Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT): Response to the escalation in the OPT – Situation report n ° 2: May 28 – June 3, 2021 – Occupied Palestinian Territory
In Gaza, the ceasefire holds: 8,500 internally displaced people remain with host families and in two UNRWA schools.
Repairs are underway, but damage to basic infrastructure and utilities is limiting the supply of electricity and running water.
Clashes between Palestinians and Israeli forces continued in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, killing two Palestinians.
The Emergency Response Plan requires US $ 95 million to meet the needs of 1.1 million Palestinians over a three-month period.
No serious incidents have been reported since the ceasefire entered into force on May 21. According to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), during the escalation, 256 Palestinians, including 66 children and 40 women were killed in Gaza, of whom 128 are believed to be civilians, 62 members of armed groups and 66 are undetermined. About 245 of them, including 63 children and 40 women, were apparently killed by Israeli forces.
Nearly 2,000 Palestinians were injured during hostilities in Gaza, including more than 600 children and 400 women, some of whom may suffer from long-term disabilities requiring rehabilitation. Gaza’s health system, already overwhelmed by chronic drug shortages, inadequate equipment and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, is now struggling to meet the needs of those injured during hostilities.
At the height of the escalation, 113,000 internally displaced people sought refuge and protection in UNRWA schools or in host communities. There are still around 8,500 displaced people, including 235 in two UNRWA schools, mainly those whose homes have been destroyed or damaged to the point of uninhabitable. According to local authorities, more than 2,300 homes have been destroyed or severely damaged.
An estimated 16,250 housing units were damaged to some extent, as were several water and sanitation facilities and infrastructure, 58 educational institutions, nine hospitals and 19 primary health care centers. Of particular concern are the nearly 600,000 school-aged children whose education was suspended during hostilities, having already been repeatedly interrupted due to public safety restrictions linked to COVID-19.
Damage to infrastructure has exacerbated Gaza’s chronic infrastructure and electricity deficits, leading to a decline in drinking water and wastewater treatment, with an estimated 400,000 people still having irregular access to running water. Damaged power lines have been repaired, but daily power cuts of 9-10 hours a day continue across Gaza. The Ministry of Public Works and Housing estimates that up to 300,000 tonnes of rubble was generated as a result of the escalation: some 35 specialized vehicles were due to enter Gaza from Egypt on June 4 to help with the removal rubble.