A heavy artillery exchange occurred last week between Hamas and Israeli military forces along the Gaza border, leading to a ceasefire brokered by Egypt. In Iraq, anti-regime protests in Basrah and Thi-Qar governorates escalated in scale and violence, spreading to other areas of the country including the capital Baghdad. In Yemen, UAE-backed and Saudi-led soldiers fought with Houthi militiamen in the Hudaydah and Sadah governorates, while a rare clash between the local Islamic State (IS) and Al-Qaeda factions occurred in Al-Qassim governorate.
Gaza city, 17 July 2018
Today, the Humanitarian Coordinator for the occupied Palestinian territory, Mr. Jamie McGoldrick, visited the Gaza Strip and called for urgent measures to prevent further deterioration in the humanitarian situation there, following intensified movement restrictions.
Gaza, 17 July 2018 – Against the backdrop of rapidly rising tension, violence, poverty and alarming unemployment rates reaching 60%, the United Nations is moving urgently to create employment opportunities and develop economic recovery initiatives for youth and women in the Gaza Strip.
July 17th, 2018 ― Doha: Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRCS) has delivered two fully-equipped ambulance vehicles to the ambulance center of the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) in Al-Quds.
With 14 standard ambulance vehicles, the ambulance center is the PRCS's largest in the city.
This donation will enhance the capacity of the center to respond to medical emergencies in Al-Quds and other Palestinian cities, where these facilities are much needed. Every month, the center serves up to 650 cases.
Half way through 2018, and due to its determined resource mobilization efforts, UNRWA has succeeded to maintain its operations across five fields and to reduce the initial budget shortfall of US$ 446 million by US$ 238 million. This brings the total remaining shortfall down to US$ 217 million. This shortfall is still far higher than any UNRWA has ever faced in its history, and while resource mobilization efforts continue, with the current cash flow forecast, the continuity of UNRWA operations will be at serious risk in August.
At dawntime on Saturday, 14 July 2018, Israeli military aircraft launched about 40 airstrikes on different parts in the Gaza Strip. Israeli warplanes launched about 85 missiles on security sites, residential areas, and empty fields. Artillery shells were fired in several areas east of the Gaza Strip. In these attacks, two children were killed and 28 were wounded, including two other children and a woman. The attacks spread fear and panic among the population.
On 13 July 2018, the 16th Friday of the demonstrations, Israeli forces opened fire at Palestinian protesters along the fence between Israel and the Gaza Strip. One child was killed, and at least 112 were injured, including 25 children, six women, two journalists, and three paramedics. Of the injured, 65 were hit by live fire, and three are in critical condition.
Gaza, 15 July 2018
Welcome everyone and thank you very much for coming here.
As I’m sure you will all agree, over the last few months the situation in Gaza deteriorated rapidly. This was the combination of three factors:
First is the humanitarian factor. People’s life has become more difficult as people have limited money, the economy has collapsed, electricity and water are scarce.
We cannot stand idle when we see 2 million Palestinians in Gaza living in such terrible conditions as they do now.
Gaza's armed groups have reportedly agreed a truce with Israel following a surge in cross-border violence. An Israeli military spokesman said its actions would be decided by what happens on the ground.
Islamic Jihad and Hamas said late Saturday that a ceasefire, brokered by Egypt and the UN, had been reached with Israel following a surge in violence on both sides of the Israel-Gaza border.
An Israeli defense official declined to comment on the reported ceasefire, but indicated that Israel's actions would depend on what happens on the ground.
July 12, 2018. On Monday, in a sweeping measure of collective punishment that calls to mind the days of outright economic warfare on Gaza’s civilian population, Israel announced that it will place severe restrictions on the entry of goods through Kerem Shalom, Gaza’s main crossing for movement of goods in and out of the Strip. The exit of goods from Gaza destined for the West Bank, Israel or abroad has been banned altogether.
A 15-year-old died Friday in Gaza during Palestinian clashes with Israeli forces along the Gaza border.
The Gaza Health Ministry reported Friday that the Palestinian teenager was killed during clashes that also saw 25 people injured. The death brings to 136 the number of protest deaths on the border since weekly clashes began March 30.
The demonstrators have been launching kites and balloons equipped to spark blazes on the Israeli side of the border.
GENEVA (13 July 2018) – A UN human rights expert has called on Israel to reverse its decision to close the Kerem Shalom/Karm Abu Salem commercial crossing into Gaza.
The Israeli decision, announced on 9 July, prohibits the import of everything but food, animal fodder, livestock, fuels and medical supplies into Gaza, and bans all export from Gaza. Israel imposed these new restrictions in response to burning kites being sent by Palestinians into southern Israel from Gaza.
UNRWA school teacher Abdul-Rahman Hamdan has dedicated his spare time to improving classroom accessibility for his students with disabilities at the UNRWA Nuseirat School in Gaza. Together with his colleague Mr. Shaher Yaghi Hamdan, the school’s special education needs supervisor, he uses pieces of broken chairs, desks, and car seats to build new disability friendly desks and seating for his students with disabilities.
According to the World Health Organization 15 percent of people are living with a disability. Some 795,000 Palestine refugees with a disability are registered with UNRWA. Protracted displacement facing Palestine refugees exacerbates the vulnerability and potential exclusion of persons with disabilities from basic services due to economic hardship.
The Gaza Strip faces an unprecedented humanitarian crisis, impacting the livelihoods and provision of essential services to Gaza’s two million residents. This crisis has been driven by over 11 years of an Israeli blockade and an unsolved internal Palestinian divide, exacerbated since 30 March 2018 by the massive increase in Palestinian casualties in the context of mass demonstrations taking place near Israel’s perimeter fence.
At 11:30am on Tuesday, 10 July 2018, a humanitarian boat carrying patients and other Palestinians needing to travel sailed from Gaza seaport into the Mediterranean in a challenge to Israel’s 11 year-long blockade. The Commission of Great March of Return and the National Movement to Break the Siege had previously announced their preparation of the fleet, calling it the Freedom and Anti-Blockade Fleet - 2. Onboard were nine Palestinians: four patients and one patient companion, two students, and two ship members.
As of the 11th July 12:00, the latest figures provided by the Ministry of Health (MoH) indicate that 2 Palestinians were killed, including 1 child and 570 were injured by Israeli forces from 3rd to the 11th July, as a result of the mass demonstrations.
Out of the 570 injuries, 249 required transfer to the MoH hospitals or to NGO clinics including 56 children, and 49 females. From the hospitalized injuries, 7 cases were critically life-threatening, 90 moderate, 145 mild, and the remaining 7 were unspecified cases.
The seven-year conflict in Syria has left its mark on the entire country, but for Palestine refugees, already one of the most vulnerable groups in society, before the conflict, have been amongst the worst affected. Many Palestine refugee children have lost their homes and in some cases a family member as well. Many have experienced displacement, trauma, intense fear and disruption to their normal lives. "The psychological effects of the prolonged Syrian conflict have been devastating for many of those affected. Children are especially vulnerable.