UNICEF State of Palestine Humanitarian Situation Report No. 2 (Gaza Escalation): 18 May 2021

Situation Report
Originally published



  • As of 18 May, sixty-two (62) Palestinian children in Gaza have been reported killed and 444 injured following eight days of intense exchange of rocket fire and airstrikes between Palestinian militants and Israeli Forces. Two Israeli children have been killed and five more injured.

  • Severe unrest in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem has resulted in 3 Palestinian children killed. A total of 223 have been injured in the West Bank and 54 injured in East Jerusalem since 7 May.

  • Hostilities in the Gaza Strip have resulted in the displacement of 72,000 persons, 47,000 of whom are being sheltered in UNRWA schools.

  • A total of 44 schools and 15 health facilities in the Gaza Strip have suffered damage as a result of the intense hostilities.

  • Following the release of pre-positioned medical supplies for 72,000 people in Gaza, UNICEF is urgently procuring additional life-saving medical supplies, including drugs, medical disposables, and lab materials. More supplies are expected to be delivered on 25 May, once the security situation allows.

  • UNICEF has increased the operational hours of the Southern Gaza Seawater Desalination Plant (SGDP) from 4 to 8 hours by operating standby generators to enable water production of 1,500 cubic meters per day for 70,000 people.

  • UNICEF is delivering Child Protection services through a helpline in the West Bank and Gaza which has reached 258 children to date. Procurement of essential education in emergency stationery kits adequate for 30,000 conflict affected children is underway.

  • UNICEF requires an additional US$ 7.71 million for the immediate response and preparedness measures for the escalation in Gaza and the West Bank.

Situation in Number

67 Children killed (65 Palestinian and 2 Israelis)

449 Children injured (444 Palestinians and 5 Israelis)

At least 72,000 displaced seeking shelter in Gaza

49 Educational facilities damaged

15 Health facilities were damaged

Situation Overview and Humanitarian Needs

The heavy bombardment of the Gaza Strip in the past ten days has resulted in significant loss of life, destruction and displacement of thousands of people, half of whom are children. As of today, hostilities have resulted in the internal displacement of 72,000 persons in the Gaza Strip, with 47,000 persons seeking refuge in 58 UNRWA schools organised as Designated Emergency Shelters (DES) and about 25,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in host communities. Since 10 May, 213 Palestinians, including 62 children, 35 women (of whom three pregnant) and 116 men, have been killed in Gaza. Additional injuries are expected from the continued escalation. As of May, two Israeli children have been killed and five injured. The Israel national paramedic service reported that 114 people in Israel were injured by shrapnel and 194 injured while running to shelters (as of 18 May). Verification is underway for other reported violations against children in all affected areas.

Between 7 and 17 May, severe unrest in the West Bank (WB), including East Jerusalem (EJ) has resulted in the death of 3 Palestinian children. The West Bank alone has seen injuries to 223 children by live ammunition, rubber-coated bullets, sound grenades, and tear gas. Children in East Jerusalem have also been impacted by violence and unrest, with 26 children arrested by Israeli authorities, and 54 children injured.

The World Health Organization (WHO) reported damage to 15 health facilities, whilst the Education Cluster has indicated that 49 educational facilities have been damaged due to the aerial bombardment as of 17 May. Three schools are reported to have been damaged inside Israel following rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip. Damage to water and sanitation infrastructure in Gaza has also been reported, limiting the distribution of water and damaging sewage networks. This is of concern both for meeting immediate humanitarian needs and in view of infrastructure investments that will be required to secure water and sanitation provision for the population over the medium and long-term, as a result of the scope of damage.

The current escalation between Israeli Forces (IF) and Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, will undoubtedly lead to long-lasting consequences for children and their families. Violence is also now widespread affecting mixed Arab and Israeli communities inside Israel.