaza since the 2014 war. At least 287 Palestinians have been killed (256 in Gaza and 31 in the West Bank), including around 70 children (OCHA 06/06/2021 a; OCHA 06/06/2021 b). Around 9,464 people have been wounded across Palestine, with the majority in the West Bank (OCHA 27/05/2021 a). In Israel, 13 people have been killed, including two children, and 710 wounded (OCHA 06/06/2021 a). Over 113,000 people were displaced across Gaza. Around 8,500 people remained in displacement with host families as at 03 June (OCHA 06/06/2021 c).
While no further hostilities have been reported in Gaza since the ceasefire on 21 May, protests and tensions continue in East Jerusalem, mostly against forced eviction in Sheikh Jarrah and other Palestinian neighbourhoods. Around 100 Palestinians were injured as a result of ISF’s violent response to protests between 24–31 May (OCHA 04/06/2021). Search and arrest operations and night raids have significantly increased in East Jerusalem, Nablus, Jenin, Hebron, and Bethlehem. Intercommunal violence has also increased, including settler attacks against Palestinians and their property (OCHA 27/05/2021 b).
Humanitarian needs remain critical across Palestine. Acute protection, health, shelter, education, WASH, food, and non-food item needs are particularly high in Gaza, where humanitarian needs were already critical before the most recent round of hostilities (OCHA 27/05/2021 b; OCHA 23/12/2021; OCHA 15/12/2021; OCHA 01/12/2020).
Access constraints such as movement and administrative restrictions, damage to infrastructure and roads, and explosive remnants of war (ERW) contamination hamper needs assessment and assistance delivery. The movement of people, goods, and humanitarian supplies remains extremely limited.