LUISTER NAAR DE JOODSE STEMMEN OVER

DE ISRAELISCHE MEGA-MISDRIJVEN TEGEN

HET INTERNATIONAAL HUMANITAIR RECHT

JEGENS DE PALESTIJNEN !

THE JEWISH VOICE FOR PEACE - JVP

  LEES "THE WIRE" !

BERICHTEN NA 31-1-2024 STAAN HIER

Aaron Bushnell, een 25-jarige soldaat bij de Amerikaanse luchtmacht, stierf zondag 25 februari 2024 nadat hij zichzelf in brand had gestoken voor de Israëlische ambassade in Washington DC uit protest tegen de genocidale aanval van Israël op Gaza.

The black dress: inveiling the truth about rape, sexual assault

 

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=The+black+dress%3A+inveiling+the+truth+about+rape%2C+sexual+assault

 

29 februari 2024

Michigan’s primary shows Biden is courting political suicide.

In the days leading up to Tuesday’s Democratic primary in Michigan, President Joe Biden’s White House and reelection campaign were reportedly “freaking out” about the grassroots push to protest his handling of the Israel-Gaza conflict by getting voters to check “uncommitted” on the ballot. With the votes now cast and tallied up, it’s easy to see why.

The result is both a breathtaking organizing achievement and a testament to Democratic voters’ near-unprecedented discontent with their own president.

29 februari 2024

Tell President Biden. We don’t want our tax dollars funding these atrocities any longer

This morning, 147 days into the relentless genocide in Gaza, heartbreaking news emerged of a devastating attack southwest of Gaza City. As starving Palestinians approached a delivery of food aid, primarily flour, the Israeli army opened fire on the crowd of hundreds, killing over 100 Palestinians and injuring roughly 750 others. Reportedly, Israeli tanks then ran over many bodies of the deceased. These individuals were simply seeking food aid to sustain their families amidst the Israeli-made famine gripping the besieged Gaza Strip.

The sheer magnitude of this tragedy serves as a chilling reminder of the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Gaza, which demands our unwavering attention and action.

TAKE ACTION

It is imperative that we maintain our political pressure on elected leaders, particularly in light of the active complicity of the U.S. in the atrocities unfolding in Gaza. We bear a moral obligation to persist in holding our government accountable for its role in these grave injustices.

Thank you for your steadfast commitment to the cause of Palestine. Your continued advocacy makes a difference in the fight for justice and dignity.

29 februari 2024

TARGETING THE SPONSORS OF GENOCIDE.

More than 100,000 “Uncommitted” votes were cast on Tuesday in the Michigan Democratic primary, a clear message to the Biden campaign that voters in November will not ignore his support for the Israeli government’s genocide of Palestinians.

As Michigan Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib pointed out, 74% of Democrats in Michigan support a ceasefire. Why would they vote for someone who is using their tax dollars to fund the mass murder and displacement of Palestinians?

Michigan is a critical swing state for Biden in November’s election. Arab and Muslim organizers in Michigan hoped at least 10,000 Uncommitted votes would be cast in Tuesday’s primary — a result exceeded more than ten times over.

This campaign is not only another point of pressure to push for a ceasefire, but also a way to ring the alarm bells, proving to the Biden campaign that his support for genocide is an unforgivable position among Michigan voters. In 2016, Trump won Michigan by less than 11,000 votes...

THE PEOPLE ARE TAKING D.C.

March 7 in Washington, D.C. for the People’s State of the Union, a mass rally where we will bring the will of the majority of the American people, who want an immediate ceasefire, to the streets.

 

TELL META: DON'T CENSOR JUSTICE FOR PALESTINE.

One of the world’s biggest social media companies is trying to further silence Palestinians and anyone critical of the Israeli government.

WHAT WE'RE READING

“It is not easy to start life again away from a homeland that you love,” writes JVP member Alison Glick of devastation and home in Gaza for Mondoweiss.

29 februari 2024

Hostilities in the Gaza Strip and Israel
Flash Update #129

Amid a serious risk of starvation, desperation and scarcity have led to a near total breakdown in civil order. Palestinians taking supplies from the back of a truck in northern Gaza, 25 February 2024. Photo by OCHA

Key Highlights

 

  • The Ministry of Health (MoH) in Gaza reports that more than 100 Palestinians were killed on 29 February; according to media sources, the incident occurred when thousands of Palestinians reportedly gathered around trucks carrying supplies.
  • The reported death toll among Palestinians in the Gaza Strip since the onset of hostilities has surpassed 30,000.
  • UN officials are warning of an impending famine in Gaza; MoH in Gaza reports that six infants have died as a result of malnutrition and dehydration.
  • A Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) medical point in Jabalya, in northern Gaza, is receiving a daily average of 100-150 cases of Hepatitis A.
  • A Palestinian child is killed in Beit Furik village in Nablus, bringing the death toll in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, to 406 Palestinians, including 103 children, since 7 October.

Gaza Strip Updates

 

  • Intense Israeli bombardment from air, land and sea continues to be reported across much of the Gaza Strip, resulting in further civilian casualties, displacement, and destruction of civilian infrastructure. Ground operations and heavy fighting between Israeli forces and Palestinian armed groups also continue to be reported, particularly in northern Gaza, Deir al Balah, and Khan Younis.
  • Between the afternoon of 28 February and 11:30 on 29 February, according to the Ministry of Health (MoH) in Gaza, 81 Palestinians were killed, and 132 Palestinians were injured. Between 7 October 2023 and 11:30 on 29 February 2024, at least 30,035 Palestinians were killed in Gaza and 70,457 Palestinians were injured, according to MoH in Gaza. Separately, MoH reported that 104 Palestinians have been killed and 760 were injured in the early morning hours of 29 February on Al Rashid Road south of Gaza city, warning that the actual death toll is likely to be higher as medical teams are struggling to handle the situation with limited critical care resources. The incident occurred as thousands of Palestinians reportedly gathered around trucks carrying supplies when they were allegedly hit by artillery shells and gunfire, according to initial media reports. The Israeli military, cited by the media, has reportedly acknowledged shooting by its troops, and has also said that most casualties occurred as a result of congestion and incidents of people being run over by trucks.
  • Between the afternoons of 28 and 29 February, there were no Israeli soldiers reported killed in Gaza. As of 29 February, 240 soldiers have been killed and 1,431 soldiers injured in Gaza since the beginning of the ground operation, according to the Israeli military. In addition, over 1,200 Israelis and foreign nationals have been killed in Israel, the vast majority on 7 October. As of 29 February, the Israeli authorities estimate that 134 Israelis and foreign nationals remain captive in Gaza, including fatalities whose bodies remain withheld in Gaza.
  • In two separate incidents on 26 February, UNRWA reports that internally displaced persons (IDPs), including UNRWA staff, sheltering at two schools in Khan Younis were forced to evacuate and some were arrested by Israeli forces. One of the schools reportedly had the main gate, guard room, and generator damaged by Israeli tanks and bulldozers. One female IDP was reportedly killed during this incident – the circumstances are unclear at time of this writing. As of 28 February, according to UNRWA, at least 404 IDPs have been killed, and 1,385 others have been injured, in more than 330 incidents affecting UNRWA premises and shelters hosting IDPs since the escalation of hostilities in October.
  • The risk of death from starvation in Gaza is reportedly growing, disproportionately affecting children and pregnant women, and is exacerbated by inadequate water, sanitation and health services, the severing of power and fuel supplies, and the decimation of food production and agriculture. MoH in Gaza reported that six infants have died as a result of malnutrition and dehydration, including two at Shifa Hospital on 28 February. A rise in anemia among pregnant women was also reported at Project HOPE’s clinic in Deir al Balah, where some 21 per cent of 416 pregnant women who visited the clinic between 5 and 24 February showed signs of malnutrition “caused by the lack of protein, iron, and other micronutrients, which can increase the risk of a life-threatening postpartum hemorrhage, premature births, and low birth weight.” According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the entire food supply chain in Gaza has been severely disrupted with 97 per cent of ground water reportedly unfit for human consumption, about 27 per cent of greenhouses destroyed, more than 40 per cent of croplands and dozens of home barns, broiler farms and sheep farms damaged, more than 600 agricultural wells damaged, and the fishing sector grounded to a halt. On 28 February, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) highlighted that the significant damage incurred by the agricultural sector in Gaza combined with limited commercial food imports have led to food scarcity and soaring prices at a time when people’s purchasing power has declined. To prevent starvation in Gaza, the two aid organizations emphasized the criticality of safe and unimpeded aid flow via all possible routes, reactivating essential services in Gaza, and upscaling aid responses toward the early restoration of agrifood systems.
  • Citing the danger of a “looming man-made famine,” UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini stated that the Agency has been unable able to deliver food to northern Gaza since late January due to security incidents affecting the few aid convoys that are permitted to reach northern Gaza from the south via Israeli military checkpoints, and growing incidents of chaos and robbery. On 20 February, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) announced that it had paused deliveries of food aid to northern Gaza, following incidents where WFP convoys were unable to deliver aid largely due to a breakdown in civil order. The convoys had resumed on 18 February after a three-week suspension following a strike on an UNRWA truck and due to the absence of a functioning humanitarian notification system. In his address to the UN Security Council on 27 February, Ramesh Rajasingham, the Director of OCHA’s Coordination Division cited the warning by food security experts of “complete agricultural collapse in northern Gaza by May if conditions persist, with fields and productive assets damaged, destroyed, or inaccessible.” Reiterating the UN call for a ceasefire, Mr. Rajasingham cautioned that “if nothing is done, we fear widespread famine in Gaza is almost inevitable.”
  • The health care system in Gaza is struggling to remain functional, amid severe shortages of fuel and medications, spread of infectious diseases, and access constraints. On 28 February, MoH in Gaza reported that Kamal Adwan Hospital in northern Gaza, has been rendered out of service due to the lack of electricity and fuel for its generator. According to UNICEF, Kamal Adwan Hospital is the primary hospital serving children and offering maternal health services in northern Gaza, and has been severely damaged amidst increased hostilities. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in the area, including IDPs, also continue to face rising food insecurity, overcrowding, and lack of clean water. PRCS reports that their medical point in Jabalya, in northern Gaza, which is managed by the association’s volunteers, has been receiving an average of 100-150 cases of Hepatitis A per day as well as many cases of infectious skin diseases.

West Bank Updates

 

  • On 29 February, Israeli forces shot and killed a 17-year-old Palestinian child during a search-and-arrest operation in Beit Furik village in Nablus that involved clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinian stone throwers.
  • On 29 February, a Palestinian man died of injuries sustained on 19 October 2023 during an Israeli military operation in Nur Shams Refugee Camp near Tulkarm city, which resulted in the killing of 13 other Palestinians, including the man’s 12-year-old son.
  • Since 7 October 2023, 406 Palestinians have been killed, including 103 children, and 4,606 Palestinians have been injured, including 709 children, in conflict-related incidents across the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Israel. Since the beginning of the year, 93 Palestinians have been killed, including 26 in refugee camps. During the same period, 13 Israelis, including four members of Israeli forces, were killed and 86 injured in conflict-related incidents in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Israel.
  • On 28 February, the Israeli authorities demolished three homes in Al Walaja village in Bethlehem due to the lack of Israeli-issued building permits, displacing three families comprising 16 people, including six children. Since 7 October 2023, 592 people, including 282 children, have been displaced in Area C and East Jerusalem, after their homes were demolished due to the lack of Israeli-issued building permits, which are almost impossible to obtain.
  • Since 7 October 2023, OCHA has recorded 601 Israeli settler attacks against Palestinians that resulted in Palestinian casualties (53 incidents), damage to Palestinian-owned property (481 incidents), or both casualties and damage to property (67 incidents).
  • Movement restrictions affecting an estimated 7,000 residents of H2 area in Hebron continue to be in place since 7 October, with checkpoints that control access to the area only open for Palestinian pedestrians between 7:00 and 19:00. Residents have also reported facing restrictions while moving between neighbourhoods within the H2 area.

Humanitarian Needs and Response Updates | 20–26 February

Health

Needs

  • There is a crucial need to expand primary healthcare services within informal shelters; enhance routine immunization coverage; deliver medication for non-communicable diseases; extend sexual and reproductive health services; establish additional field hospitals in various locations across the Gaza Strip; ensure the availability of laboratory equipment, reagents and blood products.
  • Following two reported cases of death among children due to Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) stemming from inadequate food supplies, there is an urgent need to access northern Gaza to deliver food and establish SAM stabilization centres along with outpatient therapeutic feeding programmes.

Response

  • Between 12 and 18 February, 45 health cluster partners delivered primary and secondary healthcare services across Gaza, reaching 124,800 people.
  • WHO, in collaboration with OCHA and PRCS, led missions to Nasser Medical Complex, Al-Amal, and European Gaza hospitals to evacuate critical patients to the International Medical Corps (IMC), United Arab Emirates, and Indonesian field hospitals as well as Al Aqsa Hospital. The team also prepositioned medicines, medical supplies, and fuel and provided hot meals and water.
  • With the support of WHO, the IMC field hospital increased its bed capacity from 98 to 150.
  • UNFPA and WHO have successfully identified and deployed 72 midwives across various shelters and at designated medical points to provide services for spontaneous vaginal deliveries, antenatal care and family planning.
  • Medical Global, with WHO’s support, established a SAM stabilization centre in Tell As Sultan primary healthcare centre in Rafah with a capacity of five beds. Additionally, preparation for a training session for 32 healthcare workers on the management of SAM cases with medical complications is underway.

Challenges

  • Shortages of fuel, food, medicine, and medical supplies at hospitals in northern Gaza and lack of access to the area.
  • Continued hostilities in Khan Younis pose significant barriers to accessing healthcare.
  • Following the strike on MSF’s guest house on 20 February, intensified efforts to ensure the safety of humanitarian guest houses throughout Gaza are urgently needed.
  • The increase of bloody and watery diarrhea can be directly attributed to the lack of safe drinking water, posing a significant public health challenge.
  • The absence of segregated sanitation facilities and electricity within shelters presents a considerable safety risk, depriving women and girls of secure environments and thereby increasing their vulnerability to sexual violence.

Nutrition

 

Needs

  • A new report by the Global Nutrition Cluster highlights a steep rise in malnutrition among children and pregnant and breastfeeding women in the Gaza strip.
  • Sustained collaboration with partners is needed to enhance their capacity in various nutrition response areas, including Mid-Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC) screening capacity, identifying cases of Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) and Moderate Acute Malnutrition (MAM), and facilitating treatment using simplified protocols.
  • There is a crucial need to expand MUAC screening into northern Gaza, where the situation is deteriorating rapidly and there is limited capacity.
  • Continued distributions of supplementary nutrition food and blanket supplementary food to those in need to prevent malnutrition.

Response

  • Five implementing partners continue conducting screenings for malnutrition among children aged 6 to 59 months, using MUAC measurements in shelters and health facilities. In total, 10,963 children aged 6-59 months underwent MUAC screening. Children with SAM and MAM are receiving treatment through the simplified treatment protocol.

Challenges

  • Restricted access to northern Gaza significantly contributes to insufficient humanitarian aid delivery, leading to concerns about food insecurity and the possibility of widespread starvation and fatalities due to hunger.

Food Security

 

Needs

  • The food security situation continues to be extremely critical across Gaza, particularly in northern Gaza, with people reportedly feeding their children animal fodder. Vulnerable segments of the population, including children, the elderly and people with underlying health conditions, are particularly exposed to the risk of malnutrition and famine.
  • The food security situation in the Middle Area and southern governorates is also critical, with most of the population queuing for hours to receive food when trucks manage to enter. In Rafah, the situation is increasingly concerning, with growing reports of people stopping aid trucks to take food and eat it immediately.
  • There is an urgent need to increase the fleet of delivery trucks.
  • There is an urgent need to import the agricultural inputs necessary for reactivating domestic production of essential fresh foods like eggs, vegetables, meat, fish and milk to ensure the availability of a balanced nutrition.
  • There is a need to establish secure and uninterrupted humanitarian corridors, with the support of the private sector and a focus on critical resources like fuel and cooking gas.

Response

  • Between 19 and 25 February, a total of 18 partners engaged in providing food assistance across the Gaza Strip, reaching around 1.7 million people with food assistance at least once. Rafah Governorate received about 45 per cent of the total food assistance, followed by Deir al Balah (24 per cent), Khan Younis (15 per cent), and northern Gaza Strip (15 per cent).

Challenges

  • Operating partners are reporting a lack of food to distribute, and some are reporting that existing stocks will last for only two days.
  • The large number of people reached with hot meals is still insufficient to meet daily nutritional requirements.
  • Ongoing airstrikes and heavy fighting in Gaza continue to affect the flow of food, posing challenges for the conduct of safe and efficient humanitarian operations. Frequent border closures, restrictions, and security concerns hinder the delivery of a consistent and dependable food supply.
  • Rafah crossing is now working at a reduced rate and Karem Shalom is encountering closure due to Israeli demonstrators preventing trucks from entering. The humanitarian community is engaging with all relevant stakeholders to address this issue.

Protection

Needs

  • Identification, tracing and reunification as well as interim and alternative care arrangements are critically needed for unaccompanied, previously detained and separated children. UNICEF estimates that some 17,000 children are unaccompanied or separated.
  • Provision of MHPSS, including psychological first aid (PFA) and specialized counselling, and winter clothing and blankets are urgently needed for children and newborn babies.   
  • Re-establishment of emergency Gender-Based Violence (GBV) services and referral pathways, including health services for GBV survivors, Clinical Management of Rape (CMR), MHPSS, as well as safe spaces and shelters are needed.
  • There is a need for a continuous pipeline to distribute dignity kits and Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) supplies for over 690,000 menstruating women and girls.
  • A comprehensive Humanitarian Mine Action (HMA) response is needed given the likely scale of Explosive Ordnance (EO) contamination despite the absence of formal large-scale assessments of contamination levels.
  • There is a need for deployment of Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) operators to conduct explosive hazard assessments of safe sites for humanitarian response, in addition to training for humanitarian workers and messaging tailored to different groups on Explosive Ordnance Risk Education (EORE) and Conflict Preparedness and Protection (CPP). 
  • Victim Assistance (VA) services for survivors of shelling and explosive ordnance-related accidents are also needed.

Response

  • Child Protection partners have reached 267,511 boys and girls and 27,307 women and men through awareness-raising interventions, MHPSS, identification and registration of unaccompanied and separated children, and distribution of clothing kits.
  • GBV sub-cluster partners have provided 26,800* women and girls with 104,320 packs of sanitary napkins, which is sufficient to cover needs for the next 3 months, as well as a total of 3,500 Dignity Kits and 8,926 MHM kits.
  • GBV responders are conducting procurement and distribution of CMR kits, and identification of health service points to provide CMR.
  • Partners are exploring ways to establish emergency safe spaces, to provide PFA and recreational activities for vulnerable women and girls. Partners continue to expand PFA services for vulnerable groups, including GBV survivors, through frontline responders.
  • Mine Action (MA) partners are actively engaged in carrying out Explosive Threat Assessments to the prioritized humanitarian sectors, delivering EORE and CPP sessions, producing educational materials, conducting digital campaigns, Radio and SMS campaigns, tailoring them to people with disability needs, and exploring partnerships with local organizations to enhance their reach and impact.
  • To ensure a well-coordinated effort, the MA sub-cluster has now established active bi-weekly technical working groups on EORE-CPP, GIS, and will soon initiate an explosive ordnance disposal forum for Gaza.*

Challenges

  • Difficulties in providing sufficient urgent and safe alternative temporary care arrangements for unaccompanied children, especially adolescents, due to physically and resource-exhausted families and communities, extreme overcrowding and continuous insecurity.
  • Limited access prevents the provision of critical protection services to thousands of affected people.
  • Obtaining authorization to deploy MA personnel, especially EOD operators for EO contamination assessments; restrictions on importing essential humanitarian mine action supplies; and unreliable communication systems that interfere with EORE, messaging, and coordination activities.

Logistics

 

Response

  • Storage and transport capacity inside Gaza remains challenging with ongoing assessments for identification of additional storage options. The Cluster continues to facilitate access to temporary storage, transport, and cargo notification transshipment services. 
  • The Logistics Cluster delivered an online training on the Service Request Forms (SRF), for storage and transport bringing together 79 participants. 
  • IMPACCT Working Group and the Logistics Cluster organized an information session with UN agencies on customs clearance challenges in Jordan. A second session with International NGOs is already planned for the following week. 
  • The Logistics Cluster common service provision in Port Said, Egypt will be discontinued at the end of February as storage is not identified as current gap. Assessment of logistics gaps and needs remains ongoing. 
  • As of 25 February 2024, the Logistics Cluster received for storage 6,251 m3 of cargo on behalf of 17 organisations in Gaza in total, and so far supported 21 organisations with cargo notification services in Rafah. 
  • The last convoy of 23 trucks from Amman – King Hussein Bridge - Gaza departed on 14 February, and it took nine days to reach Rafah due to protests in Nitzana—upcoming convoy date to be shared. So far, through Jordan corridor, the Logistics Cluster facilitated partners` access to the inter-agency convoy, transporting a total of 3,596 mt of relief items on 267 trucks on behalf of six partners, taking the King Hussein Bridge route. 

Challenges and Gaps

  • The storage and transport capacity inside Gaza remains challenging with ongoing assessments for identification of additional storage options. The Logistics Cluster continues facilitating access to temporary storage, transport, and cargo notification transshipment services. 
  • The Logistics Cluster is collecting the pipeline for incoming cargo through the Egypt and Jordan corridors for the coming three months. This is a vital exercise for operational planning, understanding the resources available and allocating based on the prioritization list. Partners have received a dedicated form for their organisation via email and are requested to update it every Sunday. Partners who have not received the form can reach out to palestine.logcluster@wfp.org.

Emergency Telecommunications

 

Needs

  • There is an urgent need for independent communication platforms for responders in Gaza to coordinate emergency response and deliver aid, amid ongoing communication blackouts and unreliable/intermittent access to telecommunication services.
  • There is a crucial need to import all essential satellite-based communications equipment (sat phones, data solutions), Security Communications Systems (VHF Radios and networks), and power solutions (solar power solutions, generators).

Response

  • Since its establishment, the ETC has been engaging with the Israeli authorities to obtain authorization to import all essential telecommunications equipment into Gaza and provide independent access to communications for humanitarian responders.
  • The ETC has been supporting humanitarian agencies in Gaza with Information and Communication Technology (ICT) assessments, technical advice and information, repairs, and guidance on the use of ICT equipment. Since 9 January, the ETC has conducted 16 ICT assessments in 13 locations in Rafah, and supported 17 humanitarian agencies with ICT repairs, technical advice, and guidance on the use of ICT equipment to maximize the available telecommunications resources on the ground.
  • For more information on ETC activities, please visit: Palestine: Conflict | Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (ETC) (etcluster.org).

Challenges

  • Limited access to electricity, fuel, and telecommunications services continues to impede the humanitarian response in Gaza.
  • The process of importing telecommunications equipment into Gaza remains lengthy and extremely challenging.

Multi-Purpose Cash Assistance (MPCA)

 

Response

  • Between 19 and 25 February, 27,028 households received one round of emergency MPCA. Cash out operations are concentrated in the governorates south of Wadi Gaza, with the majority being reported in Rafah. As of 25 January, one round of emergency MPCA was delivered to some 160,000 households, a top-up was delivered to 35,000 people (including people with disabilities and nursing mothers), and over 16,000 households have received a second round.
  • Since 7 October, some 116,000 households have cashed out their assistance, and about 5,400 payments have been cancelled after not being cashed out for months mainly due to the lack of connectivity and available agents (especially north of Wadi Gaza). Provided assistance falls well short of need given market collapse and price volatility.
  • Based on the last post-distribution monitoring data (PDM) collected between mid-January and mid-February, food remains the most purchased item with humanitarian cash (80 per cent), followed by medicines (39 per cent), water (23 per cent), hygiene bedding (10 per cent), and transportation. PDM data show that cash remains a relevant modality of assistance which can be used by recipients to access goods and services that remain available.

Challenges

  • Poor electricity supply and connectivity is affecting the ability of financial service providers to make cash accessible, compromising the encashment of the MPCA package.
  • Since late December, commercial trucks have sporadically entered Gaza, with 830 trucks recorded as of 26 February. Informal markets are the primary source of accessible goods, which complicates efforts to track distributions and gather market data.

Funding

 

  • The Flash Appeal for the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), which requests US$1.2 billion to meet critical needs of 2.7 million people across the oPt (2.2 million in the Gaza Strip and 500,000 in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem), was extended through the end of March 2024. As of 26 February, member states disbursed nearly $907 million against the updated Flash Appeal (74 per cent); this includes about $616 million out of $629 million (98 per cent) requested for October-December 2023 and $291 million out of $600 million (48 per cent) requested for January-March 2024. For funding analysis, please see the Flash Appeal Financial Tracking dashboard.
  • The occupied Palestinian territory Humanitarian Fund (oPt HF) and the Central Emergency Relief Fund (CERF) are currently funding more than 94 ongoing projects in the Gaza Strip to meet urgent humanitarian needs, notwithstanding constraints on the entry and delivery of aid into and within the Gaza Strip. These interventions, totalling about $88 million, address needs in the areas of food security, shelter, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), health and protection. Since October 7, the oPt HF has received a total of $88 million in contributions from member states and private donors. Private donations are collected directly through the Humanitarian Fund.

29 februari 2024

Today's headlines

Israeli forces massacre civilians waiting for humanitarian aid

Israeli tanks and warplanes reportedly targeted civilians waiting for aid, killing at least 77 and wounding hundreds. Meanwhile, international aid groups say airdrops of aid are so “negligible” that they “perpetuate the overall blockade strategy.”

More than 100,000 people vote ‘uncommitted’ in Michigan primary over Biden Gaza policy

President Joe Biden predictably won Michigan Democratic primary, but more than 100,000 people voted “uncommitted” over the administration’s policy in Gaza.

PBS and NPR leave out key facts in their Israel stories

Pundits and reporters in the mainstream media have a double standard when it comes to Israel and all but lie about apartheid, Jewish nationalism, and the role of the Israel lobby.

29 februari 2024

This year’s Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) will be the most important since IAW was launched 20 years ago!
 
Israel’s genocide in Gaza has killed nearly 30,000 people in the last months, including 12,000+ children. The entire population of 2.3 million of Palestinians is facing starvation and possible famine according to UN agencies, and 1.2 million who have sought refuge in overcrowded Rafah are being relentlessly bombed in Israel’s attempt to ethnic cleanse the area.
 
Israel is blatantly violating the World Court’s orders to stop all genocidal acts.
 
Every day of impunity granted to apartheid Israel brings further devastating consequences to Indigenous Palestinians and to what’s left of international law’s credibility.
   
This IAW, let’s prioritize actions aimed at stopping Israel’s Gaza genocide and taking meaningful steps towards ending complicity in apartheid and supporting the ongoing Palestinian struggle to dismantle it.

      

    From March 1st to 31st, let’s March for Palestine!
     
    Let’s build actions to effectively challenge the system of military relations, funding, propaganda, diplomatic shielding, repression, and whitewashing that enables Israel to continue exterminating Palestinians and wiping our cities, villages, and refugee camps off the map.
     
    Let’s build campaign milestones and mobilize for new BDS campaigns. Organize an Apartheid Free Zone (AFZ) or an Apartheid Free Community (US) during this month of March. Convince your city council/trade union/cultural or academic institution to call for an immediate and permanent ceasefire and lifting the siege and to cut existing complicit ties with apartheid Israel during this month of March.

    28 februari 2024

    28 februari 2024

    Join Eyewitness Palestine on Wednesday, March 6th at 12PM ET for our Youth of Balata Refugee Camp webinar, featuring Fayez Arafat, Director of the Yaffa Cultural Center in Balta Refugee Camp. The Yaffa Cultural Center is the only center serving as a safe haven for the children in a camp of over 30,000 people. We'll learn about the children's programs in the Center and the struggles of life in Balata Camp from several speakers who work in the Center.

     

    Participation in this event is free as Eyewitness Palestine is seeking to highlight voices in Palestine as broadly as possible.

    REGISTER FOR YOUTH OF BALATA CAMP WEBINAR

    In solidarity and toward a liberated Palestine,

    Eyewitness Palestine

    28 februari 2024

    Hostilities in the Gaza Strip and Israel
    Flash Update #128

    A volunteer distributes food to people in Rafah, southern Gaza. At least 576,000 people in Gaza – one-quarter of the population – face catastrophic levels of food insecurity and are at risk of famine. Photo by UNICEF/Abed Zagout

    Key Highlights

     

    • The UN Secretary-General stated that an Israeli offensive on Rafah would “put the final nail in the coffin” of humanitarian aid programmes in Gaza.
    • Health workers across Gaza continue to face enormous risks and challenges to save lives as the health care system struggles to remain functional.
    • MoH in Gaza reports that two infants died in northern Gaza as a result of dehydration and malnutrition, as a quarter of Gaza’s population faces catastrophic levels of food insecurity.
    • According to UNRWA, more than 2,300 trucks have entered Gaza so far in February, a nearly 50 per cent reduction compared to January 2024.

    Gaza Strip Updates

     

    • Intense Israeli bombardment from air, land and sea continues to be reported across much of the Gaza Strip, resulting in further civilian casualties, displacement, and destruction of civilian infrastructure. On 27 February, Palestinian armed groups fired several rockets towards southern Israel, with no reports of injuries or damage. Ground operations and heavy fighting between Israeli forces and Palestinian armed groups also continue to be reported, particularly in Khan Younis, Gaza city and Deir al Balah. On 26 February, the UN Secretary-General told the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva that an Israeli offensive on Rafah, the location of “the core of the humanitarian aid operation,” would be “terrifying for more than a million Palestinian civilians sheltering there…[and] put the final nail in the coffin of our aid programmes.” 
    • Between the afternoon of 27 February and 11:00 on 28 February, according to the Ministry of Health (MoH) in Gaza, 76 Palestinians were killed, and 110 Palestinians were injured. Between 7 October 2023 and 11:00 on 28 February 2024, at least 29,954 Palestinians were killed in Gaza and 70,325 Palestinians were injured, according to MoH in Gaza.  
      • The following are among the deadliest incidents reported on 26 February:
      • On 26 February, at about 13:30, two Palestinians were reportedly killed when a house in eastern Al Bureij, in Deir al Balah, was hit. 
      • On 26 February, at about 17:00, five Palestinians were reportedly killed when a house in Al Qarara area, in northern Khan Younis, was hit. 
      • On 26 February, at about 19:00, eight Palestinians including three children were reportedly killed, and others were injured, when a house in the vicinity of Kuwait Hospital, in central Rafah, was hit. 
      • On 26 February, at about 21:00, three Palestinians were reportedly killed, and others were injured, when a house was hit in Deir al Balah.
    • Between the afternoons of 27 and 28 February, there were two Israeli soldiers reported killed in Gaza. As of 28 February, 240 soldiers have been killed and 1,429 soldiers injured in Gaza since the beginning of the ground operation, according to the Israeli military. In addition, over 1,200 Israelis and foreign nationals have been killed in Israel, the vast majority on 7 October. As of 28 February, the Israeli authorities estimate that 134 Israelis and foreign nationals remain captive in Gaza, including fatalities whose bodies remain withheld in Gaza. 
    • Health workers across Gaza continue to face enormous risks and challenges to save lives, as the health care system struggles to remain functional amid continued hostilities, access constraints, lack of supplies, and an overwhelming patient load per health-care worker. Reflecting on her experience at Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis in January, MedGlobal’s medical director, Dr. Nahreen Ahmed, describes a situation where “death [is[ happening in a fully treatable situation” due to the lack of medications and supplies, and doctors are operating to the sound of gunfire and missile strikes. Dr. Ahmed further states that injured persons’ limbs are amputated without anesthesia, and the delivery of urgent medical supplies “can often take weeks to months.” More than 1,000 children are reported to have suffered a loss of limb  because of the bombing since the onset of hostilities, according to UNICEF. 
    • On 27 February, MoH reported that some 120 patients still require medical evacuation from Nasser Hospital, the largest hospital in southern Gaza, which has become non-functional and requires urgent repairs to restore running water and electricity, and to cope wih the disposal of solid waste and sewage overflow. MoH also called for the release of 70 health personnel who were detained by Israeli forces during a raid on the hospital, following weeks of heavy fighting in its vicinity and shelling that caused damage to the orthopaedic department. Between 18 and 23 February, the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) evacuated 72 critically wounded and sick patients from the hospital, with the support of the World Health Organization (WHO) and OCHA. As of 28 February, 64 per cent of hospitals in Gaza have become non-functional (23 out of 36), with the remainder only partially or minimally functional, according to WHO. The situation is especially critical in Rafah where the influx of internally displaced persons (IDPs) has overwhelmed available hospital bed capacities, and in northern Gaza where access by Emergency Medical Teams (EMTs) remains challenging. Between 7 October and 20 February, WHO documented 378 attacks on health care across Gaza that resulted in the killing of 659 people and the injury of 843 others.  
    • The food insecurity and malnutrition crisis in Gaza is intensifying. On 27 February, MoH in Gaza reported that two infants had died in Kamal Adwan Hospital in northern Gaza, as a result of dehydration and malnutrition. Food Security Sector (FSS) partners are reporting a lack of sufficient basic food supplies and  an urgent need to import the agricultural inputs necessary for reactivating domestic production of essential fresh food, such as  eggs, vegetables, meat, fish and milk.  Children, pregnant and breastfeeding women, the elderly, people with underlying health conditions, and tens of thousands of injured persons are at  high risk of malnutrition, as are hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in northern Gaza, which has been largely cut off from assistance despite some relief efforts. In a briefing to the Security Council on food security risks in Gaza on 27 February, Director of OCHA Coordination Division, Mr. Ramesh Rajasingham, highlighted recommendations to ensure, among others, “the lifting of restrictions on fishing activity, access to farmland and the entry of agricultural products,” warning that if no action is taken, “widespread famine in Gaza is almost inevitable.” According to projections by the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) for the period between 8 December and 7 February, the entire population of the Gaza Strip faces crisis or worse levels of food insecurity, including more than half a million people, or one in four households, facing catastrophic conditions characterized by lack of food, starvation and exhaustion of coping capacities. 
    • According to Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), the “prolonged and unpredictable administrative procedures” which Israel imposes on aid deliveries to Gaza are impeding access to lifesaving equipment and supply for health care facilities. Because of strict screening procedures, it can take up to one month for supplies to enter Gaza, and if the Israeli authorities deny entry to reject even a single item, the entire cargo is returned to Egypt. With no official list of restricted items, MSF reports that it has consistently been denied the import of power generators, water purifiers, solar panels, and other medical equipment. According to the MSF project coordinator in Gaza: “These supplies mean the difference between life and death for many people,” including thousands who suffer from chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes or epilepsy.  WHO reports that referring patients outside of Gaza for tertiary care is also a challenge, with 2,293 patients and 1,625 companions permitted to exit through the Rafah Crossing since the onset of hostilities, while more than 8,000 patients are currently on the waiting list. UNRWA is also reporting difficulties in having its trucks enter Gaza due to security constraints and temporary closures at both the Kerem Shalom and Rafah Crossings. According to UNRWA, more than 2,300 trucks have entered Gaza so far in February, a nearly 50 per cent reduction compared to January 2024, and far short of the estimated 500 trucks needed each day to meet people’s basic needs. Security has been severely impacted due to the killing of several Palestinian policemen in Israeli airstrikes near the Kerem Shalom Crossing recently, which has led to the withdrawal of the policemen from the Palestinian side of the crossing, and trucks being stopped and their contents either robbed or taken directly by residents deeply in need of assistance.

    West Bank Updates

     

    • On 27 February, Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian man near An Nu'man checkpoint near Al Khas community in Bethlehem. The man was reportedly trying to bypass the checkpoint through an informal opening in the Barrier fence on foot. 
    • Since 7 October 2023, 404 Palestinians have been killed, including 102 children, and 4,592 Palestinians have been injured, including 708 children, in conflict-related incidents across the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Israel. Since the beginning of the year, 91 Palestinians have been killed, including 25 in refugee camps. During the same period, 13 Israelis, including four members of Israeli forces, were killed and 86 injured in conflict-related incidents in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Israel. 
    • Since 7 October 2023, 576 people, including 276 children, have been displaced in Area C and East Jerusalem, after their homes were demolished due to the lack of Israeli-issued building permits, which are almost impossible to obtain. 
    • According to the latest field assessments, since 7 October 2023, 848 Palestinians, including 397 children, have been displaced, following the destruction of 132 homes during operations carried out by Israeli forces across the West Bank. About 95 per cent of the displacement was reported in the refugee camps of Jenin, Nur Shams and Tulkarm.
    • On 26 February, a group of armed Israeli settlers, believed to be from Telem settlement, raided At Taybe village in Hebron and handcuffed and detained three elderly farmers while they were working on their land, according to eyewitnesses. The farmers were taken to a military base near Tarqumiya checkpoint for several hours before they were released. Landowners report that they have been regularly prevented from reaching their land by Israeli forces and/or settlers since 7 October. In total, OCHA has recorded 595 Israeli settler attacks against Palestinians that resulted in Palestinian casualties (52 incidents), damage to Palestinian-owned property (477 incidents), or both casualties and damage to property (66 incidents), since 7 October 2023.
    • Since 7 October, the Cash Working Group (CWG) has supported hundreds of conflict-affected Palestinian families in the West Bank through emergency multi-purpose cash assistance. These include 98 households, comprising 581 individuals, from 15 communities, who were displaced due to settler violence; over 600 households affected by curfews in the H2 area of Hebron; and 131 families, comprising 662 people, affected by military operations in Jenin. In addition, 457 Gazan patients who have been stranded in the West Bank were assisted with up to three payments to meet their most urgent needs. 
    • On 27 February, Israeli forces installed a roadblock at the main entrance to Rantis village, west of Ramallah, impacting the daily movement of more than 3,600 people. Since 7 October, the Israeli army has installed dozens of new obstacles to movement throughout the West Bank, including road gates, earth-mounds and roadblocks, exacerbating the access and movement of Palestinians that had been impeded by some 645 obstacles prior to 7 October. The restrictions disconnect cities, villages and vulnerable communities from one another, and disrupt communities’ access to basic services and the delivery of humanitarian aid.

    Humanitarian Needs and Response Updates | 20–26 February

    Health

    Needs

    • There is a crucial need to expand primary healthcare services within informal shelters; enhance routine immunization coverage; deliver medication for non-communicable diseases; extend sexual and reproductive health services; establish additional field hospitals in various locations across the Gaza Strip; ensure the availability of laboratory equipment, reagents and blood products.
    • Following two reported cases of death among children due to Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) stemming from inadequate food supplies, there is an urgent need to access northern Gaza to deliver food and establish SAM stabilization centres along with outpatient therapeutic feeding programmes.

    Response

    • Between 12 and 18 February, 45 health cluster partners delivered primary and secondary healthcare services across Gaza, reaching 124,800 people.
    • WHO, in collaboration with OCHA and PRCS, led missions to Nasser Medical Complex, Al-Amal, and European Gaza hospitals to evacuate critical patients to the International Medical Corps (IMC), United Arab Emirates, and Indonesian field hospitals as well as Al Aqsa Hospital. The team also prepositioned medicines, medical supplies, and fuel and provided hot meals and water.
    • With the support of WHO, the IMC field hospital increased its bed capacity from 98 to 150.
    • UNFPA and WHO have successfully identified and deployed 72 midwives across various shelters and at designated medical points to provide services for spontaneous vaginal deliveries, antenatal care and family planning.
    • Medical Global, with WHO’s support, established a SAM stabilization centre in Tell As Sultan primary healthcare centre in Rafah with a capacity of five beds. Additionally, preparation for a training session for 32 healthcare workers on the management of SAM cases with medical complications is underway.

    Challenges

    • Shortages of fuel, food, medicine, and medical supplies at hospitals in northern Gaza and lack of access to the area.
    • Continued hostilities in Khan Younis pose significant barriers to accessing healthcare.
    • Following the strike on MSF’s guest house on 20 February, intensified efforts to ensure the safety of humanitarian guest houses throughout Gaza are urgently needed.
    • The increase of bloody and watery diarrhea can be directly attributed to the lack of safe drinking water, posing a significant public health challenge.
    • The absence of segregated sanitation facilities and electricity within shelters presents a considerable safety risk, depriving women and girls of secure environments and thereby increasing their vulnerability to sexual violence.

    Nutrition

     

    Needs

    • A new report by the Global Nutrition Cluster highlights a steep rise in malnutrition among children and pregnant and breastfeeding women in the Gaza strip.
    • Sustained collaboration with partners is needed to enhance their capacity in various nutrition response areas, including Mid-Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC) screening capacity, identifying cases of Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) and Moderate Acute Malnutrition (MAM), and facilitating treatment using simplified protocols.
    • There is a crucial need to expand MUAC screening into northern Gaza, where the situation is deteriorating rapidly and there is limited capacity.
    • Continued distributions of supplementary nutrition food and blanket supplementary food to those in need to prevent malnutrition.

    Response

    • Five implementing partners continue conducting screenings for malnutrition among children aged 6 to 59 months, using MUAC measurements in shelters and health facilities. In total, 10,963 children aged 6-59 months underwent MUAC screening. Children with SAM and MAM are receiving treatment through the simplified treatment protocol.

    Challenges

    • Restricted access to northern Gaza significantly contributes to insufficient humanitarian aid delivery, leading to concerns about food insecurity and the possibility of widespread starvation and fatalities due to hunger.

    Food Security

     

    Needs

    • The food security situation continues to be extremely critical across Gaza, particularly in northern Gaza, with people reportedly feeding their children animal fodder. Vulnerable segments of the population, including children, the elderly and people with underlying health conditions, are particularly exposed to the risk of malnutrition and famine.
    • The food security situation in the Middle Area and southern governorates is also critical, with most of the population queuing for hours to receive food when trucks manage to enter. In Rafah, the situation is increasingly concerning, with growing reports of people stopping aid trucks to take food and eat it immediately.
    • There is an urgent need to increase the fleet of delivery trucks.
    • There is an urgent need to import the agricultural inputs necessary for reactivating domestic production of essential fresh foods like eggs, vegetables, meat, fish and milk to ensure the availability of a balanced nutrition.
    • There is a need to establish secure and uninterrupted humanitarian corridors, with the support of the private sector and a focus on critical resources like fuel and cooking gas.

    Response

    • Between 19 and 25 February, a total of 18 partners engaged in providing food assistance across the Gaza Strip, reaching around 1.7 million people with food assistance at least once. Rafah Governorate received about 45 per cent of the total food assistance, followed by Deir al Balah (24 per cent), Khan Younis (15 per cent), and northern Gaza Strip (15 per cent).

    Challenges

    • Operating partners are reporting a lack of food to distribute, and some are reporting that existing stocks will last for only two days.
    • The large number of people reached with hot meals is still insufficient to meet daily nutritional requirements.
    • Ongoing airstrikes and heavy fighting in Gaza continue to affect the flow of food, posing challenges for the conduct of safe and efficient humanitarian operations. Frequent border closures, restrictions, and security concerns hinder the delivery of a consistent and dependable food supply.
    • Rafah crossing is now working at a reduced rate and Karem Shalom is encountering closure due to Israeli demonstrators preventing trucks from entering. The humanitarian community is engaging with all relevant stakeholders to address this issue.

    Protection

     

    Needs

    • Identification, tracing and reunification as well as interim and alternative care arrangements are critically needed for unaccompanied, previously detained and separated children. UNICEF estimates that some 17,000 children are unaccompanied or separated.
    • Provision of MHPSS, including psychological first aid (PFA) and specialized counselling, and winter clothing and blankets are urgently needed for children and newborn babies. 
    • Re-establishment of emergency Gender-Based Violence (GBV) services and referral pathways, including health services for GBV survivors, Clinical Management of Rape (CMR), MHPSS, as well as safe spaces and shelters are needed. 
    • There is a need for a continuous pipeline to distribute dignity kits and Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) supplies for over 690,000 menstruating women and girls.
    • A comprehensive Humanitarian Mine Action (HMA) response is needed given the likely scale of Explosive Ordnance (EO) contamination despite the absence of formal large-scale assessments of contamination levels.
    • There is a need for deployment of Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) operators to conduct explosive hazard assessments of safe sites for humanitarian response, in addition to training for humanitarian workers and messaging tailored to different groups on Explosive Ordnance Risk Education (EORE) and Conflict Preparedness and Protection (CPP). 
    • Victim Assistance (VA) services for survivors of shelling and explosive ordnance-related accidents are also needed. 

    Response

    • Child Protection partners have reached 267,511 boys and girls and 27,307 women and men through awareness-raising interventions, MHPSS, identification and registration of unaccompanied and separated children, and distribution of clothing kits.
    • GBV sub-cluster partners have provided 2,680 women and girls with 104,320 packs of sanitary napkins, which is sufficient to cover needs for the next 3 months, as well as a total of 3,500 Dignity Kits and 8,926 MHM kits.
    • GBV responders are conducting procurement and distribution of CMR kits, and identification of health service points to provide CMR.
    • Partners are exploring ways to establish emergency safe spaces, to provide PFA and recreational activities for vulnerable women and girls. Partners continue to expand PFA services for vulnerable groups, including GBV survivors, through frontline responders.
    • Mine Action (MA) partners are actively engaged in carrying out Explosive Threat Assessments to the prioritized humanitarian sectors, delivering EORE and CPP sessions, producing educational materials, conducting digital campaigns, Radio and SMS campaigns, tailoring them to people with disability needs, and exploring partnerships with local organizations to enhance their reach and impact.
    • To ensure a well-coordinated effort, the MA sub-cluster has now established active bi-weekly technical working groups on EORE-CPP, GIS, and will soon initiate an explosive ordnance disposal in the Gaza Working Forum.

    Challenges

    • Difficulties in providing sufficient urgent and safe alternative temporary care arrangements for unaccompanied children, especially adolescents, due to physically and resource-exhausted families and communities, extreme overcrowding and continuous insecurity.
    • Limited access prevents the provision of critical protection services to thousands of affected people.
    • Obtaining authorization to deploy MA personnel, especially EOD operators for EO contamination assessments; restrictions on importing essential humanitarian mine action supplies; and unreliable communication systems that interfere with EORE, messaging, and coordination activities.

    Logistics

     

    Response

    • As of 25 February 2024, the Logistics Cluster received 6,251 cubic meters of cargo for storage on behalf of 17 organizations in Gaza and has supported 21 organizations with cargo notification services in Rafah. Through the Jordan corridor, the Cluster has transported a total of 3,596 metric tons of relief items on 267 trucks on behalf of six partners.
    • The Cluster delivered online training to 79 aid workers on the Service Request Forms (SRF), for storage and transport. In partnership with the IMPACT Working Group, the Cluster also organized an information session with UN agencies on customs clearance challenges in Jordan.
    • Cluster’s preparations to facilitate incoming cargo through the Egypt and Jordan corridors over the coming three months are underway. Partners have received a dedicated form for their organization via email and are requested to update it every Sunday. Partners who have not received the form can reach out to palestine.logcluster@wfp.org. For more information on the Operations of the Logistics Cluster, visit: Palestine - Gaza Response, Concept of Operations, 26 February 2024 - occupied Palestinian territory | ReliefWeb.

    Challenges

    • Storage and transport capacity inside Gaza remains challenging with ongoing assessments for identification of additional storage options. The Cluster continues to facilitate access to temporary storage, transport, and cargo notification transshipment services.

    Emergency Telecommunications

     

    Needs

    • There is an urgent need for independent communication platforms for responders in Gaza to coordinate emergency response and deliver aid, amid ongoing communication blackouts and unreliable/intermittent access to telecommunication services.
    • There is a crucial need to import all essential satellite-based communications equipment (sat phones, data solutions), Security Communications Systems (VHF Radios and networks), and power solutions (solar power solutions, generators).

    Response

    • Since its establishment, the ETC has been engaging with the Israeli authorities to obtain authorization to import all essential telecommunications equipment into Gaza and provide independent access to communications for humanitarian responders.
    • The ETC has been supporting humanitarian agencies in Gaza with Information and Communication Technology (ICT) assessments, technical advice and information, repairs, and guidance on the use of ICT equipment. Since 9 January, the ETC has conducted 16 ICT assessments in 13 locations in Rafah, and supported 17 humanitarian agencies with ICT repairs, technical advice, and guidance on the use of ICT equipment to maximize the available telecommunications resources on the ground.
    • For more information on ETC activities, please visit: Palestine: Conflict | Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (ETC) (etcluster.org).

    Challenges

    • Limited access to electricity, fuel, and telecommunications services continues to impede the humanitarian response in Gaza.
    • The process of importing telecommunications equipment into Gaza remains lengthy and extremely challenging.

    Multi-Purpose Cash Assistance (MPCA)

     

    Response

    • Between 19 and 25 February, 27,028 households received one round of emergency MPCA. Cash out operations are concentrated in the governorates south of Wadi Gaza, with the majority being reported in Rafah. As of 25 January, one round of emergency MPCA was delivered to some 160,000 households, a top-up was delivered to 35,000 people (including people with disabilities and nursing mothers), and over 16,000 households have received a second round.
    • Since 7 October, some 116,000 households have cashed out their assistance, and about 5,400 payments have been cancelled after not being cashed out for months mainly due to the lack of connectivity and available agents (especially north of Wadi Gaza). Provided assistance falls well short of need given market collapse and price volatility.
    • Based on the last post-distribution monitoring data (PDM) collected between mid-January and mid-February, food remains the most purchased item with humanitarian cash (80 per cent), followed by medicines (39 per cent), water (23 per cent), hygiene bedding (10 per cent), and transportation. PDM data show that cash remains a relevant modality of assistance which can be used by recipients to access goods and services that remain available.

    Challenges

    • Poor electricity supply and connectivity is affecting the ability of financial service providers to make cash accessible, compromising the encashment of the MPCA package.
    • Since late December, commercial trucks have sporadically entered Gaza, with 830 trucks recorded as of 26 February. Informal markets are the primary source of accessible goods, which complicates efforts to track distributions and gather market data.

    Funding

    • The Flash Appeal for the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), which requests US$1.2 billion to meet critical needs of 2.7 million people across the oPt (2.2 million in the Gaza Strip and 500,000 in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem), was extended through the end of March 2024. As of 26 February, member states disbursed nearly $907 million against the updated Flash Appeal (74 per cent); this includes about $616 million out of $629 million (98 per cent) requested for October-December 2023 and $291 million out of $600 million (48 per cent) requested for January-March 2024. For funding analysis, please see the Flash Appeal Financial Tracking dashboard.
    • The occupied Palestinian territory Humanitarian Fund (oPt HF)  and the Central Emergency Relief Fund (CERF) are currently funding more than 94 ongoing projects in the Gaza Strip to meet urgent humanitarian needs, notwithstanding constraints on the entry and delivery of aid into and within the Gaza Strip. These interventions, totalling about $88 million, address needs in the areas of food security, shelter, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), health and protection. Since October 7, the oPt HF has received a total of $88 million in contributions from member states and private donors. Private donations are collected directly through the Humanitarian Fund.

    28 februari 2024

    Today's headlines

    Israeli forces kill 3 Palestinians, including Tubas Brigade Commander in northern West Bank

    Israeli forces conducted a four-hour long raid in the norther Jordan valley, killing three Palestinians. Residents say one of the targets of the raid was a resistance fighter and commander of a local battalion called the Tubas Brigade.

    Hamas warns Israel and U.S. of ‘political machinations’ amid ceasefire talks

    UN humanitarian officials say that thousands of Palestinians in Gaza are “just a step away from famine” by May. Russia calls on UNSC members to refrain from endorsing Washington’s resolution on Gaza, denouncing it as “a license to kill” for Israel.

    Palestine Action activists hit with felony charges over New Hampshire Elbit protest

    Michael Arria

    Three Palestine Action US activists have been hit with felony charges over a protest targeting Elbit Systems in New Hampshire last November.

    New reports confirm months of Israeli torture, abuse, and sexual violence against Palestinian prisoners

    For months Palestinian prisoners have shared testimonies of torture at the hands of Israeli military and prison authorities. New reports shed more light on the abuse, particularly sexual violence, carried out inside Israeli detention centers.

    27 februari 2024

    27 februari 2024

    Hostilities in the Gaza Strip and Israel
    Flash Update #127

    The approximately 111,500 older people in Gaza are among those most at risk of hunger, dehydration, illness, injury, and death, HelpAge reports. A displaced older Palestinian in a makeshift shelter. Photo by UNRWA

    Key Highlights

     

    • On 27 February, the Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) said that humanitarian partners have been unable to reach northern Gaza and increasingly parts of southern Gaza safely, as aid convoys have come under fire and are systematically denied access to people in need.
    • Allegations of shooting by Israeli forces at Palestinians waiting for humanitarian aid in Gaza city continue to be reported, raising concerns about the protection of civilians.
    • HelpAge reports that the approximately 111,500 older people in Gaza are among those most at risk of hunger, dehydration, illness, injury, and death.
    • Three Palestinians are killed in Tubas in the West Bank.

    Gaza Strip Updates

     

    • Intense Israeli bombardment from air, land and sea continues to be reported across much of the Gaza Strip, resulting in further civilian casualties, displacement, and destruction of civilian infrastructure. Ground operations and heavy fighting between Israeli forces and Palestinian armed groups also continue to be reported, particularly in Khan Younis, Gaza city and east Deir al Balah.
    • Between the afternoon of 26 February and 10:30 on 27 February, according to the Ministry of Health (MoH) in Gaza, 96 Palestinians were killed, and 172 Palestinians were injured. Between 7 October 2023 and 10:30 on 27 February 2024, at least 29,878 Palestinians were killed in Gaza and 70,215 Palestinians were injured, according to MoH in Gaza.
    • Between the afternoons of 26 and 27 February, there were no Israeli soldiers reported killed in Gaza. As of 27 February, 238 soldiers have been killed and 1,408 soldiers injured in Gaza since the beginning of the ground operation, according to the Israeli military. In addition, over 1,200 Israelis and foreign nationals have been killed in Israel, according to the Israeli authorities, the vast majority on 7 October. As of 27 February, the Israeli authorities estimate that 134 Israelis and foreign nationals remain captive in Gaza, including fatalities whose bodies remain withheld in Gaza.
    • Allegations of shooting by Israeli forces at Palestinians waiting for humanitarian aid in Gaza city continue to be reported. On 25 February, at least 10 Palestinians were allegedly killed in two incidents of shelling and shooting at people who were gathering near the An Naboulsi roundabout, in expectation of an aid delivery.
    • The following are among the deadliest incidents reported on 25 and 26 February:
      • On 25 February, at about 13:00, seven Palestinians were reportedly killed and 62 others were injured when several houses in Az Zaytoun neighbourhood in Gaza city were hit.
      • On 25 February, at about 16:00, people were reportedly killed and injured when the gate of the Ash Sheikh Redwan Clinic in northern Gaza city was hit.
      • On 25 February, at around 21:00, about 20 Palestinian bodies were reportedly retrieved from different areas in Khan Younis, including five bodies near Nasser Medical Complex.
      • On 25 February, at about 22:30, four Palestinians were reportedly killed, including a woman and a child, and others were injured when a house in An Naser area in Rafah was hit.
      • On 26 February, at about 9:00, four Palestinians were reportedly killed, and three others were injured, when a civilian car and a nearby group of Palestinians were hit in Abu Al Ajin area, in eastern Deir al Balah.
      • On 26 February, at about 10:15, two Palestinian fishers were reportedly killed when the coast off Khan Younis was struck by naval fire.
    • On 25 February, the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) and a United Nations team evacuated 24 patients from Al Amal hospital in Khan Younis. The hospital was subject to a prolonged siege and raids by the Israeli military until 22 February, which resulted in at least 25 fatalities, and rendered it ‘minimally functioning’ according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Despite prior coordination with the Israeli authorities for the staff members and vehicles, Israeli forces blocked the convoy, forced patients and staff from ambulances and stripped the paramedics of their clothes. Three of the PRCS paramedics were subsequently detained, delaying the convoy for over seven hours. Two of the paramedics remain in detention. On 26 February, the PRCS announced the suspension of all humanitarian coordination procedures on medical missions in Gaza for 48 hours, due to “failure to ensure the safety and security of the Society’s Emergency Medical Services teams, the wounded and the sick in PRCS hospitals, centres and ambulances.” On 27 February, regarding the medical evacuation, the Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) in Palestine stated that this was not an isolated case, as aid convoys have come under fire and are systematically denied access to people in need. Furthermore, humanitarian workers have been harassed, intimidated or detained by Israeli forces, and humanitarian infrastructure has been hit, the statement said, indicating that the requirements for the meaningful facilitation of relief efforts have been consistently communicated to the Israeli authorities. As a result of inadequate facilitation of relief operations, humanitarian partners are unable to reach northern Gaza and increasingly parts of southern Gaza safely. The HCT pledged to continue to engage with Israeli forces so that the critically needed humanitarian response is enabled.
    • According to a report by HelpAge, the approximately 111,500 older people in Gaza are among those most at risk of hunger, dehydration, illness, injury, and death. Prior to the current hostilities, older people in Gaza were already living with the long-term impact of conflict and displacement, with reduced access to essential health and social services. Older people are also disproportionality affected by non-communicable diseases and are likely to be severely impacted due to damage to health infrastructure and shortages in medication, the report said. Older people who have had to evacuate are said to be mostly accommodated in overcrowded shelters that are inadequate to meet their needs, as many require support to manage chronic health issues and disabilities. Older women often face violence, abuse and neglect because of their age, gender, or other factors such as disability or being a widow, according to the report. These risks are compounded in humanitarian crises for women of all ages on the move and living in emergency shelters. HelpAge is calling for safe, full, and unimpeded humanitarian access to ensure that all affected people, including older people and people with disabilities, can be reached and can access urgently needed basic services and humanitarian assistance.

    West Bank Updates

     

    • On 27 February, Israeli forces shot and killed three Palestinians, and another Palestinian was injured, in two separate military operations in Tubas city and the nearby El Far'a Refugee Camp (both in Tubas). The raid in the camp involved an exchange of fire between Palestinians and Israeli forces and the throwing of pipe bombs and stones by Palestinians. Two of the fatalities, including a bystander, were killed in this incident. Initial information indicates that Israeli forces bulldozed multiple sections of streets in the camp, causing damage to infrastructure, including water networks, resulting in continuous water cut-offs. The third fatality occurred when a unit of undercover Israeli forces entered Tubas city and shot him. Reportedly, there was no exchange of fire.
    • Since 7 October 2023 and as of 27 February, 403 Palestinians have been killed, including 102 children, and 4,590 Palestinians have been injured, including 708 children, in conflict-related incidents across the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Israel. Since the beginning of the year, 90 Palestinians have been killed, including 25 in refugee camps. During the same period, 13 Israelis, including four members of Israeli forces, were killed and 86 injured in conflict-related incidents in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Israel.
    • Since 7 October 2023, 576 people, including 276 children, have been displaced in Area C and East Jerusalem, after their homes were demolished due to the lack of Israeli-issued building permits, which are almost impossible to obtain.
    • According to the latest field assessments, since 7 October 2023, 848 Palestinians, including 397 children, have been displaced, following the destruction of 132 homes during operations carried out by Israeli forces across the West Bank. About 95 per cent of the displacement was reported in the refugee camps of Jenin, Nur Shams and Tulkarm.
    • Since 7 October 2023, OCHA has recorded 590 Israeli settler attacks against Palestinians that resulted in Palestinian casualties (52 incidents), damage to Palestinian-owned property (472 incidents), or both casualties and damage to property (66 incidents).
    • Since 7 October, the Cash Working Group (CWG) has supported hundreds of conflict-affected Palestinian families in the West Bank through emergency multi-purpose cash assistance. Those include 98 households, comprising 581 individuals, from 15 communities, who were displaced due to settler violence; over 600 households affected by curfews in the H2 area of Hebron; and 131 families, comprising 662 people, affected by military operations in Jenin. In addition, 457 Gazan patients that are stranded in the West Bank were assisted with up to three payments to meet their most urgent needs.
    • Between 25 and 26 February, some 50 Palestinians were arrested across the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Over 5,700 Palestinians have been arrested since 7 October.

    Humanitarian Needs and Response Updates | 20–26 February

    Health

    Needs

    • There is a crucial need to expand primary healthcare services within informal shelters; enhance routine immunization coverage; deliver medication for non-communicable diseases; extend sexual and reproductive health services; establish additional field hospitals in various locations across the Gaza Strip; ensure the availability of laboratory equipment, reagents and blood products.
    • Following two reported cases of death among children due to Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) stemming from inadequate food supplies, there is an urgent need to access northern Gaza to deliver food and establish SAM stabilization centres along with outpatient therapeutic feeding programmes.

    Response

    • Between 12 and 18 February, 45 health cluster partners delivered primary and secondary healthcare services across Gaza, reaching 124,800 people.
    • WHO, in collaboration with OCHA and PRCS, led missions to Nasser Medical Complex, Al-Amal, and European Gaza hospitals to evacuate critical patients to the International Medical Corps (IMC), United Arab Emirates, and Indonesian field hospitals as well as Al Aqsa Hospital. The team also prepositioned medicines, medical supplies, and fuel and provided hot meals and water.
    • With the support of WHO, the IMC field hospital increased its bed capacity from 98 to 150.
    • UNFPA and WHO have successfully identified and deployed 72 midwives across various shelters and at designated medical points to provide services for spontaneous vaginal deliveries, antenatal care and family planning.
    • Medical Global, with WHO’s support, established a SAM stabilization centre in Tell As Sultan primary healthcare centre in Rafah with a capacity of five beds. Additionally, preparation for a training session for 32 healthcare workers on the management of SAM cases with medical complications is underway.

    Challenges

    • Shortages of fuel, food, medicine, and medical supplies at hospitals in northern Gaza and lack of access to the area.
    • Continued hostilities in Khan Younis pose significant barriers to accessing healthcare.
    • Following the strike on MSF’s guest house on 20 February, intensified efforts to ensure the safety of humanitarian guest houses throughout Gaza are urgently needed.
    • The increase of bloody and watery diarrhea can be directly attributed to the lack of safe drinking water, posing a significant public health challenge.
    • The absence of segregated sanitation facilities and electricity within shelters presents a considerable safety risk, depriving women and girls of secure environments and thereby increasing their vulnerability to sexual violence.

    Nutrition

     

    Needs

    • A new report by the Global Nutrition Cluster highlights a steep rise in malnutrition among children and pregnant and breastfeeding women in the Gaza strip.
    • Sustained collaboration with partners is needed to enhance their capacity in various nutrition response areas, including Mid-Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC) screening capacity, identifying cases of Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) and Moderate Acute Malnutrition (MAM), and facilitating treatment using simplified protocols.
    • There is a crucial need to expand MUAC screening into northern Gaza, where the situation is deteriorating rapidly and there is limited capacity.
    • Continued distributions of supplementary nutrition food and blanket supplementary food to those in need to prevent malnutrition.

    Response

    • Five implementing partners continue conducting screenings for malnutrition among children aged 6 to 59 months, using MUAC measurements in shelters and health facilities. In total, 10,963 children aged 6-59 months underwent MUAC screening. Children with SAM and MAM are receiving treatment through the simplified treatment protocol.

    Challenges

    • Restricted access to northern Gaza significantly contributes to insufficient humanitarian aid delivery, leading to concerns about food insecurity and the possibility of widespread starvation and fatalities due to hunger.

    Food Security

     

    Needs

    • The food security situation continues to be extremely critical across Gaza, particularly in northern Gaza, with people reportedly feeding their children animal fodder. Vulnerable segments of the population, including children, the elderly and people with underlying health conditions, are particularly exposed to the risk of malnutrition and famine.
    • The food security situation in the Middle Area and southern governorates is also critical, with most of the population queuing for hours to receive food when trucks manage to enter. In Rafah, the situation is increasingly concerning, with growing reports of people stopping aid trucks to take food and eat it immediately.
    • There is an urgent need to increase the fleet of delivery trucks.
    • There is an urgent need to import the agricultural inputs necessary for reactivating domestic production of essential fresh foods like eggs, vegetables, meat, fish and milk to ensure the availability of a balanced nutrition.
    • There is a need to establish secure and uninterrupted humanitarian corridors, with the support of the private sector and a focus on critical resources like fuel and cooking gas.

    Response

    • Between 19 and 25 February, a total of 18 partners engaged in providing food assistance across the Gaza Strip, reaching around 1.7 million people with food assistance at least once. Rafah Governorate received about 45 per cent of the total food assistance, followed by Deir al Balah (24 per cent), Khan Younis (15 per cent), and northern Gaza Strip (15 per cent).

    Challenges

    • Operating partners are reporting a lack of food to distribute, and some are reporting that existing stocks will last for only two days.
    • The large number of people reached with hot meals is still insufficient to meet daily nutritional requirements.
    • Ongoing airstrikes and heavy fighting in Gaza continue to affect the flow of food, posing challenges for the conduct of safe and efficient humanitarian operations. Frequent border closures, restrictions, and security concerns hinder the delivery of a consistent and dependable food supply.
    • Rafah crossing is now working at a reduced rate and Karem Shalom is encountering closure due to Israeli demonstrators preventing trucks from entering. The humanitarian community is engaging with all relevant stakeholders to address this issue.

    Protection

     

    Needs

    • Identification, tracing and reunification as well as interim and alternative care arrangements are critically needed for unaccompanied, previously detained and separated children.
    • Provision of MHPSS, including psychological first aid (PFA) and specialized counselling, and winter clothing and blankets are urgently needed for children and newborn babies.
    • Re-establishment of emergency Gender-Based Violence (GBV) services and referral pathways, including health services for GBV survivors, Clinical Management of Rape (CMR), MHPSS, as well as safe spaces and shelters are needed.
    • There is a need for a continuous pipeline to distribute dignity kits and Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) supplies for over 690,000 menstruating women and girls.
    • A comprehensive Humanitarian Mine Action (HMA) response is needed given the likely scale of Explosive Ordnance (EO) contamination despite the absence of formal large-scale assessments of contamination levels.
    • There is a need for deployment of Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) operators to conduct explosive hazard assessments of safe sites for humanitarian response, in addition to training for humanitarian workers and messaging tailored to different groups on Explosive Ordnance Risk Education (EORE) and Conflict Preparedness and Protection (CPP).
    • Victim Assistance (VA) services for survivors of shelling and explosive ordnance-related accidents are also needed.

    Response

    • Child Protection partners have reached 267,511 boys and girls and 27,307 women and men through awareness-raising interventions, MHPSS, identification and registration of unaccompanied and separated children, and distribution of clothing kits.
    • GBV sub-cluster partners have provided 2,680 women and girls with 104,320 packs of sanitary napkins, which is sufficient to cover needs for the next 3 months, as well as a total of 3,500 Dignity Kits and 8,926 MHM kits.
    • GBV responders are conducting procurement and distribution of CMR kits, and identification of health service points to provide CMR.
    • Partners are exploring ways to establish emergency safe spaces, to provide PFA and recreational activities for vulnerable women and girls. Partners continue to expand PFA services for vulnerable groups, including GBV survivors, through frontline responders.
    • Mine Action (MA) partners are actively engaged in carrying out Explosive Threat Assessments to the prioritized humanitarian sectors, delivering EORE and CPP sessions, producing educational materials, conducting digital campaigns, Radio and SMS campaigns, tailoring them to people with disability needs, and exploring partnerships with local organizations to enhance their reach and impact.
    • To ensure a well-coordinated effort, the MA sub-cluster has now established active bi-weekly technical working groups on EORE-CPP, GIS, and will soon initiate an explosive ordnance disposal in the Gaza Working Forum.

    Challenges

    • Difficulties in providing sufficient urgent and safe alternative temporary care arrangements for unaccompanied children, especially adolescents, due to physically and resource-exhausted families and communities, extreme overcrowding and continuous insecurity.
    • Limited access prevents the provision of critical protection services to thousands of affected people.
    • Obtaining authorization to deploy MA personnel, especially EOD operators for EO contamination assessments; restrictions on importing essential humanitarian mine action supplies; and unreliable communication systems that interfere with EORE, messaging, and coordination activities.

    Logistics

     

    Response

    • As of 25 February 2024, the Logistics Cluster received 6,251 cubic meters of cargo for storage on behalf of 17 organizations in Gaza and has supported 21 organizations with cargo notification services in Rafah. Through the Jordan corridor, the Cluster has transported a total of 3,596 metric tons of relief items on 267 trucks on behalf of six partners.
    • The Cluster delivered online training to 79 aid workers on the Service Request Forms (SRF), for storage and transport. In partnership with the IMPACT Working Group, the Cluster also organized an information session with UN agencies on customs clearance challenges in Jordan.
    • Cluster’s preparations to facilitate incoming cargo through the Egypt and Jordan corridors over the coming three months are underway. Partners have received a dedicated form for their organization via email and are requested to update it every Sunday. Partners who have not received the form can reach out to palestine.logcluster@wfp.org. For more information on the Operations of the Logistics Cluster, visit: Palestine - Gaza Response, Concept of Operations, 26 February 2024 - occupied Palestinian territory | ReliefWeb.

    Challenges

    • Storage and transport capacity inside Gaza remains challenging with ongoing assessments for identification of additional storage options. The Cluster continues to facilitate access to temporary storage, transport, and cargo notification transshipment services.

    Emergency Telecommunications

     

    Needs

    • There is an urgent need for independent communication platforms for responders in Gaza to coordinate emergency response and deliver aid, amid ongoing communication blackouts and unreliable/intermittent access to telecommunication services.
    • There is a crucial need to import all essential satellite-based communications equipment (sat phones, data solutions), Security Communications Systems (VHF Radios and networks), and power solutions (solar power solutions, generators).

    Response

    • Since its establishment, the ETC has been engaging with the Israeli authorities to obtain authorization to import all essential telecommunications equipment into Gaza and provide independent access to communications for humanitarian responders.
    • The ETC has been supporting humanitarian agencies in Gaza with Information and Communication Technology (ICT) assessments, technical advice and information, repairs, and guidance on the use of ICT equipment. Since 9 January, the ETC has conducted 16 ICT assessments in 13 locations in Rafah, and supported 17 humanitarian agencies with ICT repairs, technical advice, and guidance on the use of ICT equipment to maximize the available telecommunications resources on the ground.
    • For more information on ETC activities, please visit: Palestine: Conflict | Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (ETC) (etcluster.org).

    Challenges

    • Limited access to electricity, fuel, and telecommunications services continues to impede the humanitarian response in Gaza.
    • The process of importing telecommunications equipment into Gaza remains lengthy and extremely challenging.

    Multi-Purpose Cash Assistance (MPCA)

     

    Response

    • Between 19 and 25 February, 27,028 households received one round of emergency MPCA. Cash out operations are concentrated in the governorates south of Wadi Gaza, with the majority being reported in Rafah. As of 25 January, one round of emergency MPCA was delivered to some 160,000 households, a top-up was delivered to 35,000 people (including people with disabilities and nursing mothers), and over 16,000 households have received a second round.
    • Since 7 October, some 116,000 households have cashed out their assistance, and about 5,400 payments have been cancelled after not being cashed out for months mainly due to the lack of connectivity and available agents (especially north of Wadi Gaza). Provided assistance falls well short of need given market collapse and price volatility.
    • Based on the last post-distribution monitoring data (PDM) collected between mid-January and mid-February, food remains the most purchased item with humanitarian cash (80 per cent), followed by medicines (39 per cent), water (23 per cent), hygiene bedding (10 per cent), and transportation. PDM data show that cash remains a relevant modality of assistance which can be used by recipients to access goods and services that remain available.

    Challenges

    • Poor electricity supply and connectivity is affecting the ability of financial service providers to make cash accessible, compromising the encashment of the MPCA package.
    • Since late December, commercial trucks have sporadically entered Gaza, with 830 trucks recorded as of 26 February. Informal markets are the primary source of accessible goods, which complicates efforts to track distributions and gather market data.

    Funding

     

    • The Flash Appeal for the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), which requests US$1.2 billion to meet critical needs of 2.7 million people across the oPt (2.2 million in the Gaza Strip and 500,000 in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem), was extended through the end of March 2024. As of 26 February, member states disbursed nearly $906 million against the updated Flash Appeal (74 per cent); this includes about $616 million out of $629 million (98 per cent) requested for October-December 2023 and $291 million out of $600 million (48 per cent) requested for January-March 2024. For funding analysis, please see the Flash Appeal Financial Tracking dashboard.
    • The occupied Palestinian territory Humanitarian Fund (oPt HF) and the Central Emergency Relief Fund (CERF) are currently funding more than 94 ongoing projects in the Gaza Strip to meet urgent humanitarian needs, notwithstanding constraints on the entry and delivery of aid into and within the Gaza Strip. These interventions, totalling about $88 million, address needs in the areas of food security, shelter, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), health and protection. Since October 7, the oPt HF has received a total of $88 million in contributions from member states and private donors. Private donations are collected directly through the Humanitarian Fund.

    27 februari 2024

    Today's headlines

    Israel and Hamas contradict Biden claim that Gaza ceasefire is close

    A proposed ceasefire deal between Israel and Hamas is reported to include a temporary 40-day truce, the release of 40 Israeli captives in return for 400 Palestinian prisoners, and the entry of humanitarian aid and mobile shelters into Gaza.

    Thirty years after Baruch Goldstein’s massacre, his followers are now carrying out a genocide

    It has been thirty years since Baruch Goldstein carried out his massacre of Palestinian worshippers in Hebron. His legacy of bloodshed continues in Gaza and the West Bank as his followers are now in power.

    World Court hearing on legality of Israeli occupation ends following week of testimony

    Over 50 nations presented testimony to the ICJ on the legality of the Israeli occupation, with the majority offering stirring arguments for Israeli accountability and justice for the Palestinians. An Advisory Opinion is expected sometime this summer.

    ‘I will no longer be complicit in genocide’: U.S. soldier dies of self-immolation in protest of war on Gaza

    Aaron Bushnell, a 25-year-old soldier in the United States Air Force, died on Sunday after setting himself on fire outside the Israeli Embassy in Washington DC in protest of Israel's genocidal assault on Gaza.

    26 februari 2024

    Gaza famine is ‘man-made,’ says UNRWA Chief

    UNRWA says that the famine in northern Gaza can be avoided if more food convoys are allowed in, but Israel continues to hold up over 2000 aid trucks. Meanwhile, Netanyahu reaffirms plans to invade Rafah, where 1.5 million Gazans have sought shelter.

    Solidarity through music

    Solidarity through music. That is what the new song "Palestinian-South African Ballad of Love" is all about.

    We are Gaza’s scattered fragments

    Tal

    In Gaza, the enemy was in the sky, immaterialized and almost unattainable, so we could create a sense of normalcy in our daily lives. But leaving Gaza is what led to the pathologies that accompanied our detachment from our homeland and community.

    26 februari 2024

    Hostilities in the Gaza Strip and Israel
    Flash Update #126

    Medical evacuation of 24 patients from Al Amal hospital amid hostilities in Khan Younis, 25 February 2024. The UN and the Palestine Red Crescent Society have additionally completed the evacuation of 72 critical cases from Nasser hospital in Khan Younis, Photo by OCHA

    Key points

     

    • The Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS), supported by OCHA and the World Health Organization (WHO), have completed the evacuation of 72 critical cases from Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis.
    • A UN staff member and a PRCS volunteer paramedic were reported killed in Gaza, heightening existing concerns for the safety of aid workers and medical personnel.
    • The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) reports that newborns are dying in Gaza because their mothers are unable to attend prenatal or postnatal check-ups while the incessant bombings, fleeing for safety and anxiety are leading to premature births.
    • A new report by the World Bank highlights that economic activity in Gaza has grounded to a halt and nearly every resident will live in poverty, at least in the short term.

    Gaza Strip Updates

     

    • Intense Israeli bombardment from air, land and sea continues to be reported across much of the Gaza Strip, resulting in further civilian casualties, displacement, and destruction of civilian infrastructure. Ground operations and heavy fighting between Israeli forces and Palestinian armed groups also continue to be reported, particularly in Khan Younis, Gaza city and east Deir al Balah. Between 23 and 26 February, tens of rockets were also reportedly fired by armed Palestinian groups toward Israel.
    • Between the afternoon of 23 February and 10:30 on 26 February, according to the Ministry of Health (MoH) in Gaza, 268 Palestinians were killed, and 418 Palestinians were injured, including 90 killed and 164 injured in the past 24 hours. Between 7 October 2023 and 10:30 on 26 February 2024, at least 29,782 Palestinians were killed in Gaza and 70,043 Palestinians were injured, according to MoH in Gaza.
    • Between the afternoons of 23 and 26 February, three Israeli soldiers were reported killed in Gaza. As of 26 February, 238 soldiers have been killed and 1,400 soldiers injured in Gaza since the beginning of the ground operation, according to the Israeli military. In addition, over 1,200 Israelis and foreign nationals have been killed in Israel, according to the Israeli authorities, the vast majority on 7 October. On 25 February, one Israeli soldier was reported killed and captured on 7 October, based on new intelligence information, and his body remains withheld in Gaza. As of 26 February, the Israeli authorities estimate that 134 Israelis and foreign nationals remain captive in Gaza, including fatalities whose bodies remain withheld in Gaza.
    • The protection and safety of humanitarian aid workers and medical personnel continues to be a serious concern amid widespread hostilities and attacks. On 22 February, a UN staff member and several members of his family were killed in an airstrike in Deir Al Balah, according to UNOPS. A volunteer paramedic with the PRCS ambulance centre in Rafah was also reported killed, when his family home in eastern Rafah was struck on 23 February. Since 7 October, 161 UN staff have been killed in Gaza. Between 7 October and 12 February, there were 378 attacks on health care across Gaza, affecting 98 health facilities and 98 ambulances, according to WHO.
    • Attacks on or near schools hosting internally displaced persons (IDPs) continue to be reported, according to UNRWA. On 22 February, at least two people were reportedly killed by gunfire at the main gate of a school in Al Amal neigbourhood west of Khan Younis. On 23 February, several IDPs sheltering at a school in Gaza city fled after the school was reportedly hit by artillery fire. As of 24 February, at least 403 IDPs in UNRWA shelters have been killed, and at least 1,385 have been injured, according to UNRWA.
    • The following are among the deadliest incidents reported between 23 and 25 February:
      • On 23 February, at about 10:40, nine Palestinians were reportedly killed, and others were injured, when a group of people near Askalan School, in eastern Khan Younis, was hit.
      • On 23 February, at about 19:00, 24 Palestinians were reportedly killed, including at least three children, and tens of others were injured, when a residential building in Bishara neighbourhood, in Deir al Balah, was struck.
      • On 24 February, at about 3:20, eight Palestinians were reportedly killed, and tens of others were injured, when a residential building in Rafah city was struck.
      • On 24 February, at about 12:30, three Palestinians were reportedly killed, and others were injured, when a location in Az Zawaida area, in Deir al Balah, was struck.
      • On 24 February, four Palestinians were reportedly killed, and others were injured, when a fire broke out in a residential building in Beit Lahia, in North Gaza, upon being struck.
      • On 25 February, at about 7:00, three Palestinians were reportedly killed, and others were injured, when a residential building in As Sabra neighbourhood, in Gaza City, was struck.
    • On 23 February, PRCS carried out a fourth evacuation mission of wounded and sick patients from Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis, supported by WHO and OCHA. The cases were transported to hospitals in Deir al Balah, Khan Younis, and Rafah and included two newborn babies who had lost their mothers, according to PRCS. In total, since 18 February, 72 critical cases have been evacuated from the hospital, which still struggles to operate with no electricity or running water, shortages of food and water supplies, the accumulation of solid waste, and sewage overflow. Some 200 people have been detained by the Israeli army from the hospital before the operation was concluded, according to the Israeli authorities. On 25 February, MoH in Gaza warned that hospitals in northern Gaza are running out of fuel, including Al Ahli Arab hospital. The hospital which is managing to perform 13 operations per day and cater to 300 outpatients, currently runs at only 30 per cent capacity due to the lack of power. MoH further stated that dialysis and intensive care patients are at risk of death as a result of the lack of fuel for generators, ambulances, and medicines.
    • UNFPA reports that there are only five beds for deliveries at the Al Helal Al Emirati maternity hospital in Rafah, one of the few remaining functioning hospitals in Gaza. Despite the lack of such basic needs as sheets, the facility has had to cope with 78 deliveries in one night. “While one woman is giving birth, we bring another case, and there's no bed,” a midwife quoted in the report said. Newborns are dying because the mothers are unable to attend prenatal or postnatal check-ups while the incessant bombings, fleeing for safety and anxiety are leading to premature births. The lack of supplies, medicine and electricity results in four or five newborns having to share one incubator. The report quotes one of the hospital’s doctors as saying: “Most of them don’t survive.” Infections are rampant from unsanitary toilets and showers, posing particular risks for pregnant women and young children. An estimated 5,500 women are due to give birth in the next month with barely any access to medical assistance, and more than 155,000 pregnant and breastfeeding women are at high risk of malnutrition. Where access allows, UNFPA has been distributing critical medicine and equipment to health facilities across Gaza, including Al Helal Al Emirati, but warns that “the small facility is ill-equipped to handle this level of disaster.”
    • According to a new report from the World Bank, the Palestinian economy has experienced one of the largest shocks in recent history, with Gaza's gross domestic product (GDP) plummeting by over 80 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2023, and dropping 24 per cent in total in 2023. Almost all economic activity in Gaza has grounded to a halt, with little indication of substantial improvement. Widespread internal displacement and the destruction of homes, fixed assets, and productive capacity, complementing preexisting high levels of poverty, “realistically means that nearly every resident of Gaza will live in poverty, at least in the short term.” The West Bank economy has also experienced a 22 per cent decline during the same period, due to a combination of increased movement and access restrictions imposed by the Israeli authorities, which impede workers from reaching their places of work, a decline in trade and private sector activity and the cancellation of work permits for over 170,000 Palestinian workers. The report warns that should the intensity of the conflict remain high beyond the first months of 2024, or the limits on the movement and access in the West Bank not be removed, the economic downturn in the Palestinian economy could become even more pronounced.

    West Bank Updates

     

    • On 26 February, a Palestinian man died of wounds sustained on 22 February as a result of an Israeli drone-fired missile that struck a vehicle travelling in Jenin refugee camp, during which two additional Palestinians, including a child, were killed. The man was in his barbershop at the time of the attack.
    • Since 7 October 2023 and as of 26 February, 400 Palestinians have been killed, including 102 children, and as of 23 February, 4,575 Palestinians have been injured, including 707 children, in conflict-related incidents across the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Israel. During the same period, 13 Israelis, including four members of Israeli forces, were killed and 86 injured in conflict-related incidents in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Israel.
    • On 20 February, a Palestinian family comprising six people, including three children, was forced to leave Ein Samiya Bedouin community in Ramallah governorate due to attacks by Israeli setters that included stealing of sheep and opening fire at herders. This is one of three families who have remained in the community after 27 other families were forcibly displaced in May 2023. Earlier on 13 February, threats and physical attacks on herders by settlers from a new settlement outpost near Asfar settlement in Hebron forced a herding family near Kisan village to leave their community along with 100 sheep. Since 7 October 2023, at least 200 Palestinian households comprising 1,222 people, including 595 children, have been displaced amid settler violence and access restrictions. The displaced households are from at least 19 herding/Bedouin communities. The displacement toll represents almost 80 per cent of all displacement from different Israeli practices across the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, since 7 October.
    • Since 7 October 2023, 576 people, including 276 children, have been displaced in Area C and East Jerusalem, after their homes were demolished due to the lack of Israeli-issued building permits, which are almost impossible to obtain.
    • Latest field assessments show that, since 7 October 2023, 848 Palestinians, including 397 children, have been displaced, following the destruction of 132 homes during operations carried out by Israeli forces across the West Bank. About 95 per cent of the displacement was reported in the refugee camps of Jenin, Nur Shams and Tulkarm.
    • Since 7 October 2023, OCHA has recorded 586 Israeli settler attacks against Palestinians that resulted in Palestinian casualties (53 incidents), damage to Palestinian-owned property (468 incidents), or both casualties and damage to property (65 incidents).
    • On 22 February, following a fatal Palestinian shooting attack on Road 1 near Az Za’ayyem checkpoint, the Israeli authorities banned the movement of Palestinian-plated vehicles on Road 1 during peak hours between 6:00 and 9:00 for 15 days, affecting the movement of thousands of Palestinians.

    Humanitarian Needs and Response Updates | 20–26 February

    Food Security

    Needs

    • The food security situation continues to be extremely critical across Gaza, particularly in northern Gaza, with people reportedly feeding their children animal fodder. Vulnerable segments of the population, including children, the elderly and people with underlying health conditions, are particularly exposed to the risk of malnutrition and famine.
    • The food security situation in the Middle Area and southern governorates is also critical, with most of the population queuing for hours to receive food when trucks manage to enter. In Rafah, the situation is increasingly concerning, with growing reports of people stopping aid trucks to take food and eat it immediately.
    • There is an urgent need to increase the fleet of delivery trucks.
    • There is an urgent need to import the agricultural inputs necessary for reactivating domestic production of essential fresh foods like eggs, vegetables, meat, fish and milk to ensure the availability of a balanced nutrition.
    • There is a need to establish secure and uninterrupted humanitarian corridors, with the support of the private sector and a focus on critical resources like fuel and cooking gas.

    Response

    • Between 19 and 25 February, a total of 18 partners engaged in providing food assistance across the Gaza Strip, reaching around 1.7 million people with food assistance at least once. Rafah Governorate received about 45 per cent of the total food assistance, followed by Deir al Balah (24 per cent), Khan Younis (15 per cent), and northern Gaza Strip (15 per cent).

    Challenges and Gaps

    • Operating partners are reporting a lack of food to distribute, and some are reporting that existing stocks will last for only two days.
    • The large number of people reached with hot meals is still insufficient to meet daily nutritional requirements.
    • Ongoing airstrikes and heavy fighting in Gaza continue to affect the flow of food, posing challenges for the conduct of safe and efficient humanitarian operations. Frequent border closures, restrictions, and security concerns hinder the delivery of a consistent and dependable food supply.
    • Rafah crossing is now working at a reduced rate and Karem Shalom is encountering closure due to Israeli demonstrators preventing trucks from entering. The humanitarian community is engaging with all relevant stakeholders to address this issue.

    Logistics

     

    Response

    • As of 25 February 2024, the Logistics Cluster received 6,251 cubic meters of cargo for storage on behalf of 17 organizations in Gaza and has supported 21 organizations with cargo notification services in Rafah. Through the Jordan corridor, the Cluster has transported a total of 3,596 metric tons of relief items on 267 trucks on behalf of six partners.
    • The Cluster delivered online training to 79 aid workers on the Service Request Forms (SRF), for storage and transport. In partnership with the IMPACT Working Group, the Cluster also organized an information session with UN agencies on customs clearance challenges in Jordan.
    • Cluster’s preparations to facilitate incoming cargo through the Egypt and Jordan corridors over the coming three months are underway. Partners have received a dedicated form for their organization via email and are requested to update it every Sunday. Partners who have not received the form can reach out to palestine.logcluster@wfp.org.  

    Challenges and Gaps

    • Storage and transport capacity inside Gaza remains challenging with ongoing assessments for identification of additional storage options. The Cluster continues to facilitate access to temporary storage, transport, and cargo notification transshipment services.

    Emergency Telecommunications

     

    Needs

    • There is an urgent need for independent communication platforms for responders in Gaza to coordinate emergency response and deliver aid, amid ongoing communication blackouts and unreliable/intermittent access to telecommunication services.

    Response:

    • Since its establishment, the ETC has been engaging with the Israeli authorities to obtain authorization to import all essential telecommunications equipment into Gaza and provide independent access to communications for humanitarian responders.
    • The ETC has been supporting humanitarian agencies in Gaza with Information and Communication Technology (ICT) assessments, technical advice and information, repairs, and guidance on the use of ICT equipment. Since 9 January, the ETC has conducted 16 ICT assessments in 13 locations in Rafah, and supported 17 humanitarian agencies with ICT repairs, technical advice, and guidance on the use of ICT equipment to maximize the available telecommunications resources on the ground.

    Challenges and Gaps

    • Limited access to electricity, fuel, and telecommunications services continues to impede the humanitarian response in Gaza.
    • The process of importing telecommunications equipment into Gaza remains lengthy and extremely challenging.

    Funding

     

    • The Flash Appeal for the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), which requests US$1.2 billion to meet critical needs of 2.7 million people across the oPt (2.2 million in the Gaza Strip and 500,000 in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem), was extended through the end of March 2024. As of 26 February, member states disbursed nearly $906 million against the updated Flash Appeal (74 per cent); this includes about $616 million out of $629 million (98 per cent) requested for October-December 2023 and $291 million out of $600 million (48 per cent) requested for January-March 2024. For funding analysis, please see the Flash Appeal Financial Tracking dashboard.
    • The occupied Palestinian territory Humanitarian Fund (oPt HF) and the Central Emergency Relief Fund (CERF) are currently funding more than 94 ongoing projects in the Gaza Strip to meet urgent humanitarian needs, notwithstanding constraints on the entry and delivery of aid into and within the Gaza Strip. These interventions, totalling about $88 million, address needs in the areas of food security, shelter, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), health and protection. Since October 7, the oPt HF has received a total of $88 million in contributions from member states and private donors. Private donations are collected directly through the Humanitarian Fund.

    26 februari 2024

    Israel Defies Court, Starves Gaza

    Lire la version en français / Hier die deutsche Ausgabe lesen

    Last month, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) told the government of Israel it had to “take immediate and effective measures to enable the provision of urgently needed basic services and humanitarian aid” in Gaza. It was a legally binding order, and Israel was to report back on its compliance with the order within one month.

    Today, one month later, Israel has failed to comply.

    The government of Israel continues to obstruct the provision of basic services and the entry and distribution within Gaza of fuel and lifesaving aid. In fact, Israeli authorities have allowed even fewer trucks into Gaza and fewer aid missions into northern Gaza in recent weeks than in the weeks preceding the World Court order.

    As we’ve highlighted before in this newsletter, weaponizing starvation and collective punishment of the population are war crimes.

    The court orders came in the context of the “genocide case” against the government of Israel at the ICJ, an independent court based in The Hague. In December, South Africa’s government filed the case, alleging that, in the wake of the Hamas-led October 7 attacks on Israeli civilians, Israel has committed atrocities against the Palestinian people that  violate the 1948 Genocide Convention.

    Obligations to civilians are nonreciprocal. The fact that Hamas-led fighters committed war crimes against Israeli civilians – does not justify Israeli war crimes against Palestinian civilians.

    A final determination on the question of “genocide” may take years, but in January, the court ruled on interim “provisional measures” to address the immediate situation. Citing “catastrophic conditions” in Gaza, the court issued legally binding orders, including an order to enable the provision of basic services and humanitarian assistance.

    International humanitarian law is clear here: an occupying power is responsible for the wellbeing of an occupied population. As the occupying power in Gaza, Israel is obliged to provide for the welfare of people in Gaza and ensure their humanitarian needs are met. And in any situation of armed conflict, warring parties are required to facilitate the rapid delivery of humanitarian aid to civilians.

    The government of Israel is both ignoring these legal obligations and openly flouting the World Court’s legally binding order. It is a direct challenge to the rules-based international system.

    As Israeli authorities continue to flout their obligations to Gaza’s 2.3 million Palestinians, the only real hope is other countries will pressure Israel’s government to not just facilitate, but also to actively provide life-saving aid.

    With so many lives at stake, they should use all forms of political and economic leverage, including individual sanctions and suspension of arms transfers, to press the Israeli government to comply with international law.

    25 februari 2024

    25 februari 2024

    Today's headlines

    UN experts call for immediate arms embargo on Israel

    Israel bombs near Egypt’s fortified wall with Rafah as talks resume to reach a captive exchange with Hamas. UN experts call for arms embargo against Israel and say states supplying weapons, ammunition or intelligence risk violating international law.

    Extraordinary charges of bias emerge against NYTimes reporter Anat Schwartz

    New doubts are emerging about the New York Times’s coverage of sexual violence in the October 7 attack. The paper must explain why it broke its own rules by hiring a clearly biased writer who endorsed racist and violent rhetoric toward Palestinians.

    Of families, mills, and gardens

    "It is true that there are many people who prefer to flee and search for a safe place outside the Gaza Strip, but this is not the case for the majority of people...It is not easy to start life again away from a homeland that you love."

    In a continuous return to Jerusalem: a eulogy for Mustafa al-Kurd

    Mustafa al-Kurd left an indelible mark on Palestine’s genre of “committed singing,” contributing to the music of the First Intifada through his “Give Me the Plow and Sickle,” among other classics.

    25 februari 2024

    It has been 142 days of the war in Gaza, and I am afraid the reality is growing increasingly dire. There are still over 100 Israeli hostages captive in Gaza. Over 28,000 Palestinians have been killed, approximately 1.4 million Palestinians have been displaced and are currently crammed in over-crowded makeshift tent cities near the Rafah border crossing. Everyday I wake up to more news that Israel's blockade on international aid is severely limiting humanitarian assistance and medical aid, leaving 2.3 million people facing food and water shortages in unhygienic conditions. In addition, everyday Israeli leaders continue the war on Gaza, they are putting the lives of Israelis and hostages at risk. 
     
    Sign this petition demanding Biden stop the war on Gaza.
     

    While the Israeli government continues to send soldiers into Gaza, attacking hospitals and enclosing millions of Gazans into the southern point of the Strip, some of those most affected by the Hamas assault on October 7th are actively resisting the assault on Gaza.

    Maoz Inon, the son of Bilha Inon and Yacovi Inon, both killed by Hamas on October 7th, has since declared himself a peace and anti-war activist. A few weeks ago, I attended an anti-war rally where Inon said:

    “To the American administration, and to the government of Germany, please don’t send us military aid, send us reconciliation aid. Send us initiative aid. Send us peace aid. We want peace, not war. Your unlimited support in Hague, in the UN Security Council, in the Israeli government. That is dehumanizing and oppressing, not just the Palestinians in Gaza and in the West Bank, they are … oppressing [the] freedom of speech, the freedom of gathering, the freedom of protesting, the voices of peace here in Israel.”

    I agree wholeheartedly with Maoz Inon when he urges world leaders to listen to the voices of the families who Israel claims to be waging this war for - people who know the profound toll of upholding the occupation, apartheid and the ongoing war on Gaza. People who want true justice, safety and lasting peace for all living between the Jordan river and the Mediterranean sea. 

     

    You can amplify their voices by signing this petition.

     

    Refuser Solidarity Network has created a petition asking Biden to stop the war on Gaza. We demand Biden:

    “1. Publicly call for, and take action towards, an immediate ceasefire, followed by humanitarian aid and release of all hostages and prisoners.
    2. Condition continued aid to Israel on concrete steps to end the occupation of the Palestinian people and bring about a political solution to the conflict.”

    Currently the United States is not listening to Inon’s and other war resisters' pleas, as the US Senate just passed a bill allocating $14 billion in military aid to Israel. 

     

    It is time we stand in solidarity with Palestinians and Israeli war resisters, and urge President Biden to find the moral courage to stop contributing to this horrific war on Gaza and work towards a better future.

    Maya,
    Intenational Solidarity Coordinator
    Refuser Solidarity Network

    24 februari 2024

    24 februari 2024

    Today's headlines

    Israel attacks civilian shelter in Deir el-Balah as ceasefire talks continue in Paris

    Israeli forces attacked a building in Deir el-Balah where more than 120 people were sheltering, killing at least 24. Medical staff at nearby Al Aqsa Hospital expect many more casualties and are struggling to deal with the influx of wounded civilians.

    Why the U.S. must engage Hamas politically

    The U.S. must engage politically with Hamas in order to end the horror in Gaza and pave the way toward progress. The alternative is further escalation and the growing possibility of a wider regional war.

    Over 2/3 of Jewish Israelis oppose humanitarian aid to Palestinians starving in Gaza

    A new Israeli Democracy Institute survey shows that 68% of Jewish Israelis oppose “the transfer of humanitarian aid to Gaza residents.”

    Biden won’t let Israel’s rejection of a Palestinian state interfere with his pretexes

    In yet another clear sign from Israel, the Knesset overwhelmingly voted this week to reject any “unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state." But this isn't stopping the Biden administration from clinging to its so called support with respect to a two state solution.

    24 februari 2024

    Every day that this genocide goes on, the crisis on the ground in Gaza deepens and the U.S. government facilitates countless more killings. For the sake of every Palestinian person still alive in Gaza, we must resist.

    These next two weeks will be critical, as we approach the Global Day of Action on Saturday, March 2, followed by the People’s State of the Union rally in DC on March 7.

    Read the latest updates below, and find out how you can keep resisting with us.

    Your Activist Scoop

    OUR GOVERNMENT'S GUILT

    • On Tuesday, the Biden administration singlehandledly vetoed a ceasefire at the UN Security Council for the third time, in what will be remembered as one of the most shameful moments in the history of this administration.
    • U.S. government spokespeople continue to brush off even the thought of holding the Israeli military accountable. The Pentagon remarked that they’re “not asking to check their homework” on Israel’s plans for a genocidal ground invasion of Rafah, and the State Department disregarded a new UN report on Israel’s sexual violence against Palestinians.
    • An UNRWA spokesperson said today that the humanitarian aid agency can no longer operate in northern Gaza, where Palestinians are starving to death, after the U.S. government and other countries cut funding.

    READ "BIDEN'S LEGACY IS GENOCIDE" STATEMENT

    YOUR IMPACt

     

    Pilgrimage for Peace rally in DC

     

    • You’ve collectively made 247,000+ calls and 978,000+ emails to Congress through USCPR action tools alone, moving 69 members of Congress to call for a permanent ceasefire. And on top of that, you’ve collectively sent over 3 million emails total to 200+ individual senior Biden administration officials asking them to resign in protest.
    • 63% of the American public supports a permanent ceasefire, including most Jews, Muslims, Catholics, Protestants, and white evangelicals, according to the latest polling.
    • Hundreds of interfaith leaders from across the country made a pilgrimage from Independence Hall in Philadelphia to the White House to urge Biden to call for a permanent ceasefire. See the Pilgrimage for Peace rally as faith leaders arrived at the White House on Wednesday.
    • Student organizers led a historic divestment win at University of California, Davis, pressuring the university to divest from BDS targets complicit in genocide.

    SEE THE PILGRIMAGE FOR PEACE RALLY

    WHAT TO DO NEXT

    • Millions around the world will march for Gaza for the Global Day of Action on Saturday, March 2 from Shut It Down with Palestine. Mobilize your community to march together on March 2!
    • Join our next USCPR Phone Zap on Wednesday, Feb. 28 at 2 PM ET to take action and discuss our joint struggles! The theme will be “Honoring Black-Palestinian Solidarity” with guest speaker Jalil Muntaqim, Black Panther Party member and former political prisoner. Sign up now for the Phone Zap.
    • Join our ally Grassroots International’s webinar next week on “Legal Strategies to Stop the Genocide in Palestine - A Briefing for Funders and Human Rights Advocates” which features Raji Sourani, Katherine Gallagher, Josh Paul, and Diala Shamas on February 29 at noon ET.
    • Raise the pressure on Biden officials to #QuitGenocide! This week, we’re focusing on asking three Arab-American officials to resign in protest: Hady Amr, United States Special Representative for Palestinian Affairs at the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs; Brenda F. Abdelall, Assistant Secretary of Partnership and Engagement at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security; and Fayrouz Saad, Director of Public Engagement at the Department of Commerce.

    ASK THESE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION
    OFFICIALS TO QUIT

    Thank you for taking action.


    Onward to liberation,

    CAT KNARR

    Communications Director

    23 februari 2024

    Hostilities in the Gaza Strip and Israel
    Flash Update #125

    Children standing in line in front of a tent clinic in Rafah, to be screened for malnutrition and referred for treatment as necessary. Photo by UNICEF/El Baba

    Key points

     

    • Intense Israeli bombardment from air, land and sea continues to be reported across much of the Gaza Strip, resulting in further civilian casualties, displacement, and destruction of civilian infrastructure. Ground operations and heavy fighting between Israeli forces and Palestinian armed groups also continue to be reported, particularly in Jabalya (northern Gaza), Gaza city, Deir al Balah and Khan Younis.
    • Between the afternoon of 22 February and 10:30 on 23 February, according to the Ministry of Health (MoH) in Gaza, 104 Palestinians were killed, and 160 Palestinians were injured. Between 7 October 2023 and 10:30 on 23 February 2024, at least 29,514 Palestinians were killed in Gaza and 69,616 Palestinians were injured, according to MoH in Gaza.
    • On 22 February, Israeli forces conducted airstrikes reportedly on residential buildings, mainly in Deir al Balah and Rafah, without prior warning, resulting in the death and injury of multiple people from the same family, including children. The following are among the deadliest incidents reported on 21 and 22 February:
      • On 21 February, at about 20:20, 22 Palestinians were reportedly killed, and tens of others were injured, when a residential building in western An Nuseirat Camp, in Deir al Balah, was struck.
      • On 22 February, at about 0:15, three Palestinians, including one child, were reportedly killed, and others were injured, when a residential building sheltering internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Al Geneina neighbourhood, northern Rafah, was struck.
      • On 22 February, at about 1:30, four Palestinians were reportedly killed, including three children, when a residential building in Deir al Balah was struck.
      • On 22 February, at about 7:20, four Palestinians were reportedly killed, when a residential building in Az Zawayda, Deir al Balah, was struck.
      • On 22 February, In the Zaytoun neighbourhood of Gaza city, up to eighteen people from the same family were reportedly killed, and several remained unaccounted for, in a strike on a residential building
    • Between the afternoons of 22 and 23 February, no Israeli soldiers were reported killed in Gaza. As of 23 February, 235 soldiers have been killed and 1,396 soldiers injured in Gaza since the beginning of the ground operation, according to the Israeli military. In addition, over 1,200 Israelis and foreign nationals have been killed in Israel, according to the Israeli authorities, the vast majority on 7 October. As of 23 February, the Israeli authorities estimate that some 134 Israelis and foreign nationals remain captive in Gaza and include fatalities whose bodies are being withheld.
    • On 22 February, Christopher Lockyear, Secretary-General of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), briefed the UN Security Council. On 21 February, a shelter hosting MSF staff and their families in Gaza was shelled, killing two family members of MSF staff and injuring six others. MSF staff are treating patients with catastrophic injuries, amputations, crushed limbs, and severe burns, despite a lack of hospital beds, medications and supplies. Surgeons are reusing basic gauze on their patients and have had to carry out amputations without anaesthesia on children. Patients need sophisticated care and long and intensive rehabilitation, but since 7 October, MSF have been forced to evacuate nine different health facilities. The MSF Secretary-General again called for an immediate and sustained ceasefire in Gaza and for the unequivocal protection of medical facilities, staff and patients. Also on 22 February, UN Security Council members expressed their deep concern regarding the extremely difficult and dangerous conditions under which UN personnel and the broader humanitarian and health care community are operating in Gaza and stressed the importance of respecting deconflicting mechanisms for the safety and security of UN personnel and facilities.
    • A new report by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the Johns Hopkins Center for Humanitarian Health estimates the potential public health impact of the current conflict in the Gaza Strip, focusing on the deaths in excess of what would have been expected in the absence of hostilities. The report provides a range of projections of what could happen under three distinct scenarios and covers a six-month period from 7 February to 6 August 2024. Under an immediate permanent ceasefire scenario, 6,550 excess deaths are projected, mainly due to the time needed to improve water, sanitation and shelter conditions, reduce malnutrition, and restore functioning healthcare services. Under the ‘current status quo’ and ‘escalation of the conflict’ scenarios, the projections rise sharply to 58,260 and 74,290 excess deaths, with traumatic injuries followed by infectious diseases being the main causes of additional fatalities in both cases. These figures are based on the absence of epidemics; should outbreaks of infectious disease such as cholera occur, the projections rise significantly to 11,580, 66,720 and 85,750 excess deaths, respectively. The report underscores the lasting impact of the conflict on the civilian population and emphasizes the urgent need for improved sanitation, nutrition, and healthcare services in Gaza.
    • On 22 February, the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) reported that its VHF system had been disabled, due to artillery shelling near Al Amal Hospital in Khan Younis, aggravating challenges in communicating with field teams, in particular ambulances. On 20 February, 7,500 litres of fuel were delivered to the hospital, to operate the back-up power generator, but the hospital urgently requires additional fuel, as well as food and medical supplies. Some 140 sick and injured patients, their families, and healthcare workers, still remain in Nasser Hospital, also in Khan Younis, which is struggling to operate, with no electricity, running water, sufficient food supplies, or drinking water. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), as of 22 February, there are 12 partially functional hospitals in the Gaza Strip, including six in northern Gaza and six in the south, in addition to three partly functional field hospitals. On 22 February, the newly appointed Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean for WHO stressed that funding cuts to UNRWA would result in ‘further catastrophic consequences’ for people in Gaza, and stated that ‘no agency, including WHO, can meet the critical gaps left if UNRWA is unable to fully operate.’
    • Catastrophic levels of acute food insecurity are reportedly intensifying across Gaza, with Save the Children reporting that families are forced to “forage for scraps or food left by rats and eating leaves out of desperation to survive,” amid rapidly declining aid supplies. Without an increased access to adequate food, water, sanitation, hygiene and comprehensive health and nutrition services for children and families, the risk of famine is projected to increase, the organization added. Recently, the Global Nutrition Cluster reported a steep rise in malnutrition among children and pregnant and breastfeeding women in Gaza, with serious concerns in northern Gaza (see Cluster updates below). To avert the threat of mass starvation, Save the Children is calling for safe unfettered humanitarian aid access for a massive scale-up in humanitarian aid supplies and the personnel needed to deliver it, particularly in northern Gaza.

    West Bank Updates

     

    • On 22 February, an Israeli drone struck a vehicle travelling in Jenin refugee camp, killing two Palestinians, a man and a 17-year-old child, and injuring 13 other Palestinians, including one in a critical condition. According to the Israeli military, the man was involved in attacks against Israelis and was on his way to carry out another attack.
    • Since 7 October 2023, 399 Palestinians have been killed, including 102 children, and 4,545 Palestinians have been injured, including 702 children, in conflict-related incidents across the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Israel. During the same period, 13 Israelis, including four members of Israeli forces, were killed and 86 injured in conflict-related incidents in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Israel.
    • On 21 February, OCHA issued a report highlighting trends in displacement in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, in 2023. About 4,000 Palestinians were displaced from their homes in 2023, of whom 29 per cent (1,153) were displaced when 214 homes were demolished in Area C and East Jerusalem for lacking building permits issued by the Israeli authorities, the highest such figure documented by OCHA since 2009. Israeli settler violence and shrinking access to grazing land were also a main cause of displacement; at least 1,539 Palestinians (39 per cent of total displacement) were displaced in this context in 2023, the majority in the aftermath of 7 October, with at least 14 Palestinian communities now completely depopulated. Nearly twenty-five per cent of the overall displacement (911) took place as a result of operations carried out by the Israeli army, particularly in refugee camps in the northern West Bank. Some 200 Palestinians (5 per cent) were additionally displaced from Masafer Yatta and H2 areas of Hebron, citing heightened access and movement restrictions and search-and-arrest operations by the Israeli army after 7 October. Finally, 173 people were displaced as a result of the punitive demolition of homes belonging to the families of Palestinians allegedly responsible for attacks against Israelis, accounting for 4 per cent of overall displacement.
    • On 21 February, a Palestinian family in Ath Thuri in East Jerusalem was forced to demolish the two upper floors of their three-storey residential building, due to the lack of Israeli-issued permits. The first floor was built before 1967 and did not receive a demolition order. As a result, five families comprising 23 children, including 12 children, were displaced. Since 7 October 2023, 576 people, including 276 children, have been displaced in Area C, and East Jerusalem, after their homes were demolished due to the lack of Israeli-issued building permits, which are almost impossible to obtain.
    • Since 7 October 2023, Israeli forces punitively demolished or sealed off 24 Palestinian-owned homes, displacing 117 Palestinians, including 51 children.
    • Since 7 October 2023, 830 Palestinians, including 337 children, have been displaced, following the destruction of 131 homes during operations carried out by Israeli forces across the West Bank. About 95 per cent of the displacement was reported in the refugee camps of Jenin, Nur Shams and Tulkarm.
    • On 23 February, an Israeli settler from an outpost associated with Nili settlement, near Qibya village (west of Ramallah), shot and injured a Palestinian man, with live ammunition reportedly after the settler brought his livestock to graze on cultivated Palestinian land. Also on 23 February, settlers from Bracha settlement raided the village of Burin in Nablus and set fire to a Palestinian vehicle. Since 7 October 2023, OCHA has recorded 583 Israeli settler attacks against Palestinians that resulted in Palestinian casualties (52 incidents), damage to Palestinian-owned property (467 incidents), or both casualties and damage to property (64 incidents).

    Funding

     

    • The Flash Appeal for the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), which requests US$1.2 billion to meet critical needs of 2.7 million people across the oPt (2.2 million in the Gaza Strip and 500,000 in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem), was extended through the end of March 2024. As of 19 February, member states disbursed nearly $901 million against the updated Flash Appeal (73 per cent); this includes $612 million out of $629 million (97 per cent) requested for October-December 2023 and $289 million out of $600 million (48 per cent) requested for January-March 2024. For funding analysis, please see the Flash Appeal Financial Tracking dashboard.
    • The occupied Palestinian territory Humanitarian Fund (oPt HF) and the Central Emergency Relief Fund (CERF) are currently funding more than 94 ongoing projects in the Gaza Strip to meet urgent humanitarian needs, notwithstanding constraints on the entry and delivery of aid into and within the Gaza Strip. These interventions, totalling about $88 million, address needs in the areas of food security, shelter, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), health and protection. Since October 7, the oPt HF has received a total of $88 million in contributions from member states and private donors. Private donations are collected directly through the Humanitarian Fund.

    HUMANITARIAN NEEDS AND RESPONSE UPDATES | 13–19 February

    Health

    Needs

    • There is a growing need for: primary health services in informal shelters; increasing routine immunization coverage and conducting catch-up campaigns; reducing overcrowding in maternity hospitals; anaesthetic and analgesic medications which are in short supply;
    • There is an urgent need for medication for non-communicable diseases and psychotropics; laboratory equipment and reagents to support diagnostics; and blood and blood products to ensure patients receive timely and necessary transfusions.
    • The continued siege on some hospitals is greatly affecting case management capacity of hospitals leading to overcrowding of the ones that are still accessible.
    • There is a need to strengthen referral mechanisms between hospitals.

    Response:

    • On average, partners are reaching about 450,000 people in need of various health services per week.
    • Ongoing disease surveillance at all health facilities to ensure early diagnosis and treatment of cases as well as early detection of any potential outbreak.
    • Plans to open stabilization centres for acute malnutrition cases with medical complications are underway.
    • On average, partners provided nearly 300,000 primary health care consultations per week.

    Challenges and Gaps

    • Increased insecurity in Rafah is greatly affecting response activities. The influx of IDPs migrating to Rafah has overwhelmed available bed capacities at hospitals.
    • High insecurity and limited access to health facilities in the northern and middle governorates continue to present major challenges to partners’ response activities.
    • Persistent siege of hospitals impedes access and the implementation of response activities.
    • The waiting list for patient referrals outside of Gaza continues to grow.
    • Partner operations continue to be negatively affected by the displacement of staff, social stresses and telecommunication challenges.
    • Limited access to proper WASH facilities is hindering prevention.  

    Nutrition

     

    Needs

    • Ongoing collaboration with partners is still needed to enhance capacity in Mid-Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC) screening, identify cases of Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) and Moderate Acute Malnutrition (MAM), and the delivery of effective treatment.
    • The Gaza nutrition vulnerability situation analysis results have been published on the Global Nutrition Cluster (GNC) website and shared across GNC's social media platforms. This assessment was carried out by the NIS-E Task Force under the leadership of GNC and co-chaired by WFP and UNICEF. The findings show:
    • Over 90 per cent of children aged 6-23 months and pregnant and breastfeeding women (PBWs) face severe food poverty (consuming two or fewer food groups each day).
      • Some 90 per cent of children under 5 are affected by one or more infectious diseases.
      • Some 81 per cent of households lack safe and clean water with average household access estimated at less than one litre per person per day.
      • One in six (15 per cent) children aged 6-23 in north Gaza are acutely malnourished.
      • In Rafah, five per cent of children aged 6-23 are acutely malnourished; this lower rate is mainly due to the limited humanitarian assistance provided, demonstrating that humanitarian assistance can mitigate the worst outcomes.

    Response

    • Thirty-six staff members (17 Female, 19 male) received training on MUAC screening to enhance early case identification and treatment. The training is crucial for enhancing the capacity of our partners and expanding MUAC screening across affected areas.
    • Five implementing partners continue conducting screenings for malnutrition among children aged 6 to 59 months, using MUAC measurements in shelters and health facilities. Children who are detected with MAM and SAM are referred for treatment using simplified treatment protocol. Cumulative MUAC assessment data are as follows:
      • Total Children Screened (Cumulative): 7,479
      • Average number of children Screened per week: 1,247
      • Total SAM children identified: 83
      • Total MAM Children Identified: 378

    Challenges and Gaps

    • Ongoing hostilities in Gaza have caused significant food shortages, poor access to clean water and sanitation facilities, and disruptions to healthcare services. This situation is putting children under five and pregnant or lactating women (PLW) at a relatively higher risk of malnutrition.
    • Without private areas for breastfeeding women, it is challenging to encourage and sustain breastfeeding practices. This lack of privacy could have lasting negative effects, particularly on children under two years of age and new-born babies.

    Food Security

     

    Needs

    • The humanitarian situation in North Gaza and Gaza governorates is extremely critical. The food security situation in Deir al Balah and the southern governorates is particularly acute, with the majority of the population in extreme hunger. In Rafah, the situation is becoming increasingly concerning. People in Rafah are reported to be stopping aid trucks to take food, highlighting the severity of their desperation and hunger.
    • There is an urgent need to augment the fleet of delivery trucks to ensure the entire population's nutritional requirements are met and to improve healthcare services, including primary health services, routine immunization coverage, and the provision of medication for non-communicable diseases.
    • Gaza's food production sector is severely impacted, eliminating the local production of essential fresh foods like eggs, vegetables, and milk. There is a critical need to restart the import of these vital inputs to revive local production and ensure the availability of balanced nutrition, especially for children and the broader population. Without this, achieving dietary balance remains an unattainable goal.
    • Vulnerable segments of the population, including children, the elderly, and individuals with underlying health conditions, are particularly susceptible to the risk of malnutrition. Partners are working to ensure that aid reaches these vulnerable groups.
    • Establishing secure and uninterrupted humanitarian corridors in Gaza, with the support of the private sector and a focus on critical resources like fuel and cooking gas, is essential to address the immediate needs of the affected population and support the overall humanitarian response.

    Response

    • Between 12 and 18 February, a total of 15 partners engaged in providing food assistance across the Gaza Strip. Around 1.7 million people were reached, with Rafah Governorate receiving about 32 per cent of the total food assistance, followed by Deir al Balah (28 per cent), Khan Younis (26 per cent), and northern Gaza Strip (14 per cent).

    Challenges and Gaps

    • Ongoing airstrikes and heavy fighting in Gaza continue to affect the flow of food supply, posing challenges for the conduct of safe and efficient humanitarian operations. Frequent border closures, restrictions, and security concerns hinder the ability to ensure a consistent and dependable food supply.
    • The escalation of hostilities has substantially damaged critical infrastructure, including roads, electricity, and water supply systems, exacerbating severe impediments to the efficient distribution of food.

    Shelter and Non-Food Items (NFI)

     

    Needs

    • Some 1.7 million people need shelter and NFI assistance across the Gaza Strip.
    • Urgent needs are tents, sealing-off kits (SOKs) and NFIs, including bedding, kitchen sets, and winter clothing. SOKs can be used to consolidate makeshift shelters or to protect damaged housing to facilitate return where possible.
    • Partners estimate that the amount of debris generated by the destruction of residential housing residential housing units will exceed 12,000 metric tons and will take over four years to remove, given Gaza’s current capabilities.

    Response

    • Since the start of hostilities, cluster partners reached about 900,000 people with partial shelter and NFI assistance. Partial assistance means that although a household has received some shelter and NFI items, not all their needs have been met.
    • During the reporting period, cluster partners distributed 7,900 bedding items, 1,600 SOKs and 340 clothing kits to IDPs sheltering outside of UN shelters in Rafah.
    • Some 28,000 tents, 7,600 SOKs, and 35,000 NFI kits are currently in the pipeline.
    • At present, there are 26 cluster partners operating in Gaza. Most of the assistance is currently provided in-kind; cash will be pursued further when market conditions allow.
    • Further details in the Cluster response strategy and website dashboard.

    Challenges and Gaps:

    • Slow entry of items into Gaza due to limited aid trucks and complicated bureaucratic and procurement processes.
    • Rising prices of shelter materials in neighbouring markets, including high freight rates and shipping costs.
    • Need to restore commercial imports and re-establish local markets to relieve pressure on in-kind provision.
    • Restrictions on or denial of the entry of key shelter items including timber, hand tools, and cooking stoves.
    • Lack of security and access to IDP locations, lack of fuel, and rising social tensions because of the limited quantity of aid available in comparison to outstanding needs.
    • Unplanned sites and lack of adequate equipment is leading to water damage to makeshift shelters and tents, and recurrent displacement resulting in the need for re-distribution of assistance.
    • Urgent funding is needed to address the key gaps in the supply of shelter and NFIs. As of 19 February, only 28 per cent of the Shelter Cluster funding requirement ($209.2M) has been funded.

    Protection

     

    Needs

    • Main needs include identification, tracing and reunification, and interim and alternative care arrangements of unaccompanied, previously detained and separated children.
    • There is an urgent need to provide Mental Health and Psychological Support (MHPSS), including psychological first aid (PFA); winterization materials, including warm clothing and blanket, for children and new-born babies.
    • There is urgent need to provide essential supplies, including menstrual management (MHM) kits and hygiene kits for women and girls.

    Response

    • In January, Child Protection Area of Responsibility (AoR) partners reached 111,202 boys and girls, and 2,633 women and men through awareness raising interventions; MHPSS for children and caregivers; identification and registration of Unaccompanied and Separated Children (USAC); and distribution of clothing kits.
    • Partners distributed essential supplies, including Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) kits and hygiene kits for women and girls. A total of 3,500 Dignity Kits and 8,926 MHM kits have been distributed by Gender-Based Violence (GBV) Sub-Cluster partners.
    • GBV responders are conducting procurement and distribution of Clinical Management of Rape (CMR) kits, and identification of health service points to provide CMR. Partners are also trying to establish emergency safe spaces, to provide PFA and recreational activities for vulnerable women and girls. Partners continue to expand PFA services for vulnerable groups, including GBV survivors, through frontline responders.

    Challenges and Gaps:

    • The increased hostilities in Rafah governorate pose a significant threat for partners providing lifesaving protection services in the governorate. There is a lack of available space to provide group-based psychosocial support activities, due to the population density.
    • Limited access to other governorates prevents thousands of affected people from being reached with critical protection services.

    Education

     

    Needs

    • More than 625,000 students and nearly 23,000 teachers in the Gaza Strip have been affected by school closures and attacks on education, leaving them with no access to education or safe places.
    • According to the Ministry of Education, as of 13 February, more than 5,055 students and 246 educational staff have been killed and more than 8,497 students and 836 teachers have been injured in Gaza since 7 October.
    • Some 92 per cent of all school buildings in Gaza are being used as shelters for IDPs and/or have sustained varying levels of damage. Some 394 schools (79.5 per cent of the total school buildings in Gaza) have sustained damage, including 142 schools that sustained major damage or were destroyed. Combined, these schools previously served some 459,231 children and more than 17,110 teachers. The North, Gaza, and Khan Younis governorates have been especially impacted, accounting for 76 per cent of all damaged schools (source: Education Cluster Damaged School Dashboard.)
    • The Education Cluster conducted a Satellite-derived Damage Assessment of all Gaza schools to verify damage to schools based on proximity to damaged sites. Key findings include:
      • Satellite-derived Damage verification exercise confirmed the large level of damage to schools previously reported by the cluster in Gaza.
      • Actual damages to school infrastructure might be 15 to 20 per cent higher than what has been previously reported by the Education Cluster.
      • At least 55 per cent of schools in Gaza will either need full reconstruction or major rehabilitation work to be functional again.
      • One quarter of directly hit and damaged schools are UNRWA-run schools.
      • Forty-five per cent of school buildings that have been used by IDPs as shelters, have been either directly hit or damaged.
      • The satellite-derived images provide evidence for the military use of schools.
    • Education partners are concerned about reports, videos and pictures depicting schools being used for military operations by Israeli forces, including their use as detention and interrogation centres, or as military bases.
    • Key priorities include the provision of Education in Emergencies (EiE) recreational activities and psychological support, including Social Emotional Learning (SEL) activities to children in shelters and designated emergency shelters (DESs); establishing Temporary Learning Spaces (TLS) in shelters/DESs to start non-formal learning for children; and provision of emergency supplies and learning kits. In addition, a key need is to identify and support of children with disabilities and other needs, with assistive devices for learning.

    Response

    • Since October 2023, eleven partners have reached more than 160,975 students and teachers with psychosocial support, emergency learning, recreational supplies and activities, and awareness sessions in the Deir al Balah, Khan Younis, and Rafah governorates. Most of the cluster responses are delivered by local partners (source: Education Cluster 5W dashboard).

    Challenges and Gaps:

    • No activities have been undertaken in the North Gaza and Gaza governorates due to ongoing hostilities and access challenges.
    • As of 18 February, the education response remains significantly underfunded, receiving less than 10 per cent of its requirements. Urgent funding is required to meet immediate response requirements.

    Logistics

     

    Response:

    • As of 18 February 2024, the Logistics Cluster has stored 7,256 cubic metres of cargo on behalf of 17 organisations, and supported 21 organisations with cargo notification service in Rafah.
    • Of relief items transported through the Jordanian corridor, the Logistics Cluster facilitated partners` access to the inter-agency convoy, transporting a total of 6,159 metric tons of relief items on 463 WFP trucks on behalf of six partners.
    • The Logistics Cluster has circulated the Compiled Logistics Supplier List through the mailing list. The aggregated list comes from partners to partners and is intended to ease access to and exchange of information; it is the list is based on partners' vendors’/suppliers’ contributions. The list will be circulated on a regular basis.
    • Challenges and Gaps:
    • The storage and transport capacity inside Gaza remains limited. The Logistics Cluster continues to facilitate access to temporary storage, transport from handover points to common warehouses, and cargo notification trans-shipment services.
    • The Logistics Cluster is coordinating the pipeline for incoming cargo through the Egyptian and Jordanian corridors for the coming three months. This is a vital exercise for operational planning, in terms of understanding the resources available and making allocations based on the prioritization list. Partners have received a dedicated form and are requested to update it weekly. Partners who have not received the form can reach out to palestine.logcluster@wfp.org.

    Emergency Telecommunications

     

    Needs:

    • There is an urgent need for independent communications platforms for responders in Gaza to coordinate the delivery of relief items amid the ongoing telecoms blackouts and unreliable/intermittent access to telecommunication services.

    Response:

    • On 12 February, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator received approval from the Israeli authorities to import 30 digital Very High Frequency (VHF) handheld radios for the use of UN agencies in Gaza, and solar solutions to power radio repeaters. Since its establishment on 3 November 2023, the ETC has been engaging with the Israeli authorities to obtain authorizations to import all essential telecommunications equipment into Gaza and provide independent access to communications for humanitarian responders.
    • Since 9 January, the ETC has supported humanitarian agencies with Information and Communication Technology (ICT) assessments, technical advice and information, repairs, and guidance on the use of ICT equipment in Gaza. To date, the ETC has conducted eight ICT assessments across four locations in Rafah and supported 14 humanitarian agencies with ICT repairs, technical advice, and guidance on the use of ICT equipment, in order to maximize the available telecommunications resources on the ground.

    Challenges and Gaps:

    • Limited access to electricity, fuel, and telecommunications services continues to hamper the humanitarian response in Gaza.
    • The import of telecommunications equipment into Gaza is fraught, lengthy, and extremely challenging.

    Multi-Purpose Cash Assistance (MPCA)

     

    Response:

    • Since the start of hostilities, one round of emergency MPCA was delivered to some 130,000 households, a top-up was delivered to 35,000 people (including people with disabilities and nursing mothers), and over 21,000 households have received a second round.
    • Around 93,000 households have cashed out their assistance since 7 October. Around 5,400 payments have been cancelled after not being cashed out for months, despite multiple follow ups. Cash out operations are currently almost exclusively in the southern governorates.
    • The assistance provided falls well short of need under the recurrent in-extremis circumstances, particularly given market collapse and price volatility. The last post-distribution monitoring data (PDMD) showed a significant decrease in the number of people who reported being able to meet all their needs, with the received assistance, combined with a major decrease in the number of people who reported not being able to cover any need. Overall, some 70 per cent of respondents reported that the assistance helped them access needed basic goods and services.
    • Based on the last PDMD collected between mid-January and mid-February, food remains the most purchased item with humanitarian cash (80 per cent), followed by medicines (39 per cent), water (23 per cent), hygiene bedding (10 per cent), and transportation.

    Challenges and Gaps:

    • Poor electricity supply and connectivity is affecting the ability of financial service providers to make cash accessible, compromising the encashment of the MPCA package.
    • Since late December, commercial trucks have sporadically entered Gaza, with 770 trucks recorded up to date. Truck vendors sell goods on the streets and in informal markets, complicating efforts to track distributions and gather market data. Informal markets are the primary source of accessible goods. Currently, there is limited market data available on informal markets/street vendors due to challenges with collecting data about informal market transactions.

    IASC Protection from Sexual and Exploitation Abuse (PSEA) Network

     

    Needs:

    • There is a need to mainstream PSEA messages & safeguarding practices across the Gaza Strip and West Bank, including East Jerusalem.
    • There is a pressing need to prioritize protection interventions at large. Safeguarding and SEA risk have become prominent in a context of severe aid dependency. The lack of safe aid delivery increases vulnerability and leads to exploitation and abuse.
    • Provide safe and accessible reporting channels, that lead to assistance and investigations of PSEA allegations.
    • Ensure that services are available for people at risk of sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA).

    Response:

    • Since October 2023, more than 1,500 cases have been referred by the SAWA Foundation specialized counsellors, including eight per cent from the West Bank.
    • Due to the communication cuts in Gaza, a range of public communication materials were produced and distributed.
    • The PSEA Network has made available MHPSS support and remote counselling sessions for PSEA focal points on the ground in Gaza, who are documenting the impact and the emerging needs by collecting complaints and feedback.

    Challenges:

    • Identifying cases and reaching vulnerable individuals pose significant challenges, particularly due to internet and telecommunication blackouts. Electricity and communication cuts make it challenging to establish contact with on-the-ground PSEA focal points.

    23 februari 2024

    Today's headlines

    UN experts urge countries to stop arming Israel as Netanyahu unveils postwar plan

    Benjamin Netanyahu's postwar plan would see Israel exerting direct control over a demilitarized Gaza Strip while permanently dismantling UNRWA and assigning "local officials" to govern civilian affairs.

    Two Palestinians killed, 14 injured by Israeli drone strike on vehicle in Jenin refugee camp

    The Israeli army is now killing resistance fighters in the Jenin Brigade using drones after several failed assassination attempts by Israeli special forces on the ground, an associate of the Jenin Brigade told Mondoweiss.

    Israeli lies about a ‘land bridge’ to the Gulf show the Yemeni blockade is working

    Israel says it is circumventing Yemen’s Red Sea blockade with a “land bridge” connecting it to Saudi Arabia and the UAE via Jordan. This is simply a charade to hide that Yemen’s blockade is working.

    22 februari 2024

    Earlier this week, the United States used its veto at the United Nations for the third time in 137 days to block the adoption of a ceasefire resolution in the Security Council. 

    Tell those still working for the Biden administration to take a stand against genocide by resigning immediately: Quit Genocide Now! 

    Earlier this month we launched a campaign to demand Biden administration staff resign in protest of the President's active role in the genocide in Gaza.

    Collectively, we’ve sent almost three million emails to senior administration officials urging them to resign in protest of Biden’s active role in supporting Israel’s genocide.

    We know that because of your emails, the administration has dispatched senior officials to meet with our communities.

    However, despite our persistent calls for a permanent ceasefire and an end to US military funding to Israel, our demands have not been met. Therefore, our call for resignation in protest of genocide remains unchanged.

    This week we are focused on three Arab-American officials in the administration: Hady Amr, United States Special Representative for Palestinian Affairs at the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs; Brenda F. Abdelall, Assistant Secretary of Partnership and Engagement at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security; and Fayrouz Saad, Director of Public Engagement at the Department of Commerce.

    As Biden promises to send even more weapons to Israel to continue genocide, there is no more room for staff in any government agency to separate themselves from his policies. His legacy is genocide, and their legacy is becoming that as well.

    It is especially disheartening to have prominent Arab-American staff members continue to endorse genocide by maintaining their positions. For an administration that prides itself on diversity, Biden and his senior staff have demonstrated disregard for the concerns of Palestinians and other Arab Americans, and regularly dismissed their voices. Continuing to serve under such leadership is tantamount to endorsing genocide.

    The only appropriate course of action now is for these individuals to resign publicly and send a clear message that the administration must be held accountable for its actions.

    22 februari 2024

    Hostilities in the Gaza Strip and Israel
    Flash Update #124

    Medical evacuation from Nasser hospital, 18 February. Since 18 February, 46 patients have been evacuated from the hospital. Still remaining there are 325 people, including some 140 sick and injured patients, their families, and healthcare workers. Photo by WHO

    Key points

     

    • Intense Israeli bombardment from air, land and sea continues to be reported across much of the Gaza Strip, resulting in further civilian casualties, displacement, and destruction of civilian infrastructure. Ground operations and heavy fighting between Israeli forces and Palestinian armed groups also continue to be reported, particularly in Gaza city, Deir al Balah and Khan Younis.
    • Between the afternoon of 21 February and 10:30 on 22 February, according to the Ministry of Health (MoH) in Gaza, 97 Palestinians were killed, and 132 Palestinians were injured. Between 7 October 2023 and 10:30 on 22 February 2024, at least 29,410 Palestinians were killed in Gaza and 69,465 Palestinians were injured, according to MoH in Gaza.
    • Between the afternoons of 21 and 22 February, no Israeli soldiers were reported killed in Gaza. As of 22 February, 235 soldiers have been killed and 1,396 soldiers injured in Gaza since the beginning of the ground operation, according to the Israeli military. In addition, over 1,200 Israelis and foreign nationals have been killed in Israel, according to the Israeli authorities, the vast majority on 7 October. As of 22 February, the Israeli authorities estimate that some 134 Israelis and foreign nationals remain captive in Gaza and include fatalities whose bodies are being withheld.
    • A new report by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the Johns Hopkins Center for Humanitarian Health estimates the potential public health impact of the current conflict in the Gaza Strip, focusing on the deaths in excess of what would have been expected in the absence of hostilities. The report, which draws on a range of publicly available data, expert consultations, and peer-reviewed research, provides a range of projections of what could happen under three distinct scenarios and covers a six-month period from 7 February to 6 August 2024. The projections are designed to help humanitarian organizations, governments, and other actors plan their response to the crisis and take sound, evidence-based decisions. Under an immediate permanent ceasefire scenario, 6,550 excess deaths are projected, mainly due to the time needed to improve water, sanitation and shelter conditions, reduce malnutrition, and restore functioning healthcare services. Under the ‘current status quo’ and ‘escalation of the conflict’ scenarios, the projections rise sharply to 58,260 and 74,290 excess deaths, with traumatic injuries followed by infectious diseases being the main causes of additional fatalities in both cases. These figures are based on the absence of epidemics; should outbreaks of infectious disease such as cholera occur, the projections rise significantly to 11,580, 66,720 and 85,750 excess deaths, respectively. The report underscores the lasting impact of the conflict on the civilian population and emphasizes the urgent need for improved sanitation, nutrition, and healthcare services in Gaza.
    • Humanitarian operations continue to face immense challenges, with aid workers themselves killed, displaced, or facing mounting movement restrictions and a breakdown of civil order. On 21 February, Principals of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) emphasized that the humanitarian response “is already on its knees,” warning that “no amount of humanitarian response will make up for the months of deprivation that families in Gaza have endured.” The Principals put forth ten requirements to avoid an even worse catastrophe. These requirements include, among others, an immediate ceasefire, reliable entry points to bring in relief supplies to distribute throughout Gaza, security assurances, a reliable humanitarian notification system, and a stable communication network. The Principals also called on Israel to fulfil its legal obligation to provide food and medical supplies as well as facilitate aid operations.
    • On 21 February, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) General Director Meinie Nicolai condemned the strike on a house in Al Mawasi area in Khan Younis, where 64 people including MSF staff and their families were sheltering: “The amount of force being used in densely populated urban environments is staggering, and targeting a building knowing it is full of humanitarian workers and their families is unconscionable.” The attack resulted in the killing of two family members of MSF staff and the injury of six others. According to MSF, the site’s location had been notified to Israeli forces, an MSF flag was hung on the building, and no evacuation orders were issued before the strike. In response to the incident, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Martin Griffiths, stated: “Humanitarians are putting their lives on the line. Like all civilians, they must be protected.”
    • The provision of lifesaving services across Gaza is taking place amid intense hostilities, limitations on the entry and delivery of aid, and growing insecurity. On 20 February, the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) reported receiving a delivery of 7,500 litres of fuel, in coordination with OCHA, to operate the generator at Al Amal Hospital, but the hospital still urgently requires food and medical supplies as well as additional fuel. Moreover, since 18 February, PCRS, OCHA and the World Health Organization (WHO) have coordinated the medical evacuation of 46 patients from Nasser hospital in Khan Younis, where 325 people, including some 140 sick and injured patients, their families, and healthcare workers, still remain. As of 22 February, Nasser hospital is struggling to operate, however minimally, with no electricity, running water, sufficient food supplies, or drinking water as well as a heavy Israeli military presence inside the hospital and heavy fighting in its vicinity. At least 12 patients still require medical evacuation and there are ongoing attempts to restore electricity. According to WHO, as of 22 February, there are 12 partially functional hospitals in the Gaza Strip, including six in northern Gaza and six in the south, in addition to three partly functional field hospitals.
    • Between 1 and 15 February, only two out of 21 planned fuel missions by humanitarian partners to the north of Wadi Gaza were facilitated by the Israeli authorities, allowing the delivery of 38,400 litres of fuel. During this period, all 16 planned fuel or assessment missions to water and wastewater pumping stations in the north were denied access. In contrast, 25 out of 42 fuel missions to areas to the south of Wadi Gaza that require prior coordination were facilitated by the Israeli authorities, resulting in the delivery of 457,000 litres of fuel.
    • Warning that the Gaza Strip is on the brink of a public health catastrophe, the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) and the Health Clusters emphasize that there is a crucial need for adequate WASH infrastructiure to respond to the scale of the crisis. According to the WASH and Health Clusters, the majority of people in Gaza have no access to clean drinking water and water and sanitation infrastructure lacks the fuel necessary for its effective operation. Only one in three water pipelines from Israel remains operational, but only at 47 per cent of its full capacity. Additionally, two of the three main water desalination plants are only partially functional and wastewater treatment systems are all not operational. On 19 February, the Gaza Municipality reported widespread destruction of sewage facilities in the city, including severe damage to pump stations, drainage lines and power generators, which has led to the outflow of large amounts of untreated sewage.
    • The following are among the deadliest incidents reported on 20 and 21 February, mainly in Deir al Balah:
      • On 20 February, at about 14:00, 12 Palestinians were reportedly killed, and at least five others injured, when a residential square in western An Nuseirat, in Deir al Balah, was struck.
      • On 20 February, at about 21:00, one Palestinian body was reportedly recovered from under the rubble of a residential building in Az Zawayda, in Deir al Balah, that was struck on 18 February, bringing the total number of fatalities from the incident to 33.
      • On 20 February, at about 21:00, at least 25 Palestinians were reportedly killed, and tens of others injured, when a residential building in Deir al Balah was struck.
      • On 20 February, at about 22:00, eight Palestinians were reportedly killed, including the Dean of the Faculty of Nursing at the Islamic University of Gaza, along with seven members of his family, when several residential buildings in eastern Rafah were struck.
      • On 21 February, at about 7:00, nine Palestinians, including three children (siblings), were reportedly killed during an incursion in the vicinity of Khan Younis port.
      • On 21 February, at about 9:00, six Palestinians were reportedly killed, when a civilian vehicle in Deir al Balah was struck.

    West Bank Updates

     

    • On 21 February, Israeli forces shot and killed a 15-year-old boy by live ammunition in clashes between Palestinian stone throwers and the Israeli army during a raid in Azzun village in Qalqiliya. Medical sources reported that the ambulance was allowed by Israeli forces to evacuate the boy after around 20 minutes of his injury.
    • Initial information indicates that on the morning of 22 February, three Palestinian men from Bethlehem perpetrated a shooting attack near Az Za’ayyem checkpoint that controls access to East Jerusalem from the east. As a result, one Israeli settler and two of the three Palestinian men were killed and six Israelis were injured, one of whom is in critical condition. According to Israeli military sources, three Palestinians stopped their vehicle at a junction close to Ma’ale Adumim settlement during a traffic jam and opened fire at Israeli vehicles. Following the incident, Israeli forces closed all checkpoints leading to Jerusalem.
    • Since 7 October 2023, a total of 397 Palestinians have been killed, including 101 children, and 4,530 Palestinians have been injured, including 702 children, in conflict-related incidents across the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Israel. During the same period, 13 Israelis, including four members of Israeli forces, were killed and 86 injured in conflict-related incidents in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Israel.
    • On 20 February, OCHA issued a report analysing the impact of the 2023 olive harvest in the West Bank, which took place between September and November 2023. This coincided with the 7 October attack in Israel and the military offensive in Gaza, after which restrictions on movement within the West Bank were intensified and incidents of settler violence against Palestinians significantly increased. It is estimated that at least 96,000 dunums of olive-cultivated land across the West Bank remained unharvested in the 2023 season, primarily in areas in the ‘Seam Zone’ area behind the Barrier, and in the vicinity of Israeli settlements, where long-term restrictions on Palestinian access apply. The agricultural gates along the Barrier remained closed, except for the period between 24 and 30 November when a humanitarian pause was implemented in Gaza. The prior ‘coordination system’ required by Palestinians to access their land in, and in the vicinity of settlements, was cancelled for the duration of the harvest. According to the Food Security Sector, the financial cost of olive oil production losses to the Palestinian economy is estimated at US$10 million. During September-November 2023, OCHA documented 113 harvest-related cases where Israeli settlers attacked Palestinians, damaged over 2,000 trees or stole crops and harvesting equipment. Farmers are concerned that the current restrictions may impede essential upcoming agricultural activities such as ploughing, pruning and weeding.
    • Since 7 October 2023, 551 people, including 264 children, have been displaced in Area C, and East Jerusalem, after their homes were demolished due to the lack of Israeli-issued building permits, which are almost impossible to obtain.
    • On 18 February, the Israeli authorities punitively sealed off an apartment in a 13-storey building in Shu’fat refugee camp in East Jerusalem, displacing five people, including four children. The house belonged to the family of the Palestinian who was shot and killed while carrying out a shooting attack in Kiryat Malachi in Israel on 16 February, killing two Israelis. Since 7 October 2023 and as of 18 February, Israeli forces punitively demolished or sealed off 24 Palestinian-owned homes, displacing 117 Palestinians, including 51 children.
    • Since 7 October 2023, 830 Palestinians, including 337 children, have been displaced, following the destruction of 131 homes during operations carried out by Israeli forces across the West Bank. About 95 per cent of the displacement was reported in the refugee camps of Jenin, Nur Shams and Tulkarm.
    • In two separate incidents on 20 February, in Asira al Qibliya village in Nablus, Israeli settlers reportedly from Yitzhar settlement threw a sound grenade at an electricity pole, causing electricity outages in the village for half-an-hour, and opened fire at a Palestinian vehicle when the driver tried to avoid a flying checkpoint they had erected along with the guards of the settlement. Settlers from Yitzhar settlement also raided the village on 21 February and threw stones and incendiary materials in the yard of two houses. As a result, a man was hurt in the leg while the yard of one of the houses and two vehicles parked outside the houses sustained damage. Since 7 October 2023 and as of 21 February, OCHA has recorded 577 Israeli settler attacks against Palestinians that resulted in Palestinian casualties (51 incidents), damage to Palestinian-owned property (463 incidents), or both casualties and damage to property (63 incidents).

    Funding

     

    • The Flash Appeal for the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), which requests US$1.2 billion to meet critical needs of 2.7 million people across the oPt (2.2 million in the Gaza Strip and 500,000 in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem), was extended through the end of March 2024. As of 19 February, member states disbursed nearly $901 million against the updated Flash Appeal (73 per cent); this includes $612 million out of $629 million (97 per cent) requested for October-December 2023 and $289 million out of $600 million (48 per cent) requested for January-March 2024. For funding analysis, please see the Flash Appeal Financial Tracking dashboard.
    • The occupied Palestinian territory Humanitarian Fund (oPt HF) and the Central Emergency Relief Fund (CERF) are currently funding more than 94 ongoing projects in the Gaza Strip to meet urgent humanitarian needs, notwithstanding constraints on the entry and delivery of aid into and within the Gaza Strip. These interventions, totalling about $88 million, address needs in the areas of food security, shelter, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), health and protection. Since October 7, the oPt HF has received a total of $88 million in contributions from member states and private donors. Private donations are collected directly through the Humanitarian Fund.

    HUMANITARIAN NEEDS AND RESPONSE UPDATES | 13–19 February

    Health

    Needs

    • There is a growing need for: primary health services in informal shelters; increasing routine immunization coverage and conducting catch-up campaigns; reducing overcrowding in maternity hospitals; anaesthetic and analgesic medications which are in short supply;
    • There is an urgent need for medication for non-communicable diseases and psychotropics; laboratory equipment and reagents to support diagnostics; and blood and blood products to ensure patients receive timely and necessary transfusions.
    • The continued siege on some hospitals is greatly affecting case management capacity of hospitals leading to overcrowding of the ones that are still accessible.
    • There is a need to strengthen referral mechanisms between hospitals.

    Response:

    • On average, partners are reaching about 450,000 people in need of various health services per week.
    • Ongoing disease surveillance at all health facilities to ensure early diagnosis and treatment of cases as well as early detection of any potential outbreak.
    • Plans to open stabilization centres for acute malnutrition cases with medical complications are underway.
    • On average, partners provided nearly 300,000 primary health care consultations per week.

    Challenges and Gaps

    • Increased insecurity in Rafah is greatly affecting response activities. The influx of IDPs migrating to Rafah has overwhelmed available bed capacities at hospitals.
    • High insecurity and limited access to health facilities in the northern and middle governorates continue to present major challenges to partners’ response activities.
    • Persistent siege of hospitals impedes access and the implementation of response activities.
    • The waiting list for patient referrals outside of Gaza continues to grow.
    • Partner operations continue to be negatively affected by the displacement of staff, social stresses and telecommunication challenges.
    • Limited access to proper WASH facilities is hindering prevention.  

    Nutrition

     

    Needs

    • Ongoing collaboration with partners is still needed to enhance capacity in Mid-Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC) screening, identify cases of Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) and Moderate Acute Malnutrition (MAM), and the delivery of effective treatment.
    • The Gaza nutrition vulnerability situation analysis results have been published on the Global Nutrition Cluster (GNC) website and shared across GNC's social media platforms. This assessment was carried out by the NIS-E Task Force under the leadership of GNC and co-chaired by WFP and UNICEF. The findings show:
    • Over 90 per cent of children aged 6-23 months and pregnant and breastfeeding women (PBWs) face severe food poverty (consuming two or fewer food groups each day).
      • Some 90 per cent of children under 5 are affected by one or more infectious diseases.
      • Some 81 per cent of households lack safe and clean water with average household access estimated at less than one litre per person per day.
      • One in six (15 per cent) children aged 6-23 in north Gaza are acutely malnourished.
      • In Rafah, five per cent of children aged 6-23 are acutely malnourished; this lower rate is mainly due to the limited humanitarian assistance provided, demonstrating that humanitarian assistance can mitigate the worst outcomes.

    Response

    • Thirty-six staff members (17 Female, 19 male) received training on MUAC screening to enhance early case identification and treatment. The training is crucial for enhancing the capacity of our partners and expanding MUAC screening across affected areas.
    • Five implementing partners continue conducting screenings for malnutrition among children aged 6 to 59 months, using MUAC measurements in shelters and health facilities. Children who are detected with MAM and SAM are referred for treatment using simplified treatment protocol. Cumulative MUAC assessment data are as follows:
      • Total Children Screened (Cumulative): 7,479
      • Average number of children Screened per week: 1,247
      • Total SAM children identified: 83
      • Total MAM Children Identified: 378

    Challenges and Gaps

    • Ongoing hostilities in Gaza have caused significant food shortages, poor access to clean water and sanitation facilities, and disruptions to healthcare services. This situation is putting children under five and pregnant or lactating women (PLW) at a relatively higher risk of malnutrition.
    • Without private areas for breastfeeding women, it is challenging to encourage and sustain breastfeeding practices. This lack of privacy could have lasting negative effects, particularly on children under two years of age and new-born babies.

    Food Security

     

    Needs

    • The humanitarian situation in North Gaza and Gaza governorates is extremely critical. The food security situation in Deir al Balah and the southern governorates is particularly acute, with the majority of the population in extreme hunger. In Rafah, the situation is becoming increasingly concerning. People in Rafah are reported to be stopping aid trucks to take food, highlighting the severity of their desperation and hunger.
    • There is an urgent need to augment the fleet of delivery trucks to ensure the entire population's nutritional requirements are met and to improve healthcare services, including primary health services, routine immunization coverage, and the provision of medication for non-communicable diseases.
    • Gaza's food production sector is severely impacted, eliminating the local production of essential fresh foods like eggs, vegetables, and milk. There is a critical need to restart the import of these vital inputs to revive local production and ensure the availability of balanced nutrition, especially for children and the broader population. Without this, achieving dietary balance remains an unattainable goal.
    • Vulnerable segments of the population, including children, the elderly, and individuals with underlying health conditions, are particularly susceptible to the risk of malnutrition. Partners are working to ensure that aid reaches these vulnerable groups.
    • Establishing secure and uninterrupted humanitarian corridors in Gaza, with the support of the private sector and a focus on critical resources like fuel and cooking gas, is essential to address the immediate needs of the affected population and support the overall humanitarian response.

    Response

    • Between 12 and 18 February, a total of 15 partners engaged in providing food assistance across the Gaza Strip. Around 1.7 million people were reached, with Rafah Governorate receiving about 32 per cent of the total food assistance, followed by Deir al Balah (28 per cent), Khan Younis (26 per cent), and northern Gaza Strip (14 per cent).

    Challenges and Gaps

    • Ongoing airstrikes and heavy fighting in Gaza continue to affect the flow of food supply, posing challenges for the conduct of safe and efficient humanitarian operations. Frequent border closures, restrictions, and security concerns hinder the ability to ensure a consistent and dependable food supply.
    • The escalation of hostilities has substantially damaged critical infrastructure, including roads, electricity, and water supply systems, exacerbating severe impediments to the efficient distribution of food.

    Shelter and Non-Food Items (NFI)

     

    Needs

    • Some 1.7 million people need shelter and NFI assistance across the Gaza Strip.
    • Urgent needs are tents, sealing-off kits (SOKs) and NFIs, including bedding, kitchen sets, and winter clothing. SOKs can be used to consolidate makeshift shelters or to protect damaged housing to facilitate return where possible.
    • Partners estimate that the amount of debris generated by the destruction of residential housing residential housing units will exceed 12,000 metric tons and will take over four years to remove, given Gaza’s current capabilities.

    Response

    • Since the start of hostilities, cluster partners reached about 900,000 people with partial shelter and NFI assistance. Partial assistance means that although a household has received some shelter and NFI items, not all their needs have been met.
    • During the reporting period, cluster partners distributed 7,900 bedding items, 1,600 SOKs and 340 clothing kits to IDPs sheltering outside of UN shelters in Rafah.
    • Some 28,000 tents, 7,600 SOKs, and 35,000 NFI kits are currently in the pipeline.
    • At present, there are 26 cluster partners operating in Gaza. Most of the assistance is currently provided in-kind; cash will be pursued further when market conditions allow.
    • Further details in the Cluster response strategy and website dashboard.

    Challenges and Gaps:

    • Slow entry of items into Gaza due to limited aid trucks and complicated bureaucratic and procurement processes.
    • Rising prices of shelter materials in neighbouring markets, including high freight rates and shipping costs.
    • Need to restore commercial imports and re-establish local markets to relieve pressure on in-kind provision.
    • Restrictions on or denial of the entry of key shelter items including timber, hand tools, and cooking stoves.
    • Lack of security and access to IDP locations, lack of fuel, and rising social tensions because of the limited quantity of aid available in comparison to outstanding needs.
    • Unplanned sites and lack of adequate equipment is leading to water damage to makeshift shelters and tents, and recurrent displacement resulting in the need for re-distribution of assistance.
    • Urgent funding is needed to address the key gaps in the supply of shelter and NFIs. As of 19 February, only 28 per cent of the Shelter Cluster funding requirement ($209.2M) has been funded.

    Protection

     

    Needs

    • Main needs include identification, tracing and reunification, and interim and alternative care arrangements of unaccompanied, previously detained and separated children.
    • There is an urgent need to provide Mental Health and Psychological Support (MHPSS), including psychological first aid (PFA); winterization materials, including warm clothing and blanket, for children and new-born babies.
    • There is urgent need to provide essential supplies, including menstrual management (MHM) kits and hygiene kits for women and girls.

    Response

    • In January, Child Protection Area of Responsibility (AoR) partners reached 111,202 boys and girls, and 2,633 women and men through awareness raising interventions; MHPSS for children and caregivers; identification and registration of Unaccompanied and Separated Children (USAC); and distribution of clothing kits.
    • Partners distributed essential supplies, including Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) kits and hygiene kits for women and girls. A total of 3,500 Dignity Kits and 8,926 MHM kits have been distributed by Gender-Based Violence (GBV) Sub-Cluster partners.
    • GBV responders are conducting procurement and distribution of Clinical Management of Rape (CMR) kits, and identification of health service points to provide CMR. Partners are also trying to establish emergency safe spaces, to provide PFA and recreational activities for vulnerable women and girls. Partners continue to expand PFA services for vulnerable groups, including GBV survivors, through frontline responders.

    Challenges and Gaps:

    • The increased hostilities in Rafah governorate pose a significant threat for partners providing lifesaving protection services in the governorate. There is a lack of available space to provide group-based psychosocial support activities, due to the population density.
    • Limited access to other governorates prevents thousands of affected people from being reached with critical protection services.

    Education

     

    Needs

    • More than 625,000 students and nearly 23,000 teachers in the Gaza Strip have been affected by school closures and attacks on education, leaving them with no access to education or safe places.
    • According to the Ministry of Education, as of 13 February, more than 5,055 students and 246 educational staff have been killed and more than 8,497 students and 836 teachers have been injured in Gaza since 7 October.
    • Some 92 per cent of all school buildings in Gaza are being used as shelters for IDPs and/or have sustained varying levels of damage. Some 394 schools (79.5 per cent of the total school buildings in Gaza) have sustained damage, including 142 schools that sustained major damage or were destroyed. Combined, these schools previously served some 459,231 children and more than 17,110 teachers. The North, Gaza, and Khan Younis governorates have been especially impacted, accounting for 76 per cent of all damaged schools (source: Education Cluster Damaged School Dashboard.)
    • The Education Cluster conducted a Satellite-derived Damage Assessment of all Gaza schools to verify damage to schools based on proximity to damaged sites. Key findings include:
      • Satellite-derived Damage verification exercise confirmed the large level of damage to schools previously reported by the cluster in Gaza.
      • Actual damages to school infrastructure might be 15 to 20 per cent higher than what has been previously reported by the Education Cluster.
      • At least 55 per cent of schools in Gaza will either need full reconstruction or major rehabilitation work to be functional again.
      • One quarter of directly hit and damaged schools are UNRWA-run schools.
      • Forty-five per cent of school buildings that have been used by IDPs as shelters, have been either directly hit or damaged.
      • The satellite-derived images provide evidence for the military use of schools.
    • Education partners are concerned about reports, videos and pictures depicting schools being used for military operations by Israeli forces, including their use as detention and interrogation centres, or as military bases.
    • Key priorities include the provision of Education in Emergencies (EiE) recreational activities and psychological support, including Social Emotional Learning (SEL) activities to children in shelters and designated emergency shelters (DESs); establishing Temporary Learning Spaces (TLS) in shelters/DESs to start non-formal learning for children; and provision of emergency supplies and learning kits. In addition, a key need is to identify and support of children with disabilities and other needs, with assistive devices for learning.

    Response

    • Since October 2023, eleven partners have reached more than 160,975 students and teachers with psychosocial support, emergency learning, recreational supplies and activities, and awareness sessions in the Deir al Balah, Khan Younis, and Rafah governorates. Most of the cluster responses are delivered by local partners (source: Education Cluster 5W dashboard).

    Challenges and Gaps:

    • No activities have been undertaken in the North Gaza and Gaza governorates due to ongoing hostilities and access challenges.
    • As of 18 February, the education response remains significantly underfunded, receiving less than 10 per cent of its requirements. Urgent funding is required to meet immediate response requirements.

    Logistics

     

    Response:

    • As of 18 February 2024, the Logistics Cluster has stored 7,256 cubic metres of cargo on behalf of 17 organisations, and supported 21 organisations with cargo notification service in Rafah.
    • Of relief items transported through the Jordanian corridor, the Logistics Cluster facilitated partners` access to the inter-agency convoy, transporting a total of 6,159 metric tons of relief items on 463 WFP trucks on behalf of six partners.
    • The Logistics Cluster has circulated the Compiled Logistics Supplier List through the mailing list. The aggregated list comes from partners to partners and is intended to ease access to and exchange of information; it is the list is based on partners' vendors’/suppliers’ contributions. The list will be circulated on a regular basis.
    • Challenges and Gaps:
    • The storage and transport capacity inside Gaza remains limited. The Logistics Cluster continues to facilitate access to temporary storage, transport from handover points to common warehouses, and cargo notification trans-shipment services.
    • The Logistics Cluster is coordinating the pipeline for incoming cargo through the Egyptian and Jordanian corridors for the coming three months. This is a vital exercise for operational planning, in terms of understanding the resources available and making allocations based on the prioritization list. Partners have received a dedicated form and are requested to update it weekly. Partners who have not received the form can reach out to palestine.logcluster@wfp.org.

    Emergency Telecommunications

     

    Needs:

    • There is an urgent need for independent communications platforms for responders in Gaza to coordinate the delivery of relief items amid the ongoing telecoms blackouts and unreliable/intermittent access to telecommunication services.

    Response:

    • On 12 February, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator received approval from the Israeli authorities to import 30 digital Very High Frequency (VHF) handheld radios for the use of UN agencies in Gaza, and solar solutions to power radio repeaters. Since its establishment on 3 November 2023, the ETC has been engaging with the Israeli authorities to obtain authorizations to import all essential telecommunications equipment into Gaza and provide independent access to communications for humanitarian responders.
    • Since 9 January, the ETC has supported humanitarian agencies with Information and Communication Technology (ICT) assessments, technical advice and information, repairs, and guidance on the use of ICT equipment in Gaza. To date, the ETC has conducted eight ICT assessments across four locations in Rafah and supported 14 humanitarian agencies with ICT repairs, technical advice, and guidance on the use of ICT equipment, in order to maximize the available telecommunications resources on the ground.

    Challenges and Gaps:

    • Limited access to electricity, fuel, and telecommunications services continues to hamper the humanitarian response in Gaza.
    • The import of telecommunications equipment into Gaza is fraught, lengthy, and extremely challenging.

    Multi-Purpose Cash Assistance (MPCA)

     

    Response:

    • Since the start of hostilities, one round of emergency MPCA was delivered to some 130,000 households, a top-up was delivered to 35,000 people (including people with disabilities and nursing mothers), and over 21,000 households have received a second round.
    • Around 93,000 households have cashed out their assistance since 7 October. Around 5,400 payments have been cancelled after not being cashed out for months, despite multiple follow ups. Cash out operations are currently almost exclusively in the southern governorates.
    • The assistance provided falls well short of need under the recurrent in-extremis circumstances, particularly given market collapse and price volatility. The last post-distribution monitoring data (PDMD) showed a significant decrease in the number of people who reported being able to meet all their needs, with the received assistance, combined with a major decrease in the number of people who reported not being able to cover any need. Overall, some 70 per cent of respondents reported that the assistance helped them access needed basic goods and services.
    • Based on the last PDMD collected between mid-January and mid-February, food remains the most purchased item with humanitarian cash (80 per cent), followed by medicines (39 per cent), water (23 per cent), hygiene bedding (10 per cent), and transportation.

    Challenges and Gaps:

    • Poor electricity supply and connectivity is affecting the ability of financial service providers to make cash accessible, compromising the encashment of the MPCA package.
    • Since late December, commercial trucks have sporadically entered Gaza, with 770 trucks recorded up to date. Truck vendors sell goods on the streets and in informal markets, complicating efforts to track distributions and gather market data. Informal markets are the primary source of accessible goods. Currently, there is limited market data available on informal markets/street vendors due to challenges with collecting data about informal market transactions.

    IASC Protection from Sexual and Exploitation Abuse (PSEA) Network

     

    Needs:

    • There is a need to mainstream PSEA messages & safeguarding practices across the Gaza Strip and West Bank, including East Jerusalem.
    • There is a pressing need to prioritize protection interventions at large. Safeguarding and SEA risk have become prominent in a context of severe aid dependency. The lack of safe aid delivery increases vulnerability and leads to exploitation and abuse.
    • Provide safe and accessible reporting channels, that lead to assistance and investigations of PSEA allegations.
    • Ensure that services are available for people at risk of sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA).

    Response:

    • Since October 2023, more than 1,500 cases have been referred by the SAWA Foundation specialized counsellors, including eight per cent from the West Bank.
    • Due to the communication cuts in Gaza, a range of public communication materials were produced and distributed.
    • The PSEA Network has made available MHPSS support and remote counselling sessions for PSEA focal points on the ground in Gaza, who are documenting the impact and the emerging needs by collecting complaints and feedback.

    Challenges:

    • Identifying cases and reaching vulnerable individuals pose significant challenges, particularly due to internet and telecommunication blackouts. Electricity and communication cuts make it challenging to establish contact with on-the-ground PSEA focal points.

    22 februari 2024

    Today's headlines

    As Palestinians in north Gaza starve, Israel attacks MSF building in Rafah

    The situation in Gaza grows worse by the day as Palestinians are starved and Israeli forces turn hospitals into morgues. In the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, tensions rise as Ramadan approaches.

    How Haaretz has aided Israel’s genocide in Gaza

    Haaretz is widely considered Israel's leading liberal news source, but it has published and promoted some of the most harmful propaganda in support of Israel’s genocide in Gaza.

    The reasons for Canada’s ‘unwavering’ support for Israel

    Canada’s remarkable fidelity to an apartheid state committing genocide is driven by imperial geopolitics, settler solidarity, Christian Zionism and the Israel lobby in Canada, and the weaponization of antisemitism.

    The context for October 7 is apartheid, not the Holocaust

    The Israel lobby is attempting to indoctrinate Americans that the context for the October 7 attack is the Holocaust. This is a misrepresentation. The Palestinians had nothing to do with the Holocaust.

    22 februari 2024

    Genocide is a bad investment.

    One of the largest pension funds in the world has divested entirely from Israel Bonds.

    Israel’s economy is in trouble. That tells us we need to double down on demands to divest from Israel Bonds…

    Read the full Wire on our website 

    'Let Gaza Live' at the NBA All-Star Game.

    “Visibility like we saw on Saturday night means letting dissenters they are not alone; that they would have significant support if they raised their voices at this critical moment, and—as JVP always reminds us—that there is nothing antisemitic about trying to let Gaza live.” — Dave Zirin

    21 februari 2024

    21 februari 2024

    Hostilities in the Gaza Strip and Israel
    Flash Update #123

    A two-year-old girl getting her middle-upper-arm-circumference (MUAC) measured. Her MUAC reads less than 10, indicating severe acute malnutrition, drastic weight loss, and muscle atrophy. Photo by UNICEF/ Eyad El Baba

    Key points

     

    • Intense Israeli bombardment from air, land and sea continues to be reported across much of the Gaza Strip, resulting in further civilian casualties, displacement, and destruction of civilian infrastructure. Ground operations and heavy fighting between Israeli forces and Palestinian armed groups also continue to be reported, particularly south of Gaza city and Al Mawasi area northwest of Khan Younis, where tens of thousands of internally displaced persons (IDPs) are currently located.
    • Between the afternoons of 20 and 21 February, according to the Ministry of Health (MoH) in Gaza, 118 Palestinians were killed, and 163 Palestinians were injured. Between 7 October 2023 and noon on 21 February 2024, at least 29,313 Palestinians were killed in Gaza and 69,333 Palestinians were injured, according to MoH in Gaza. There are no figures available for the number of detainees from the Gaza Strip held by the Israeli military.
    • Between the afternoons of 20 and 21 February, one Israeli soldier was reported killed in Gaza. As of 21 February, 235 soldiers have been killed and 1,395 soldiers injured in Gaza since the beginning of the ground operation, according to the Israeli military. In addition, over 1,200 Israelis and foreign nationals have been killed in Israel, according to the Israeli authorities, the vast majority on 7 October. As of 21 February, the Israeli authorities estimate that some 134 Israelis and foreign nationals remain captive in Gaza and include fatalities whose bodies are being withheld.
    • Catastrophic levels of acute food insecurity are reportedly intensifying across Gaza, with growing reports of families struggling to feed their children and a rising risk of hunger-induced deaths in northern Gaza. The Global Nutrition Cluster is reporting a steep rise in malnutrition among children and pregnant and breastfeeding women in the Gaza Strip. The situation is especially serious in northern Gaza where 1 in 6 children under the age of two (15.6 per cent) who were screened at IDP shelters and health centres in January were found to be  acutely malnourished, a decline in a population’s nutritional status that is unprecedented globally in three months. In comparison, 5 per cent of children under the age of two in Rafah  were found to be acutely malnourished, evidence that access to humanitarian aid can help prevent the worst outcomes. In addition, 70 per cent of screened children had diarrhea in the preceding two weeks, a 23-fold increase compared with the 2022 baseline. “Hunger and disease are a deadly combination,” warned Dr Mike Ryan, Executive Director of the World  Health Organization’s (WHO) Health Emergencies Programme. “Hungry, weakened and deeply traumatised children are more likely to get sick, and children who are sick, especially with diarrhea, cannot absorb nutrients well. It’s dangerous, and tragic, and happening before our eyes.” Earlier this month, Anera highlighted the “silent crisis” of hunger-induced deaths: “In the tragic circumstances of starvation in Gaza, there’s a compounding issue: many who perish from starvation-related symptoms aren’t accurately documented. Their deaths often get attributed to other physical causes, masking the true toll of starvation.”
    • A public health catastrophe is unfolding in the Gaza Strip despite repeated warnings, and this requires urgent action, warned the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and health clusters in the occupied Palestinian territory on 20 February. According to the same sources, the only currently operating water pipeline from Israel is operational at 47 per cent of its full capacity, the water desalination plant in northern Gaza ceased operations in October 2023, all wastewater treatment plants are no longer functional, and 83 per cent of groundwater wells are not operating. The dire water and sanitation conditions are also aggravating the state of health in Gaza, with more than 300,000 reported cases of acute respiratory infections and more than 200,000 reported cases of acute watery diarrhoea, of whom more than half are children under five, among other outbreaks. Accordingly, the WASH and health clusters emphasize that effective early detection of infectious diseases and prevention of avoidable deaths require inter alia a major scale-up in capacities, the removal of impediments to the entry and distribution of aid including fuel, as well as the free and safe movement of medical and humanitarian personnel into and within the Gaza Strip.
    • Humanitarian operations continue to face immense challenges, with aid workers themselves killed. On 21 February, Medecins sans Frontieres (MSF) reported that a shelter hosting MSF staff and their families in Al Mawasi area west of Khan Younis was shelled. As a result, at least two MSF staff members were killed and six others were injured, including two children with burns, all evacuated by Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) medical teams to the International Medical Corps field hospital in Rafah, in coordination with OCHA. Since 7 October, 160 UN staff have been killed in Gaza.
    • Intense hostilities, limitations on the entry and delivery of aid, and growing insecurity continue to gravely hamper the provision of lifesaving services across Gaza. On 20 February, PRCS reported that Al Amal hospital in Khan Younis continues to be directly impacted by artillery shelling that led to major damage to its facilities and to casualties. The hospital already faces a lack of fuel reserves to generate electricity for high-risk patients and a near exhaustion of food supplies. On 20 February, PRCS ambulances evacuated 21 injured people from Nasser Hospital, also in Khan Younis, to two field Hospitals in Rafah, in collaboration with WHO and OCHA. The previous two days, the same partners had evacuated 32 patients in critical condition from Nasser Hospital to three other hospitals in Gaza following the siege and raid on the hospital complex by the Israeli military. According to MoH in Gaza, some 110 sick and injured patients, and an estimated 15 doctors and nurses, still remain in the hospital, which has no electricity or running water, has sewage water flooding some departments, medical waste accumulating, and the decomposing bodies of eight ICU patients who died for lack of oxygen. As of 21 February, there are 12 partially functional hospitals in the Gaza Strip, including six in northern Gaza and six in the south, in addition to three partly functional field hospitals, according to WHO. As of 18 February, according to UNRWA, only seven out of its 23 health centres are now operational.
    • On 20 February, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) announced that it is pausing deliveries of food aid to northern Gaza, largely due to a breakdown in civil order combined with the absence of a functioning humanitarian notification system. On 21 February, WFP Chief Cindy McCain stated: “We’ve had to make the impossible choice to pause aid distributions in Northern Gaza. There’s an incredible level of desperation against the backdrop of immense humanitarian need. A famine doesn’t have to happen. But if things don’t change, it will.” Between 1 January and 15 February, less than 20 per cent of missions (15 out of 77) planned by humanitarian partners to deliver aid and undertake assessments in areas to the north of Wadi Gaza were facilitated by the Israeli authorities fully or partially and 51 per cent were denied (39 out of 77). Facilitated missions primarily involved food distribution, while the access of missions to support hospitals and facilities providing water, hygiene and sanitation (WASH) services was among those overwhelmingly denied.
    • The following are among the deadliest incidents reported on 19 February:
      • On 19 February, at about 13:00, five Palestinians were reportedly killed and others injured when a group of people was struck in western Khan Younis.
      • On 19 February, at about 20:00, six Palestinians were killed and others injured when a house in Az Zaytoun neighborhood, in eastern Gaza city, was struck.
      • On 19 February, at about 20:30, four Palestinians were killed and others injured when a residential square in western An Nuseirat, in Deir al Balah, was hit. Other bodies reportedly remain under the rubble.

    West Bank Updates

     

    • On 20 February, an Israeli forces undercover unit shot and killed a Palestinian man after besieging a house in Jenin Refugee Camp; another Palestinian was injured. The unit was followed by Israeli forces and bulldozers. Clashes erupted between Palestinian armed groups and Israeli forces, with reports on an exchange of fire when the unit was discovered by Palestinians. Initial information indicates that multiple sections of roads in the camp were bulldozed, causing severe damage to infrastructure, and at least two houses sustained severe damage when they were hit by Israeli drones. The operation ended in the early morning hours of the next day.
    • Since 7 October 2023 and as of 20 February, 394 Palestinians have been killed, including 100 children, and 4,528 Palestinians, including 702 children, have been injured in conflict-related incidents across the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Israel. During the same period, 12 Israelis, including four members of Israeli forces, were killed and 80 injured in conflict-related incidents in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Israel.
    • Since 7 October 2023 and as of 20 February, OCHA has recorded 573 Israeli settler attacks against Palestinians that resulted in Palestinian casualties (51 incidents), damage to Palestinian-owned property (459 incidents), or both casualties and damage to property (63 incidents).
    • Demolition of five homes due to the lack of Israeli-issued permits on 19 and 20 February, resulted in displacement to 25 Palestinians, including eight children, in Al Walaja village (Bethlehem) and Ras al Amud area in East Jerusalem. Two of the houses were demolished by their owners to avoid paying fines imposed by the Israeli authorities. Since 7 October 2023 and as of 20 February, 551 people, including 264 children, have been displaced in Area C, and East Jerusalem, after their homes were demolished due to the lack of Israeli-issued building permits, which are almost impossible to obtain.
    • Since 7 October 2023, 830 Palestinians, including 337 children, have been displaced, following the destruction of 131 homes during operations carried out by Israeli forces across the West Bank. About 95 per cent of the displacement was reported in the refugee camps of Jenin, Nur Shams and Tulkarm.

    Funding

     

    • The Flash Appeal for the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), which requests US$1.2 billion to meet critical needs of 2.7 million people across the oPt (2.2 million in the Gaza Strip and 500,000 in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem), was extended through the end of March 2024. As of 19 February, member states disbursed nearly $901 million against the updated Flash Appeal (73 per cent); this includes $612 million out of $629 million (97 per cent) requested for October-December 2023 and $289 million out of $600 million (48 per cent) requested for January-March 2024. For funding analysis, please see the Flash Appeal Financial Tracking dashboard.
    • The occupied Palestinian territory Humanitarian Fund (oPt HF) and the Central Emergency Relief Fund (CERF) are currently funding more than 94 ongoing projects in the Gaza Strip to meet urgent humanitarian needs, notwithstanding constraints on the entry and delivery of aid into and within the Gaza Strip. These interventions, totalling about $88 million, address needs in the areas of food security, shelter, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), health and protection. Since October 7, the oPt HF has received a total of $88 million in contributions from member states and private donors. Private donations are collected directly through the Humanitarian Fund.

    HUMANITARIAN NEEDS AND RESPONSE UPDATES | 13–19 February

    Health

    Needs

     

    • There is a growing need for: primary health services in informal shelters; increasing routine immunization coverage and conducting catch-up campaigns; reducing overcrowding in maternity hospitals; anaesthetic and analgesic medications which are in short supply;
    • There is an urgent need for medication for non-communicable diseases and psychotropics; laboratory equipment and reagents to support diagnostics; and blood and blood products to ensure patients receive timely and necessary transfusions.
    • The continued siege on some hospitals is greatly affecting case management capacity of hospitals leading to overcrowding of the ones that are still accessible.
    • There is a need to strengthen referral mechanisms between hospitals.

    Response

    • On average, partners are reaching about 450,000 people in need of various health services per week.
    • Ongoing disease surveillance at all health facilities to ensure early diagnosis and treatment of cases as well as early detection of any potential outbreak.
    • Plans to open stabilization centres for acute malnutrition cases with medical complications are underway.
    • On average, partners provided nearly 300,000 primary health care consultations per week.

    Challenges and Gaps

    • Increased insecurity in Rafah is greatly affecting response activities. The influx of IDPs migrating to Rafah has overwhelmed available bed capacities at hospitals.
    • High insecurity and limited access to health facilities in the northern and middle governorates continue to present major challenges to partners’ response activities.
    • Persistent siege of hospitals impedes access and the implementation of response activities.
    • The waiting list for patient referrals outside of Gaza continues to grow.
    • Partner operations continue to be negatively affected by the displacement of staff, social stresses and telecommunication challenges.
    • Limited access to proper WASH facilities is hindering prevention.

    Nutrition

     

    Needs

    • Ongoing collaboration with partners is still needed to enhance capacity in Mid-Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC) screening, identify cases of Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) and Moderate Acute Malnutrition (MAM), and the delivery of effective treatment.
    • The Gaza nutrition vulnerability situation analysis results have been published on the Global Nutrition Cluster (GNC) website and shared across GNC's social media platforms. This assessment was carried out by the NIS-E Task Force under the leadership of GNC and co-chaired by WFP and UNICEF. The findings show:
      • Over 90 per cent of children aged 6-23 months and pregnant and breastfeeding women (PBWs) face severe food poverty (consuming two or fewer food groups each day).
      • Some 90 per cent of children under 5 are affected by one or more infectious diseases.
      • Some 81 per cent of households lack safe and clean water with average household access estimated at less than one litre per person per day.
      • One in six (15 per cent) children aged 6-23 in north Gaza are acutely malnourished.
      • In Rafah, five per cent of children aged 6-23 are acutely malnourished; this lower rate is mainly due to the limited humanitarian assistance provided, demonstrating that humanitarian assistance can mitigate the worst outcomes.

    Response

    • Thirty-six staff members (17 Female, 19 male) received training on MUAC screening to enhance early case identification and treatment. The training is crucial for enhancing the capacity of our partners and expanding MUAC screening across affected areas.
    • Five implementing partners continue conducting screenings for malnutrition among children aged 6 to 59 months, using MUAC measurements in shelters and health facilities. Children who are detected with MAM and SAM are referred for treatment using simplified treatment protocol. Cumulative MUAC assessment data are as follows:
      • Total Children Screened (Cumulative): 7,479
      • Average number of children Screened per week: 1,247
      • Total SAM children identified: 83
      • Total MAM Children Identified: 378

    Challenges and Gaps

    • Ongoing hostilities in Gaza have caused significant food shortages, poor access to clean water and sanitation facilities, and disruptions to healthcare services. This situation is putting children under five and pregnant or lactating women (PLW) at a relatively higher risk of malnutrition.
    • Without private areas for breastfeeding women, it is challenging to encourage and sustain breastfeeding practices. This lack of privacy could have lasting negative effects, particularly on children under two years of age and new-born babies.

    Food Security

     

    Needs

    • The humanitarian situation in North Gaza and Gaza governorates is extremely critical. The food security situation in Deir al Balah and the southern governorates is particularly acute, with the majority of the population in extreme hunger. In Rafah, the situation is becoming increasingly concerning. People in Rafah are reported to be stopping aid trucks to take food, highlighting the severity of their desperation and hunger.
    • There is an urgent need to augment the fleet of delivery trucks to ensure the entire population's nutritional requirements are met and to improve healthcare services, including primary health services, routine immunization coverage, and the provision of medication for non-communicable diseases.
    • Gaza's food production sector is severely impacted, eliminating the local production of essential fresh foods like eggs, vegetables, and milk. There is a critical need to restart the import of these vital inputs to revive local production and ensure the availability of balanced nutrition, especially for children and the broader population. Without this, achieving dietary balance remains an unattainable goal.
    • Vulnerable segments of the population, including children, the elderly, and individuals with underlying health conditions, are particularly susceptible to the risk of malnutrition. Partners are working to ensure that aid reaches these vulnerable groups.
    • Establishing secure and uninterrupted humanitarian corridors in Gaza, with the support of the private sector and a focus on critical resources like fuel and cooking gas, is essential to address the immediate needs of the affected population and support the overall humanitarian response.

    Response

    • Between 12 and 18 February, a total of 15 partners engaged in providing food assistance across the Gaza Strip. Around 1.7 million people were reached, with Rafah Governorate receiving about 32 per cent of the total food assistance, followed by Deir al Balah (28 per cent), Khan Younis (26 per cent), and northern Gaza Strip (14 per cent).

    Challenges and Gaps

    • Ongoing airstrikes and heavy fighting in Gaza continue to affect the flow of food supply, posing challenges for the conduct of safe and efficient humanitarian operations. Frequent border closures, restrictions, and security concerns hinder the ability to ensure a consistent and dependable food supply.
    • The escalation of hostilities has substantially damaged critical infrastructure, including roads, electricity, and water supply systems, exacerbating severe impediments to the efficient distribution of food.

    Shelter and Non-Food Items (NFI)

     

    Needs

    • Some 1.7 million people need shelter and NFI assistance across the Gaza Strip.
    • Urgent needs are tents, sealing-off kits (SOKs) and NFIs, including bedding, kitchen sets, and winter clothing. SOKs can be used to consolidate makeshift shelters or to protect damaged housing to facilitate return where possible.
    • Partners estimate that the amount of debris generated by the destruction of residential housing residential housing units will exceed 12,000 metric tons and will take over four years to remove, given Gaza’s current capabilities.

    Response

    • Since the start of hostilities, cluster partners reached about 900,000 people with partial shelter and NFI assistance. Partial assistance means that although a household has received some shelter and NFI items, not all their needs have been met.
    • During the reporting period, cluster partners distributed 7,900 bedding items, 1,600 SOKs and 340 clothing kits to IDPs sheltering outside of UN shelters in Rafah.
    • Some 28,000 tents, 7,600 SOKs, and 35,000 NFI kits are currently in the pipeline.
    • At present, there are 26 cluster partners operating in Gaza. Most of the assistance is currently provided in-kind; cash will be pursued further when market conditions allow.
    • Further details in the Cluster response strategy and website dashboard.

    Challenges and Gaps

    • Slow entry of items into Gaza due to limited aid trucks and complicated bureaucratic and procurement processes.
    • Rising prices of shelter materials in neighbouring markets, including high freight rates and shipping costs.
    • Need to restore commercial imports and re-establish local markets to relieve pressure on in-kind provision.
    • Restrictions on or denial of the entry of key shelter items including timber, hand tools, and cooking stoves.
    • Lack of security and access to IDP locations, lack of fuel, and rising social tensions because of the limited quantity of aid available in comparison to outstanding needs.
    • Unplanned sites and lack of adequate equipment is leading to water damage to makeshift shelters and tents, and recurrent displacement resulting in the need for re-distribution of assistance.
    • Urgent funding is needed to address the key gaps in the supply of shelter and NFIs. As of 19 February, only 28 per cent of the Shelter Cluster funding requirement ($209.2M) has been funded.

    Protection

     

    Needs

    • Main needs include identification, tracing and reunification, and interim and alternative care arrangements of unaccompanied, previously detained and separated children.
    • There is an urgent need to provide Mental Health and Psychological Support (MHPSS), including psychological first aid (PFA); winterization materials, including warm clothing and blanket, for children and new-born babies.
    • There is urgent need to provide essential supplies, including menstrual management (MHM) kits and hygiene kits for women and girls.

    Response

    • In January, Child Protection Area of Responsibility (AoR) partners reached 111,202 boys and girls, and 2,633 women and men through awareness raising interventions; MHPSS for children and caregivers; identification and registration of Unaccompanied and Separated Children (USAC); and distribution of clothing kits.
    • Partners distributed essential supplies, including Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) kits and hygiene kits for women and girls. A total of 3,500 Dignity Kits and 8,926 MHM kits have been distributed by Gender-Based Violence (GBV) Sub-Cluster partners.
    • GBV responders are conducting procurement and distribution of Clinical Management of Rape (CMR) kits, and identification of health service points to provide CMR. Partners are also trying to establish emergency safe spaces, to provide PFA and recreational activities for vulnerable women and girls. Partners continue to expand PFA services for vulnerable groups, including GBV survivors, through frontline responders.

    Challenges and Gaps

    • The increased hostilities in Rafah governorate pose a significant threat for partners providing lifesaving protection services in the governorate. There is a lack of available space to provide group-based psychosocial support activities, due to the population density.
    • Limited access to other governorates prevents thousands of affected people from being reached with critical protection services.

    Education

     

    Needs

    • More than 625,000 students and nearly 23,000 teachers in the Gaza Strip have been affected by school closures and attacks on education, leaving them with no access to education or safe places.
    • According to the Ministry of Education, as of 13 February, more than 5,055 students and 246 educational staff have been killed and more than 8,497 students and 836 teachers have been injured in Gaza since 7 October.
    • Some 92 per cent of all school buildings in Gaza are being used as shelters for IDPs and/or have sustained varying levels of damage. Some 394 schools (79.5 per cent of the total school buildings in Gaza) have sustained damage, including 142 schools that sustained major damage or were destroyed. Combined, these schools previously served some 459,231 children and more than 17,110 teachers. The North, Gaza, and Khan Younis governorates have been especially impacted, accounting for 76 per cent of all damaged schools (source: Education Cluster Damaged School Dashboard.)
    • The Education Cluster conducted a Satellite-derived Damage Assessment of all Gaza schools to verify damage to schools based on proximity to damaged sites. Key findings include:
      • Satellite-derived Damage verification exercise confirmed the large level of damage to schools previously reported by the cluster in Gaza.
      • Actual damages to school infrastructure might be 15 to 20 per cent higher than what has been previously reported by the Education Cluster.
      • At least 55 per cent of schools in Gaza will either need full reconstruction or major rehabilitation work to be functional again.
      • One quarter of directly hit and damaged schools are UNRWA-run schools.
      • Forty-five per cent of school buildings that have been used by IDPs as shelters, have been either directly hit or damaged.
      • The satellite-derived images provide evidence for the military use of schools.
    • Education partners are concerned about reports, videos and pictures depicting schools being used for military operations by Israeli forces, including their use as detention and interrogation centres, or as military bases.
    • Key priorities include the provision of Education in Emergencies (EiE) recreational activities and psychological support, including Social Emotional Learning (SEL) activities to children in shelters and designated emergency shelters (DESs); establishing Temporary Learning Spaces (TLS) in shelters/DESs to start non-formal learning for children; and provision of emergency supplies and learning kits. In addition, a key need is to identify and support of children with disabilities and other needs, with assistive devices for learning.

    Response

    • Since October 2023, eleven partners have reached more than 160,975 students and teachers with psychosocial support, emergency learning, recreational supplies and activities, and awareness sessions in the Deir al Balah, Khan Younis, and Rafah governorates. Most of the cluster responses are delivered by local partners (source: Education Cluster 5W dashboard).

    Challenges and Gaps

    • No activities have been undertaken in the North Gaza and Gaza governorates due to ongoing hostilities and access challenges.
    • As of 18 February, the education response remains significantly underfunded, receiving less than 10 per cent of its requirements. Urgent funding is required to meet immediate response requirements.

    Logistics

     

    Response

    • As of 18 February 2024, the Logistics Cluster has stored 7,256 cubic metres of cargo on behalf of 17 organisations, and supported 21 organisations with cargo notification service in Rafah.
    • Of relief items transported through the Jordanian corridor, the Logistics Cluster facilitated partners` access to the inter-agency convoy, transporting a total of 6,159 metric tons of relief items on 463 WFP trucks on behalf of six partners.
    • The Logistics Cluster has circulated the Compiled Logistics Supplier List through the mailing list. The aggregated list comes from partners to partners and is intended to ease access to and exchange of information; it is the list is based on partners' vendors’/suppliers’ contributions. The list will be circulated on a regular basis.

    Challenges and Gaps

    • The storage and transport capacity inside Gaza remains limited. The Logistics Cluster continues to facilitate access to temporary storage, transport from handover points to common warehouses, and cargo notification trans-shipment services.
    • The Logistics Cluster is coordinating the pipeline for incoming cargo through the Egyptian and Jordanian corridors for the coming three months. This is a vital exercise for operational planning, in terms of understanding the resources available and making allocations based on the prioritization list. Partners have received a dedicated form and are requested to update it weekly. Partners who have not received the form can reach out to palestine.logcluster@wfp.org.

    Emergency Telecommunications

     

    Needs

    • There is an urgent need for independent communications platforms for responders in Gaza to coordinate the delivery of relief items amid the ongoing telecoms blackouts and unreliable/intermittent access to telecommunication services.

    Response

    • On 12 February, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator received approval from the Israeli authorities to import 30 digital Very High Frequency (VHF) handheld radios for the use of UN agencies in Gaza, and solar solutions to power radio repeaters. Since its establishment on 3 November 2023, the ETC has been engaging with the Israeli authorities to obtain authorizations to import all essential telecommunications equipment into Gaza and provide independent access to communications for humanitarian responders.
    • Since 9 January, the ETC has supported humanitarian agencies with Information and Communication Technology (ICT) assessments, technical advice and information, repairs, and guidance on the use of ICT equipment in Gaza. To date, the ETC has conducted eight ICT assessments across four locations in Rafah and supported 14 humanitarian agencies with ICT repairs, technical advice, and guidance on the use of ICT equipment, in order to maximize the available telecommunications resources on the ground.

    Challenges and Gaps

    • Limited access to electricity, fuel, and telecommunications services continues to hamper the humanitarian response in Gaza.
    • The import of telecommunications equipment into Gaza is fraught, lengthy, and extremely challenging.

    Multi-Purpose Cash Assistance (MPCA)

     

    Response

    • Since the start of hostilities, one round of emergency MPCA was delivered to some 130,000 households, a top-up was delivered to 35,000 people (including people with disabilities and nursing mothers), and over 21,000 households have received a second round.
    • Around 93,000 households have cashed out their assistance since 7 October. Around 5,400 payments have been cancelled after not being cashed out for months, despite multiple follow ups. Cash out operations are currently almost exclusively in the southern governorates.
    • The assistance provided falls well short of need under the recurrent in-extremis circumstances, particularly given market collapse and price volatility. The last post-distribution monitoring data (PDMD) showed a significant decrease in the number of people who reported being able to meet all their needs, with the received assistance, combined with a major decrease in the number of people who reported not being able to cover any need. Overall, some 70 per cent of respondents reported that the assistance helped them access needed basic goods and services.
    • Based on the last PDMD collected between mid-January and mid-February, food remains the most purchased item with humanitarian cash (80 per cent), followed by medicines (39 per cent), water (23 per cent), hygiene bedding (10 per cent), and transportation.

    Challenges and Gaps

    • Poor electricity supply and connectivity is affecting the ability of financial service providers to make cash accessible, compromising the encashment of the MPCA package.
    • Since late December, commercial trucks have sporadically entered Gaza, with 770 trucks recorded up to date. Truck vendors sell goods on the streets and in informal markets, complicating efforts to track distributions and gather market data. Informal markets are the primary source of accessible goods. Currently, there is limited market data available on informal markets/street vendors due to challenges with collecting data about informal market transactions.

    IASC Protection from Sexual and Exploitation Abuse (PSEA) Network

     

    Needs

    • There is a need to mainstream PSEA messages & safeguarding practices across the Gaza Strip and West Bank, including East Jerusalem.
    • There is a pressing need to prioritize protection interventions at large. Safeguarding and SEA risk have become prominent in a context of severe aid dependency. The lack of safe aid delivery increases vulnerability and leads to exploitation and abuse.
    • Provide safe and accessible reporting channels, that lead to assistance and investigations of PSEA allegations.
    • Ensure that services are available for people at risk of sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA).

    Response

    • Since October 2023, more than 1,500 cases have been referred by the SAWA Foundation specialized counsellors, including eight per cent from the West Bank.
    • Due to the communication cuts in Gaza, a range of public communication materials were produced and distributed.
    • The PSEA Network has made available MHPSS support and remote counselling sessions for PSEA focal points on the ground in Gaza, who are documenting the impact and the emerging needs by collecting complaints and feedback.

    Challenges

    • Identifying cases and reaching vulnerable individuals pose significant challenges, particularly due to internet and telecommunication blackouts. Electricity and communication cuts make it challenging to establish contact with on-the-ground PSEA focal points.

    21 februari 2024

    UK/Gaza: In the UK, the high court has rejected a legal challenge aimed at halting UK arms sales to the government of Israel. Rights groups have warned the UK government such arms transfers might be used to facilitate or commit serious violations of international law in Gaza, including attacks that may amount to war crimes. Campaigners will appeal the court’s decision.

    21 februari 2024

    21 februari 2024

    Today's headlines

    U.S. vetoes another UN resolution calling for ceasefire in Gaza

    The U.S. vetoed another resolution in the UN Security Council calling for a Gaza ceasefire as the WHO evacuates 32 critical patients from besieged Nasser Hospital, and the World Food Program is forced to suspend distribution amid mounting famine.

    Momentum grows for protest vote against Biden in Michigan primary

    Activists are calling for a ballot protest at Michigan's February 27 primary, in an effort to push President Joe Biden to support a ceasefire and end the administration's support for Israel's brutal assault on Gaza.

    My medical colleagues in Gaza are exhausted, and terrified of what is to come

    When I left Gaza two weeks ago, my colleagues at the European Hospital in Khan Younis were already overwhelmed. Now, they are terrified Israel will invade the hospital and kill patients like they did at nearby Nasser Hospital.

    Our hunger strike is over but we won’t stop pressuring Brown University to end its complicity with genocide

    Israel’s genocide in Gaza is the defining political moment of our generation. We recently ended a week-long hunger strike against Brown University's complicity, but we are not letting up the pressure.

    20 februari 2024

    20 februari 2024

    Lula is right about Israel’s genocide in Gaza.

    On Sunday, Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva delivered a scathing condemnation of Israel’s genocide in Gaza. Speaking at an African Union summit in Ethiopia, Lula accused Israel of committing a genocide that compares only to the Holocaust.

    “What’s happening in the Gaza Strip with the Palestinian people hasn’t happened at any other moment in history. Actually, it has happened: when Hitler decided to kill the Jews.”

    Taking aim at Israel’s brutal assaults on civilians in Gaza, Lula added: “It’s not a war of soldiers against soldiers. It’s a war between a highly prepared army, and women and children.”

    Israel predictably dismissed Lula’s remarks as antisemitic. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described Lula’s Holocaust parallel as “disgraceful and grave,” while Foreign Minister Israel Katz announced that Lula is “a persona non grata in Israel” until he takes back his comments.

    20 februari 2024

    Today's headlines

    Israel builds highway cutting Gaza Strip in two

    Several patients evacuated Nasser Hospital while dozens remain trapped under the Israeli siege of Khan Younis. Meanwhile, Palestine called on the ICJ to end the Israeli occupation, and Brazil’s Lula likened Israel’s Gaza genocide to Nazi Germany.

    “If this is not apartheid, what is?” Palestine tells top UN court Israel’s occupation is illegal

    Twenty years after the International Court of Justice issued an Advisory Opinion on Israel's Separation Wall, the ICJ is now considering the legality of Israel's 56-year belligerent occupation of the Palestinian territories. 

    Nancy Pelosi claims no U.S. weapons have been used to carry out Israeli atrocities in Gaza

    Rep. Nancy Pelosi claims no U.S. weapons have been used to carry our Israeli atrocities in Gaza since October 7, but the evidence proves otherwise.

    Egypt’s Sinai construction does not provide safety for Palestinians, it supports Israel’s ethnic cleansing in Gaza

    Israel has been clear about its plans to force Palestinians from Gaza, and Egypt is now reportedly building an area to receive them. Palestinians need a respite from Israel's brutality, but mass displacement into the Sinai would be a catastrophe.

    20 februari 2024

    More than 300 Palestinian sports teams are calling to ban Israel from the Olympics over its genocide against Palestinians in Gaza.

     

    As sports journalist Dave Zirin said, “the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will not act unless we make it.”

     

    So let’s make it.

     

    Join the global campaign to peacefully disrupt the road to Paris 2024 calling on the IOC to #BanIsrael until it ends its crimes against Palestinians and recognizes our UN-stipulated rights.

     

    There can be no Olympics as usual while Israel continues to escalate its genocide against Palestinians in Gaza and entrench its apartheid regime. Western-dominated international bodies like the IOC that had in the past excluded apartheid South Africa are today not only allowing apartheid Israel to take part, but viciously defending its participation as well! Colonial hypocrisy is at an all-time high.

     

    Here’s what you can do.

     

    1. Join the Global Day(s) of Action, March 15-17

     

    Ahead of the IOC executive board meeting in Lausanne Switzerland (March 19-21), take the call from Palestinian teams to your National Olympic Committee or International Sports Federations. Organize protests, sit-ins, peaceful disruptions, or awareness raising events on Israeli attacks on Palestinian sports. Register your group above for resources and more information.

     

    2. Olympics qualifiers and events

     

    From now until the Olympic Games start in July, the road to Paris will be filled with opportunities to remind the IOC that there is no place in the Olympics for genocide perpetrators. Earlier this month, four runners took the #CeasefireNow message to the Olympic Trials Marathon in Florida, crossing the finish line with Palestinian flags. Find information on Olympic time trials and qualifiers or other Olympics-related events in your area. Register your group above for more information.

     

    3. Kick Israeli apartheid out of sports

     

    Is your country a signatory to the International Convention Against Apartheid in Sports? If so, it has an obligation to “take all appropriate action to secure the expulsion of a country practising apartheid from international and regional sports bodies.” Register your group above to learn what you can do.

     

    4. Sign the petition to ban Israel from world sports

     

    In Gaza, Israel has killed Palestinian Olympic Football coach Hani Al Masdar, destroyed the Palestinian Olympic Committee offices, and turned sports facilities into shameful mass detention and torture centers.

     

    We can’t sit back as the IOC allows Israel to use the Olympics to sportswash its genocide in Gaza and its apartheid regime against Palestinians everywhere. Support the call from Palestinian teams.

     

    Join the campaign to #BanIsrael from the Olympics.

    In solidarity,

     

    Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI)

    20 februari 2024

    As the Israeli military continues its genocidal assault on Palestinians — with over one million Palestinians in Rafah facing an imminent ground invasion with nowhere to flee — one of the world’s biggest social media giants is trying to further silence Palestinians and anyone critical of the Israeli government.

     

    Meta, the parent company of Instagram and Facebook, is considering a policy that would shut down free speech by increasingly treating the word "Zionist" as a proxy for "Jew" or "Jewish."

    Tell Meta: Don't censor us

    This potential policy change at Meta comes amid the ongoing genocide of Palestinians in Gaza, in which over 28,000 Palestinians have been killed.

     

    Social media is often Palestinians’ only means of documenting human rights abuses and sharing their stories with the wider world in order to inspire solidarity through action. 

     

    Conflating criticism of Zionism with anti-semitism forces Palestinians and all people of conscience standing up for Palestinian rights, including non-Zionist and anti-Zionist Jews, to choose between acquiescing to injustice or being labeled a bigot.

     

    Such a move would further shut down vital conversations in our own Jewish community, as more Jews than ever are not just criticizing the state of Israel for the first time, but also criticizing Zionism — the political ideology that has fueled the dispossession and genocide of Palestinians.

     

    We cannot do the work of dismantling racism and bigotry of all kinds, including anti-semitism, if we are blocked from voicing our opinions and sharing our experiences with each other through policies like the one Meta is considering.

     

    Palestinians, anti-Zionist and non-Zionist Jews, and all human rights defenders must be able to hold the Israeli military and government accountable during an active genocide. That means being able to talk about Zionism. 

    Add your name to the petition.

    This isn’t the first time Meta has tried something like this. Three years ago, the company was poised to add “Zionist” as a protected category under its hate speech policy — and together, we helped mobilize thousands of people to stop them.

     

    Palestinians and everyone standing for Palestinian rights must be able to freely express themselves online without fear of censorship.

     

    In Solidarity,

     

    Madeleine Hall

    Digital Editorial Coordinator

    20 februari 2024

    Hostilities in the Gaza Strip and Israel
    Flash Update #122

    A steep rise in malnutrition is being reported among children and pregnant and breastfeeding women in Gaza, as food and safe water become increasingly scarce and disease proliferates. A boy from a displaced family with a fortified biscuit provided as humanitarian assistance in southern Gaza. Photo by WFP/Ali Jadallahhun

    Key points

     

    • Intense Israeli bombardment from air, land and sea continues to be reported across much of the Gaza Strip, resulting in further civilian casualties, displacement, and destruction of civilian infrastructure. Widespread ground operations and heavy fighting between Israeli forces and Palestinian armed groups also continue to be reported, especially in Gaza city, Khan Younis and Deir al Balah.
    • Between the afternoons of 19 and 20 February, according to the Ministry of Health (MoH) in Gaza, 103 Palestinians were killed, and 142 Palestinians were injured. Between 7 October 2023 and noon on 20 February 2024, at least 29,195 Palestinians were killed in Gaza and 69,170 Palestinians were injured, according to MoH in Gaza.
    • Between the afternoons of 19 and 20 February, one Israeli soldier died of injuries sustained in fighting in Gaza. As of 20 February, 234 soldiers have been killed and 1,396 soldiers injured in Gaza since the beginning of the ground operation, according to the Israeli military. In addition, over 1,200 Israelis and foreign nationals have been killed in Israel, according to the Israeli authorities, the vast majority on 7 October. As of 20 February, the Israeli authorities estimate that some 134 Israelis and foreign nationals remain captive in Gaza and include fatalities whose bodies are being withheld.
    • The Global Nutrition Cluster is reporting a steep rise in malnutrition among children and pregnant and breastfeeding women in the Gaza Strip, as food and safe water become increasingly scarce and disease proliferates. The situation is especially serious in northern Gaza where 1 in 6 children under the age of 2 (15.6 per cent) who were screened at shelters and health centres in January were found to be acutely malnourished. Of these, almost 3 per cent suffered from severe wasting, the most life-threatening form of malnutrition. This rate of 15.6 per cent of wasting among children under the age of two indicates a decline in a population’s nutritional status that is unprecedented globally in three months, according to the report. Prior to 7 October, just 0.8 per cent of children under 5 in Gaza were acutely malnourished. In Rafah in southern Gaza, where aid has been more available than in the north, 5 per cent of children under the age of two are acutely malnourished, evidence that access to humanitarian aid can help prevent the worst outcomes. Accordingly, UNICEF, WFP and WHO are calling for safe, unimpeded and sustained access to urgently deliver multi-sectoral humanitarian assistance throughout the Gaza Strip. According to UNICEF, “the Gaza Strip is poised to witness an explosion in preventable child deaths which would compound the already unbearable level of child deaths in Gaza. We’ve been warning for weeks that the Gaza Strip is on the brink of a nutrition crisis. If the conflict doesn’t end now, children’s nutrition will continue to plummet, leading to preventable deaths or health issues which will affect the children of Gaza for the rest of their lives and have potential intergenerational consequences.”
    • On 20 February, WHO reported that over the previous two days, it had succeeded in transferring 32 patients in critical condition from Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis to three other hospitals in Gaza, with the support of the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) and OCHA. The transfer was requested by hospital staff following the siege and raid on the hospital complex by the Israeli military. Prior to the mission, WHO had received two consecutive denials to access the hospital, causing delays in urgently needed patient referral and leading to the death of at least five patients in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), according to WHO. The Israeli military stated that it had discovered weapons inside the compound and arrested hundreds of suspects. The WHO team and partners also provided limited supplies of essential medicines and food for the remaining 130 sick and injured patients, and the estimated 15 doctors and nurses staff who remain in the hospital, which has no electricity or running water. The ICU is no longer functioning, and the remaining patient was transferred to a different part of the complex where other patients receive basic care. Efforts to facilitate further patient referrals are in process. Emphasizing that “the dismantling and degradation of the Nasser Medical Complex is a massive blow to Gaza’s health system,” WHO expressed its concern for the safety and wellbeing of the patients and health workers who remain and warned that further disruption to lifesaving care for the sick and injured would lead to more deaths.
    • The UN World Food Programme (WFP) has announced that it is pausing deliveries of food aid to northern Gaza. This follows incidents on 18 and 19 February when WFP convoys were unable to deliver aid as planned, largely due to a breakdown in civil order, leading to the looting of trucks and the beating of a driver on 19 February. The convoys had resumed on 18 February after a three-week suspension following a strike on an UNRWA truck and due to the absence of a functioning humanitarian notification system. WFP has reluctantly taken the decision to suspend operations, acknowledging that the situation in northern Gaza will deteriorate further and more people risk dying of hunger. WFP stated that it will seek to resume deliveries as soon as possible and reiterated that it is committed, “to urgently reaching desperate people across Gaza but the safety and security to deliver critical food aid - and for the people receiving it - must be ensured.” Between 1 January and 15 February, humanitarian partners planned 77 missions to deliver aid and undertake assessments to areas to the north of Wadi Gaza. Of these, 12 were facilitated by the Israeli authorities, three were partially facilitated, 14 were impeded, 39 were denied access, and nine were postponed. Facilitated missions primarily involved food distribution, while the access of missions to support hospitals and facilities providing water, hygiene and sanitation (WASH) services remained among those overwhelmingly denied.
    • The situation in Al Amal Hospital in Khan Younis continues to be critical, following a 29-day siege by the Israeli military. On 19 February, PRCS reported that the water desalination station at the facility is no longer functional after being hit by Israeli forces, and that available drinking water is only sufficient for three days. The facility already faces a lack of fuel reserves to generate electricity for high-risk patients and a near exhaustion of food supplies and has reportedly sustained damage due to recent artillery shelling.
    • As of 17 February, up to 1.7 million people have been displaced across the Gaza Strip, many multiple times, according to UNRWA. Following intense Israeli bombardment and fighting in Khan Younis and Deir al Balah, a significant number of Palestinians has moved to Rafah, where the influx of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) has overwhelmed the capacity of health and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services to meet the needs of the population. According to a recent assessment of satellite data by UNOSAT, it is estimated that over one million IDPs are currently residing in makeshift shelters, the majority in Rafah. On 20 February, the Israeli military announced an order for residents of two specific areas of Gaza city to evacuate to Al Mawasi area in Khan Younis. Since 7 October 2023, about 67 per cent of the Gaza Strip have been placed under evacuation orders.

    Hostilities and casualties (Gaza Strip)

     

    • Incidents of the targeting of people as they wait for humanitarian aid convoys continue to be reported in Gaza city. On 19 February, at about 14:00, five Palestinians were allegedly killed, and several others injured, when people who had gathered for a possible delivery of humanitarian aid at Al Kuwaiti roundabout were allegedly shot by Israeli Defence Forces quadcopters. On 18 February, at about 16:00, at least one Palestinian was allegedly killed, and others injured, when a group that was waiting for relief aid at Al Nabulsi roundabout came under fire.

    The following are among the deadliest incidents reported on 18 February:

    • On 18 February, seven Palestinians were reportedly killed, and others injured, when a residential building in Deir al Balah, central Gaza, was struck.
    • On 18 February, at about 13:00, five Palestinians were reportedly killed, and others were injured, when a residential building in Ash Shuja’iyeh neighbourhood, eastern Gaza city, was struck.
    • On 18 February, at about 15:30, at least five Palestinians, including three women and two girls, were reportedly killed, and others injured, when a residential building in Beit Lahiya, northern Gaza, was struck.

    West Bank Updates

     

    • Since 7 October 2023 and as of 19 February, 393 Palestinians have been killed, including 100 children, and 4,522 Palestinians, including 702 children, have been injured in conflict-related incidents across the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Israel. During the same period, 12 Israelis, including four members of Israeli forces, were killed and 80 injured in conflict-related incidents in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Israel.
    • On 19 February, large numbers of Israeli settlers, accompanied by Israeli forces, raided the village of Burqa in Nablus, after a Molotov cocktail was reportedly thrown at a settler vehicle driving in the area, injuring the passenger. Settlers set fire to two vehicles and damaged three others. Israeli forces reportedly conducted a search-and-arrest operation for fifteen hours, resulting in damage to at least ten houses. One Palestinian was injured after being physically assaulted by Israeli forces. Israeli forces have withdrawn but access to and from the village is still restricted.
    • In two separate incidents on 18 and 19 February, Israeli settlers set fire to an agricultural structure and stole machines and tools from another in the outskirts of At Taybe village in Hebron. On 19 February, settlers set fire to a Palestinian vehicle and wrote anti-Arab slogans on walls in Turmus’ayya village in Ramallah.
    • Since 7 October 2023 and as of 19 February, OCHA has recorded 561 Israeli settler attacks against Palestinians that resulted in Palestinian casualties (50 incidents), damage to Palestinian-owned property (450 incidents), or both casualties and damage to property (61 incidents).
    • Since 7 October 2023, 524 people, including 256 children, have been displaced in Area C, and East Jerusalem, after their homes were demolished due to the lack of Israeli-issued building permits, which are almost impossible to obtain.
    • Since 7 October 2023, 830 Palestinians, including 337 children, have been displaced, following the destruction of 131 homes during operations carried out by Israeli forces across the West Bank. About 95 per cent of the displacement was reported in the refugee camps of Jenin, Nur Shams and Tulkarm.

    Funding

     

    • The Flash Appeal for the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), which requests US$1.2 billion to meet critical needs of 2.7 million people across the oPt (2.2 million in the Gaza Strip and 500,000 in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem), was extended through the end of March 2024. As of 19 February, member states disbursed nearly $901 million against the updated Flash Appeal (73 per cent); this includes $612 million out of $629 million (97 per cent) requested for October-December 2023 and $289 million out of $600 million (48 per cent) requested for January-March 2024. For funding analysis, please see the Flash Appeal Financial Tracking dashboard.
    • The occupied Palestinian territory Humanitarian Fund (oPt HF) and the Central Emergency Relief Fund (CERF) are currently funding more than 94 ongoing projects in the Gaza Strip to meet urgent humanitarian needs, notwithstanding constraints on the entry and delivery of aid into and within the Gaza Strip. These interventions, totalling about $88 million, address needs in the areas of food security, shelter, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), health and protection. Since October 7, the oPt HF has received a total of $88 million in contributions from member states and private donors. Private donations are collected directly through the Humanitarian Fund.

    HUMANITARIAN NEEDS AND RESPONSE UPDATES | 13–19 February

    Health

    Needs

    • Primary health services are critically needed in informal shelters across the Gaza Strip.
    • There is a need to increase routine immunization coverage as well as the provision of medication for non-communicable diseases, psychotropics, and anaesthesia, due to the number of surgeries and procedures being carried out, to address the health needs of the population and prevent the spread of infectious disease.
    • Expanding sexual and reproductive health services at the community level is necessary to alleviate overcrowding in maternity hospitals and ensure that women have access to the care they need.
    • The establishment of field hospitals in additional areas of the Gaza Strip is crucial to accommodate the medical needs of the local population. Health partners indicate the need to support case management and to decongest hospitals.
    • People are unable to effectively access healthcare due to the lack of laboratory equipment and reagents needed for accurate diagnosis and testing.
    • There is an urgent need for blood products in hospitals to ensure a timely and necessary blood transfusions for patient.
    • The waiting list of patients in need of medical evacuation continues to grow, as options for medical evacuation remain very limited.
    • There is a need to strengthen health logistics at all levels to ensure an adequate flow of supplies across the five governorates.

    Response

    • On average, response activities have reached approximately 170,000 people weekly, as of 15 February. This includes more than 152,000 people receiving primary healthcare services, including in fixed and mobile facilities, and medical points, and more than 89,000 people receiving trauma and emergency care services. For more information on the Health Cluster response, consult the Gaza Health Cluster Partners Bi-Weekly Update.
    • On 18 and 19 February, 32 critical patients, including two children, from Nasser Hospital were evacuated and transferred to other hospitals.
    • UNFPA, in collaboration with the Emergency Medical Team (EMT) in Al Awda Maternity Hospital, in An Nuseirat Area, is conducting an assessment to determine the necessary needed support.
    • Some 12 EMTs are currently operational and providing primary, secondary and specialized care in Deir al Balah, Khan Younis and Rafah. EMTs engaged at primary healthcare are also systematically monitoring and collecting data for disease surveillance for early detection of outbreak-prone disease. In addition, they are undertaking Mid-Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC) screenings, to assess acute malnutrition levels among vulnerable populations.
    • From 13 to 19 February, psychotropics medicines were distributed to for some 30,000 patients.

    Challenges and Gaps

    • The influx of IDPs to Rafah has overwhelmed the available bed capacities in hospitals, leading to insufficient capacity to meet the healthcare needs of the population.
    • Response operations by health partners are negatively affected by the displacement of the medical staff, social stresses and telecommunication challenges.
    • The high insecurity and limited access to health facilities in the northern and middle governorates continues to present major challenges to partners’ response activities. Furthermore, ongoing fighting and persistent siege of hospitals have severely affected their functionality and accessibility.
    • Limited and proper access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) facilities is hindering disease prevention services.
    • Referring patients outside of Gaza remains a major challenge.

    Food Security

     

    Needs

    • The humanitarian situation in North Gaza and Gaza governorates is extremely critical, exacerbating the challenges faced in delivering essential aid. The food security situation in Deir al Balah and the southern governorates is particularly acute, with the majority of the population in extreme hunger.
    • In Rafah, the situation is becoming increasingly concerning, given the expected ground attack. People in Rafah are reported to be stopping aid trucks to take food and eat it immediately, highlighting the severity of their desperation and hunger.
    • There is an urgent need to augment the fleet of delivery trucks to ensure the entire population's nutritional requirements are met and to improve healthcare services, including primary health services, routine immunization coverage, and the provision of medication for non-communicable diseases.
    • Vulnerable segments of the population, including children, the elderly, and individuals with underlying health conditions, are particularly susceptible to the risk of malnutrition. Partners are working to ensure that aid reaches these vulnerable groups.
    • Establishing secure and uninterrupted humanitarian corridors in Gaza, with the support of the private sector and a focus on critical resources like fuel and cooking gas, is essential to address the immediate needs of the affected population and support the overall humanitarian response.

    Response

    • Between 12 and 18 February, a total of 15 partners engaged in providing food assistance across the Gaza Strip. Around 1.7 million people were reached, with Rafah Governorate receiving about 32 per cent of the total food assistance, followed by Deir al Balah (28 per cent), Khan Younis (26 per cent), and northern Gaza Strip (14 per cent).

    Challenges and Gaps

    • Ongoing airstrikes and heavy fighting in Gaza continue to affect the flow of food supply, posing challenges for safe and efficient operations. Frequent border closures, restrictions, and security concerns hinder the ability to ensure a consistent and dependable food supply.
    • The escalation of hostilities has substantially damaged critical infrastructure, including roads, electricity, and water supply systems, exacerbating severe impediments to the efficient distribution of food.

    Shelter and Non-Food Items (NFI)

     

    Needs

    • Some 1.7 million people are in need of shelter and NFI assistance across the Gaza Strip.
    • Urgent needs are tents, sealing-off kits (SOKs) and NFIs, including bedding, kitchen sets, and winter clothing. SOKs can be used to consolidate makeshift shelters or to protect damaged housing to facilitate return where possible.
    • Partners estimate that the amount of debris generated by the destruction of residential housing residential housing units will exceed 12,000 metric tons and will take over four years to remove, given Gaza’s current capabilities.

    Response

    • Since the start of hostilities, cluster partners reached about 900,000 people with partial shelter and NFI assistance. Partial assistance means that although a household has received some shelter and NFI items, not all their needs have been met.
    • During the reporting period, cluster partners distributed 7,900 bedding items, 1,600 SOKs and 340 clothing kits to IDPs sheltering outside of UN shelters in Rafah.
    • Some 28,000 tents, 7,600 SOKs, and 35,000 NFI kits are currently in the pipeline.
    • At present, there are 26 cluster partners operating in Gaza. The vast majority of assistance is currently provided in-kind; cash will be pursued further when market conditions allow.
    • Further details in the Cluster response strategy and website dashboard.

    Challenges and Gaps

    • Slow entry of items into Gaza due to limited aid trucks and complicated bureaucratic and procurement processes.
    • Rising prices of shelter materials in neighbouring markets, including high freight rates and shipping costs.
    • Need to restore commercial imports and re-establish local markets to relieve pressure on in-kind provision.
    • Restrictions on or denial of the entry of key shelter items including timber, hand tools, and cooking stoves.
    • Lack of security and access to IDP locations, lack of fuel, and rising social tensions because of the limited quantity of aid available in comparison to outstanding needs.
    • Unplanned sites and lack of adequate equipment is leading to water damage to makeshift shelters and tents, and recurrent displacement resulting in the need for re-distribution of assistance.
    • Urgent funding is needed to address the key gaps in the supply of shelter and NFIs. As of 19 February, only 28 per cent of the Shelter Cluster funding requirement ($209.2M) has been funded.

    Protection

     

    Needs

    • Main needs include identification, tracing and reunification, and interim and alternative care arrangements of unaccompanied, previously detained and separated children.
    • There is an urgent need to provide Mental Health and Psychological Support (MHPSS), including psychological first aid (PFA); winterization materials, including warm clothing and blanket, for children and new-born babies.
    • There is urgent need to provide essential supplies, including menstrual management (MHM) kits and hygiene kits for women and girls.

    Response

    • In January, Child Protection Area of Responsibility (AoR) partners reached 111,202 boys and girls, and 2,633 women and men through awareness raising interventions; MHPSS for children and caregivers; identification and registration of Unaccompanied and Separated Children (USAC); and distribution of clothing kits.
    • Partners distributed essential supplies, including Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) kits and hygiene kits for women and girls. A total of 3,500 Dignity Kits and 8,926 MHM kits have been distributed by Gender-Based Violence (GBV) Sub-Cluster partners.
    • GBV responders are conducting procurement and distribution of Clinical Management of Rape (CMR) kits, and identification of health service points to provide CMR. Partners are also trying to establish emergency safe spaces, to provide PFA and recreational activities for vulnerable women and girls. Partners continue to expand PFA services for vulnerable groups, including GBV survivors, through frontline responders.

    Challenges and Gaps

    • The increased hostilities in Rafah governorate pose a significant threat for partners providing lifesaving protection services in the governorate. There is a lack of available space to provide group-based psychosocial support activities, due to the population density.
    • Limited access to other governorates prevents thousands of affected people from being reached with critical protection services.

    Education

     

    Needs

    • More than 625,000 students and nearly 23,000 teachers in the Gaza Strip have been affected by school closures and attacks on education, leaving them with no access to education or safe places.
    • According to the Ministry of Education, as of 13 February, more than 5,055 students and 246 educational staff have been killed and more than 8,497 students and 836 teachers have been injured in Gaza since 7 October.
    • Some 92 per cent of all school buildings in Gaza are being used as shelters for IDPs and/or have sustained varying levels of damage. Some 394 schools (79.5 per cent of the total school buildings in Gaza) have sustained damage, including 142 schools that sustained major damage or were destroyed. Combined, these schools previously served some 459,231 children and more than 17,110 teachers. The North, Gaza, and Khan Younis governorates have been especially impacted, accounting for 76 per cent of all damaged schools (source: Education Cluster Damaged School Dashboard.)
    • The Education Cluster conducted a Satellite-derived Damage Assessment of all Gaza schools to verify damage to schools based on proximity to damaged sites. Key findings include:
      • Satellite-derived Damage verification exercise confirmed the large level of damage to schools previously reported by the cluster in Gaza.
      • Actual damages to school infrastructure might be 15 to 20 per cent higher than what has been previously reported by the Education Cluster.
      • At least 55 per cent of schools in Gaza will either need full reconstruction or major rehabilitation work to be functional again.
      • One quarter of directly hit and damaged schools are UNRWA-run schools.
      • Forty-five per cent of school buildings that have been used by IDPs as shelters, have been either directly hit or damaged.
      • The satellite-derived images provide evidence for the military use of schools.
    • Education partners are concerned about reports, videos and pictures depicting schools being used for military operations by Israeli forces, including their use as detention and interrogation centres, or as military bases.
    • Key priorities include the provision of Education in Emergencies (EiE) recreational activities and psychological support, including Social Emotional Learning (SEL) activities to children in shelters and designated emergency shelters (DESs); establishing Temporary Learning Spaces (TLS) in shelters/DESs to start non-formal learning for children; and provision of emergency supplies and learning kits. In addition, a key need is to identify and support of children with disabilities and other needs, with assistive devices for learning.

    Response

    • Since October 2023, eleven partners have reached more than 160,975 students and teachers with psychosocial support, emergency learning, recreational supplies and activities, and awareness sessions in the Deir al Balah, Khan Younis, and Rafah governorates. Most of the cluster responses are delivered by local partners (source: Education Cluster 5W dashboard).

    Challenges and Gaps

    • No activities have been undertaken in the North Gaza and Gaza governorates due to ongoing hostilities and access challenges.
    • As of 18 February, the education response remains significantly underfunded, receiving less than 10 per cent of its requirements. Urgent funding is required to meet immediate response requirements.

    Logistics

     

    Response

    • As of 18 February 2024, the Logistics Cluster has stored 7,256 cubic metres of cargo on behalf of 17 organisations, and supported 21 organisations with cargo notification service in Rafah.
    • Of relief items transported through the Jordanian corridor, the Logistics Cluster facilitated partners` access to the inter-agency convoy, transporting a total of 6,159 metric tons of relief items on 463 WFP trucks on behalf of six partners.
    • The Logistics Cluster has circulated the Compiled Logistics Supplier List through the mailing list. The aggregated list comes from partners to partners and is intended to ease access to and exchange of information; it is the list is based on partners' vendors’/suppliers’ contributions. The list will be circulated on a regular basis.

    Challenges and Gaps

    • The storage and transport capacity inside Gaza remains limited. The Logistics Cluster continues to facilitate access to temporary storage, transport from handover points to common warehouses, and cargo notification trans-shipment services.
    • The Logistics Cluster is coordinating the pipeline for incoming cargo through the Egyptian and Jordanian corridors for the coming three months. This is a vital exercise for operational planning, in terms of understanding the resources available and making allocations based on the prioritization list. Partners have received a dedicated form and are requested to update it weekly. Partners who have not received the form can reach out to palestine.logcluster@wfp.org.

    Emergency Telecommunications

     

    Needs

    • Recurrent telecommunications shutdown in the Gaza Strip continues to restrict people from accessing life-saving information and is impeding other forms of humanitarian response.

    Response

    • On 12 February, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator received approval from the Israeli authorities to import 30 digital Very High Frequency (VHF) handheld radios for the use of UN agencies in Gaza, and solar solutions to power radio repeaters. Since its establishment on 3 November 2023, the ETC has been engaging with the Israeli authorities to obtain authorizations to import all essential telecommunications equipment into Gaza and provide independent access to communications for humanitarian responders.
    • Since 9 January, the ETC has supported humanitarian agencies with Information and Communication Technology (ICT) assessments, technical advice and information, repairs, and guidance on the use of ICT equipment in Gaza. To date, the ETC has conducted eight ICT assessments across four locations in Rafah and supported 14 humanitarian agencies with ICT repairs, technical advice, and guidance on the use of ICT equipment, in order to maximize the available telecommunications resources on the ground.

    Challenges and Gaps

    • Limited access to electricity, fuel, and telecommunications services continues to hamper the humanitarian response in Gaza.
    • The import of telecommunications equipment into Gaza is fraught, lengthy, and extremely challenging.

    Multi-Purpose Cash Assistance (MPCA)

    Response

    • Since the start of hostilities, one round of emergency MPCA was delivered to some 130,000 households, a top-up was delivered to 35,000 people (including people with disabilities and nursing mothers), and over 21,000 households have received a second round.
    • Around 93,000 households have cashed out their assistance since 7 October. Around 5,400 payments have been cancelled after not being cashed out for months, despite multiple follow ups. Cash out operations are currently almost exclusively in the southern governorates.
    • The assistance provided falls well short of need under the recurrent in-extremis circumstances, particularly given market collapse and price volatility. The last post-distribution monitoring data (PDMD) showed a significant decrease in the number of people who reported being able to meet all their needs, with the received assistance, combined with a major decrease in the number of people who reported not being able to cover any need. Overall, some 70 per cent of respondents reported that the assistance helped them access needed basic goods and services.
    • Based on the last PDMD collected between mid-January and mid-February, food remains the most purchased item with humanitarian cash (80 per cent), followed by medicines (39 per cent), water (23 per cent), hygiene bedding (10 per cent), and transportation.

    Challenges and Gaps

    • Poor electricity supply and connectivity is affecting the ability of financial service providers to make cash accessible, compromising the encashment of the MPCA package.
    • Since late December, commercial trucks have sporadically entered Gaza, with 770 trucks recorded up to date. Truck vendors sell goods on the streets and in informal markets, complicating efforts to track distributions and gather market data. Informal markets are the primary source of accessible goods. Currently, there is limited market data available on informal markets/street vendors due to challenges with collecting data about informal market transactions.

    IASC Protection from Sexual and Exploitation Abuse (PSEA) Network

     

    Needs

    • There is a need to mainstream PSEA messages & safeguarding practices across the Gaza Strip and West Bank, including East Jerusalem.
    • There is a pressing need to prioritize protection interventions at large. Safeguarding and SEA risk have become prominent in a context of severe aid dependency. The lack of safe aid delivery increases vulnerability and leads to exploitation and abuse.
    • Provide safe and accessible reporting channels, that lead to assistance and investigations of PSEA allegations.
    • Ensure that services are available for people at risk of sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA).

    Response

    • Since October 2023, more than 1,500 cases have been referred by the SAWA Foundation specialized counsellors, including eight per cent from the West Bank.
    • Due to the communication cuts in Gaza, a range of public communication materials were produced and distributed.
    • The PSEA Network has made available MHPSS support and remote counselling sessions for PSEA focal points on the ground in Gaza, who are documenting the impact and the emerging needs by collecting complaints and feedback.

    Challenges

    • Identifying cases and reaching vulnerable individuals pose significant challenges, particularly due to internet and telecommunication blackouts. Electricity and communication cuts make it challenging to establish contact with on-the-ground PSEA focal points.

    20 februari 2024

    The International Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands, August 27, 2018. © 2018 Mike Corder/AP Photo

     

    Israel/Palestine: Yesterday, the International Court of Justice began landmark hearings to consider the legal consequences of Israel’s nearly six-decades-long occupation and mistreatment of the Palestinian people. Note, this is a separate case from the Gaza genocide case against Israel at the same court, discussed here.

    20 februari 2024

    Have you always wanted to see Jerusalem? Here's your chance and you don't even have to leave your home! Join Eyewitness Palestine this Saturday, February 24th at 11am ET for our Live from Jerusalem webinar.

    19 februari 2024

     

    Today is President’s Day, a nationalist holiday designed to honor U.S. presidents. This celebration could not be more deeply wrong than when our sitting president is facilitating the mass murder of the Palestinian people with our tax dollars.

    Biden has blood on his hands. Tomorrow, he intends to veto a ceasefire at the UN Security Council again, spilling even more Palestinian blood.

    TAKE ACTION FOR GAZA TODAY

    Then, read the “Biden’s Legacy Is Genocide” statement below from Palestinian-led organizations in the U.S.

    Onward to liberation,

     

    AHMAD ABUZNAID
    Executive Director

     

    Biden's Legacy Is Genocide

    We, Palestinian-led organizations in the United States, are issuing an urgent call and a warning to President Biden. Palestinians in Gaza are facing the threat of extermination or expulsion, and this administration is greenlighting it. Israel’s genocidal assault on the Gaza Strip is the latest chapter in the ongoing Nakba, which began in 1948. Then, like now, Israel’s colonial regime is trying to erase Palestinian life in Palestine under the fog of war.

     

    1.5 million Palestinians are crowded in Rafah. The majority have been displaced from elsewhere in the Gaza Strip over the course of the last 132 days. The majority were already refugees before October, forced to flee from homes across Palestine. With this assault, Israel is pursuing plans to depopulate Rafah, pushing a population it has starved into the Sinai Peninsula, in a continuation of its century-long attempt to cleanse Palestine of all Palestinians.

     

    The world has watched this unfold, streaming horrors in real-time, scenes that will be embedded in our memories for centuries to come. Yet, even as we cry out for justice, the leaders of the so-called free world, led by Biden and Congress, continue to fuel the flames of destruction with their unrelenting support for Israel. The most bone-chilling part of this all is the public gloating and encouragement of our destruction, by Israeli and US officials alike, without consequence. We cannot, we must not, let Rafah fall under the shadow of yet another joint US-backed Israeli assault meant to drive Palestinians into the desert and into permanent exile. We Palestinians know that when we leave our homes, Israel works to ensure we cannot go back. This cannot be repeated.

     

    Palestinians in the United States have watched our government’s complicity in what US courts and the International Court of Justice have described as a genocidal campaign. We have watched the Biden administration state “no red lines” on Israel, and instead, rush even more weapons, veto ceasefire resolutions, and block humanitarian aid, enabling every step of this genocide.

     

    We also know that the horrors of today are the culmination of a 100-year process of dehumanization, dispossession, fragmentation, and suppression of Palestinians. With a blank check from the US, Apartheid Israel has thrived.

     

    Through a century of Zionist colonization and 75 years of an ongoing Nakba, our Palestinian people continue, against all odds, to collectively struggle against our erasure. We are still here, whether on our lands or in our communities in exile, demanding a future of freedom, justice, and dignity between the river and the sea. The international community thought Palestinians would accept their permanent subjugation. But the history of colonized people tells a different story. The next 100 years will be our century of liberation, and it begins with protecting Rafah, protecting Gaza, and ending US complicity in apartheid and genocide.

     

    We all recognize the unwillingness of Western world leaders to contend with the damage and destruction they cause both at home and abroad. We are living through complete obliteration: a human and climate disaster that will mark the earth for centuries to come, permanent environmental destruction through chemical and arms pollution, and an enduring trauma that will alter the DNA of humanity.

     

    What happens in Gaza is about much more than freedom for Palestine and our return to our homes. The struggle for Gaza is a struggle of all oppressed peoples. This is why we have seen so many rise up and join our struggle.

     

    The weapons of destruction, the tactics of dehumanization, the open complicity of the US in the face of genocide—these are the same tools that threaten us all. From immigrants and minorities, to workers and all the oppressed, the specter of white supremacy and racism looms large. 

    We call on everyone of you who reads these words to not stay silent, not stay seated. Rise up. To those who have been on the streets with us, do not tire. Do not allow the inhumanity to become normalized. Disrupt the complacency of everyday life, and refuse to turn a blind eye to the genocide unfolding before us.

     

    Adalah Justice Project
    American Muslims for Palestine (AMP)
    Americans for Justice in Palestine Action (AJP Action)
    Arab Resource and Organizing Center
    Palestine Legal
    Palestinian Feminist Collective
    Palestinian Youth Movement
    US Campaign for Palestinian Rights
    US Palestinian Community Network

    Hostilities in the Gaza Strip and Israel
    Flash Update #121

    A United Nations team attempting to deliver fuel to Nasser hospital through destroyed roads. The Israeli military operation in Nasser hospital is ongoing. Photo by OCHA/Themba Linden, 16 February 2024

     

    19 februari 2024

    Key points

     

    • Intense Israeli bombardment from air, land and sea continues to be reported across much of the Gaza Strip, resulting in further civilian casualties, displacement, and destruction of civilian infrastructure. Widespread ground operations and heavy fighting between Israeli forces and Palestinian armed groups also continue to be reported, especially in Khan Younis and Deir al Balah. Between 17 and 19 February, tens of rockets were also reportedly fired by armed Palestinians toward Israel.
    • Between the afternoon of 16 February and noon on 19 February, according to the Ministry of Health (MoH) in Gaza, 234 Palestinians were killed and 350 Palestinians were injured, including 107 killed and 145 injured in the last 24 hours. Between 7 October 2023 and noon on 19 February 2024, at least 29,092 Palestinians were killed in Gaza and 69,028 Palestinians were injured, according to MoH in Gaza.
    • As of February 2024, according to the Israel Prison Service (IPS), there are nearly 9,000 Palestinians in Israeli custody, including 3,484 administrative detainees (39 per cent) held without trial. These figures do not include detainees from the Gaza Strip held by the Israeli military.
    • Between the afternoons of 16 and 19 February, one Israeli soldier was reported killed in Gaza. As of 19 February, 233 soldiers have been killed and 1,373 soldiers injured in Gaza since the beginning of the ground operation, according to the Israeli military. In addition, over 1,200 Israelis and foreign nationals have been killed in Israel, according to the Israeli authorities, the vast majority on 7 October. As of 19 February, the Israeli authorities estimate that about 134 Israelis and foreign nationals remain captive in Gaza and reportedly include fatalities whose bodies are being withheld.
    • As of 19 February, the Israeli military operation in the Nasser Hospital complex in Khan Younis continues. On 18 February, the UN and the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) visited the hospital and evacuated 14 patients. Prior to that, WHO Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, reported that a WHO team was not permitted to enter the hospital to assess the conditions of the patients and critical medical needs, despite reaching the hospital compound to deliver fuel. According to the Ministry of Health in Gaza, Israeli forces have arrested 70 medical personnel, including an intensive care doctor and the Director of Surgery, and eight patients died due to the depletion of oxygen. Negotiations are ongoing to allow for the evacuation of the remaining patients. The Israeli military stated that it had discovered weapons and a vehicle taken from an Israeli kibbutz on 7 October inside the compound, had arrested hundreds of suspects, and was providing medical supplies and resources to the hospital.
    • The situation in Al Amal Hospital in Khan Younis continues to be critical, following a 28-day siege by the Israeli military. On 19 February, PRCS reported a decrease in fuel reserves to generate electricity for high-risk patients and a near exhaustion of food supplies. On 18 February, PRCS reported that the third floor of the hospital sustained damage by artillery shelling and the destruction of the central maintenance room. On 17 February, PRCS published images showing signs of what they assess to be torture of two doctors who had been detained from Al Amal hospital by Israeli forces on 9 February. Twelve PRCS staff members continue to be detained by Israeli forces, according to PRCS. Notwithstanding the lack of blood units and medical personnel, the medical team successfully performed an urgent cesarian section for a pregnant woman at Al Amal hospital on 16 February.
    • Public health concerns are reportedly mounting across Gaza, disproportionately affecting women. This is due to continued bombardment, the lack of essential food and water supplies, the collapsing health system, and limited access to those in need of urgent assistance. On 16 February, the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) highlighted that 500,000 cases of communicable disease, including meningitis and acute diarrhoea, have been reported across Gaza, emphasizing the particular vulnerabilities facing women: “Everyone in Gaza is hungry, including 50,000 pregnant women, with malnutrition making them more susceptible to disease and less able to recover.” Underscoring the immense risks facing pregnant women in Gaza, UNFPA warned: “If the bombs don't kill pregnant women, if disease, hunger and dehydration don't catch up with them, simply giving birth could.”
    • As of 17 February, up to 1.7 million people have been displaced across the Gaza Strip, many multiple times, according to UNRWA. Following intense Israeli bombardment and fighting in Khan Younis and Deir al Balah in recent days, a significant number of Palestinians has moved to Rafah, where the influx of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) has overwhelmed the capacity of health and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services to meet the needs of the population. Between 150 and 155 UNRWA installations continue to shelter IDPs in extremely overcrowded conditions. According to the Education Cluster, some 92 per cent of all school buildings in Gaza are being used as shelters for IDPs and/or have sustained varying levels of damage during the conflict. UNRWA estimates that at least 396 IDPs sheltering in its shelters have been killed and at least 1,383 injured since 7 October and 158 UNRWA staff members killed during this period.

    Hostilities and casualties (Gaza Strip)

     

    The following are among the deadliest incidents reported between 16 and 18 February:

    • On 16 February, in the early morning, seven Palestinians were reportedly killed, and others injured, when a residential building in An Naser neighbourhood, in northern Rafah, was hit.
    • On 16 February, at about 20:00, at least ten Palestinians were reportedly killed, when a residential building in northern Gaza city was hit.
    • On 17 February, at about 10:30, seven Palestinians were reportedly killed, when a residential building in Ash Sheikh Redwan neighbourhood, in Gaza city, was struck.
    • On 17 February, at about 15:00, 20 Palestinians were reportedly killed, when a number of residential buildings in An Nuseirat Camp, in Deir al Balah, were hit.
    • On 17 February, at about 15:20, ten Palestinians were reportedly killed, when a residential building in Deir al Balah was hit.
    • On 17 February, at about 19:00, seven Palestinians, including two children and one woman, were reportedly killed, and other were injured, when a residence that was reportedly sheltering IDPs, in eastern Rafah, was hit.
    • On 18 February, at about 5:30, seven Palestinians were reportedly killed, when a residential building in Az Zawayda, in Deir al Balah, was hit. Forty other people have reportedly remained under the rubble.

    West Bank Updates

     

    • On 16 February, two Israeli men were shot and killed in southern Israel, and four others including a child were injured, by a Palestinian man from Shu’fat refugee camp in East Jerusalem. The Palestinian man was then shot and killed by an armed Israeli civilian. Following the incident, Israeli forces closed the checkpoint leading to Shu'fat Refugee camp and raided the camp.
    • On 18 February, Israeli forces, including undercover units, shot and killed two Palestinian men in Tulkarm Refugee camp, during an exchange of fire with a Palestinian man whose body was later withheld by Israeli forces. The second fatality was an unarmed Palestinian who was reportedly killed by an Israeli army sniper while standing on the rooftop of his house. The four-hour military operation took place during school hours, impacting 1,356 pupils and 61 education staff inside four UNRWA schools in the camp. Also on 18 February, Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian man at Beit Furik checkpoint in Nablus. According to the Israeli military, the man was asked to stop and was shot when he refused to do so. Israeli forces withheld the body of the man for three hours.
    • Since 7 October 2023 and as of 18 February, 393 Palestinians have been killed, including 100 children, and 4,511 Palestinians, including 699 children, have been injured in conflict-related incidents across the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Israel. During the same period, 12 Israelis, including four members of Israeli forces, were killed and 80 injured in conflict-related incidents in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Israel.
    • Since 7 October 2023 and as of 16 February, OCHA has recorded 558 Israeli settler attacks against Palestinians that resulted in Palestinian casualties (50 incidents), damage to Palestinian-owned property (447 incidents), or both casualties and damage to property (61 incidents).
    • Since 7 October 2023, 524 people, including 256 children, have been displaced in Area C and East Jerusalem after their homes were demolished due to the lack of Israeli-issued building permits, which are almost impossible to obtain.
    • On 13 February, four Palestinian houses were rendered uninhabitable by Israeli bulldozers during a raid on Jenin refugee camp. Some 16 Palestinians were displaced, including three children. Roads inside the camp were also bulldozed, causing significant damage to sewage networks. Since 7 October 2023, 830 Palestinians, including 337 children, have been displaced, following the destruction of 131 homes during operations carried out by Israeli forces across the West Bank. About 95 per cent of the displacement was reported in the refugee camps of Jenin, Nur Shams and Tulkarm.

    Funding

     

    • The Flash Appeal for the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), which requests US$1.2 billion to meet critical needs of 2.7 million people across the oPt (2.2 million in the Gaza Strip and 500,000 in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem), was extended through the end of March 2024. As of 19 February, member states disbursed nearly against the updated Flash Appeal (73 per cent); this includes $612 million out of $629 million (97 per cent) requested for October-December 2023 and $289 million out of $600 million (48 per cent) requested for January-March 2024. For funding analysis, please see the Flash Appeal Financial Tracking dashboard.
    • The occupied Palestinian territory Humanitarian Fund (oPt HF) and the Central Emergency Relief Fund (CERF) are currently funding more than 94 ongoing projects in the Gaza Strip to meet urgent humanitarian needs, notwithstanding constraints on the entry and delivery of aid into and within the Gaza Strip. These interventions, totalling about $77 million, address needs in the areas of food security, shelter, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), health and protection. Since October 7, the oPt HF has received a total of $88 million in contributions from member states and private donors. Private donations are collected directly through the Humanitarian Fund.

    HUMANITARIAN NEEDS AND RESPONSE UPDATES | 13–19 February

    Food Security

    Needs

    • The humanitarian situation in North Gaza and Gaza governorates is extremely critical, exacerbating the challenges faced in delivering essential aid. The food security situation in the Middle Area and southern governorates is particularly acute, with the majority of the population in extreme hunger.
    • In Rafah, the situation is becoming increasingly concerning, given the expected ground attack. People in Rafah are reported to be stopping aid trucks to take food and eat it immediately, highlighting the severity of their desperation and hunger.
    • There is an urgent need to augment the fleet of delivery trucks to ensure the entire population's nutritional requirements are met and to improve healthcare services, including primary health services, routine immunization coverage, and the provision of medication for non-communicable diseases.
    • Vulnerable segments of the population, including children, the elderly, and individuals with underlying health conditions, are particularly susceptible to the risk of malnutrition. Partners are working to ensure that aid reaches these vulnerable groups.
    • Establishing secure and uninterrupted humanitarian corridors in Gaza, with the support of the private sector and a focus on critical resources like fuel and cooking gas, is essential to address the immediate needs of the affected population and support the overall humanitarian response.

    Response

    • Between 12 and 18 February, a total of 14 partners engaged in providing food assistance across the Gaza Strip. Around 1.5 million people were reached, with Rafah Governorate receiving about 32 per cent of the total food assistance, followed by Deir al Balah (28 per cent), Khan Younis (26 per cent), and northern Gaza Strip (14 per cent).

    Challenges and Gaps

    • Ongoing airstrikes and heavy fighting in Gaza continue to affect the flow of food supply, posing challenges for safe and efficient operations. Frequent border closures, restrictions, and security concerns hinder the ability to ensure a consistent and dependable food supply.
    • The escalation of hostilities has substantially damaged critical infrastructure, including roads, electricity, and water supply systems, exacerbating severe impediments to the efficient distribution of food.

    Shelter and Non-Food Items (NFI)

     

    Needs

    • Some 1.7 million people are in need of shelter and NFI assistance across the Gaza Strip.
    • Urgent needs are tents, sealing-off kits (SOKs) and NFIs, including bedding, kitchen sets, and winter clothing. SOKs can be used to consolidate makeshift shelters or to protect damaged housing to facilitate return where possible.
    • Partners estimate that the amount of debris generated by the destruction of residential housing residential housing units will exceed 12,000 metric tons and will take over four years to remove, given Gaza’s current capabilities.

    Response

    • Since the start of hostilities, cluster partners reached about 900,000 people with partial shelter and NFI assistance. Partial assistance means that although a household has received some shelter and NFI items, not all their needs have been met.
    • During the reporting period, cluster partners distributed 7,900 bedding items, 1,600 SOKs and 340 clothing kits to IDPs sheltering outside of UN shelters in Rafah.
    • Some 28,000 tents, 7,600 SOKs, and 35,000 NFI kits are currently in the pipeline.
    • At present, there are 26 cluster partners operating in Gaza. The vast majority of assistance is currently provided in-kind; cash will be pursued further when market conditions allow.
    • Further details in the Cluster response strategy and website dashboard.

    Challenges and Gaps

    • Slow entry of items into Gaza due to limited aid trucks and complicated bureaucratic and procurement processes.
    • Rising prices of shelter materials in neighbouring markets, including high freight rates and shipping costs.
    • Need to restore commercial imports and re-establish local markets to relieve pressure on in-kind provision.
    • Restrictions on or denial of the entry of key shelter items including timber, hand tools, and cooking stoves.
    • Lack of security and access to IDP locations, lack of fuel, and rising social tensions because of the limited quantity of aid available in comparison to outstanding needs.
    • Unplanned sites and lack of adequate equipment is leading to water damage to makeshift shelters and tents, and recurrent displacement resulting in the need for re-distribution of assistance.
    • Urgent funding is needed to address the key gaps in the supply of shelter and NFIs. As of 19 February, only 28 per cent of the Shelter Cluster funding requirement ($209.2M) has been funded.

    Protection

     

    Needs

    • Main needs include identification, tracing and reunification, and interim and alternative care arrangements of unaccompanied, previously detained and separated children.
    • There is an urgent need to provide Mental Health and Psychological Support (MHPSS), including psychological first aid (PFA); winterization materials, including warm clothing and blanket, for children and new-born babies.
    • There is urgent need to provide essential supplies, including menstrual management (MHM) kits and hygiene kits for women and girls.

    Response

    • In January, Child Protection Area of Responsibility (AoR) partners reached 111,202 boys and girls, and 2,633 women and men through awareness raising interventions; MHPSS for children and caregivers; identification and registration of Unaccompanied and Separated Children (USAC); and distribution of clothing kits.
    • Partners distributed essential supplies, including Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) kits and hygiene kits for women and girls. A total of 3,500 Dignity Kits and 8,926 MHM kits have been distributed by Gender-Based Violence (GBV) Sub-Cluster partners.
    • GBV responders are conducting procurement and distribution of Clinical Management of Rape (CMR) kits, and identification of health service points to provide CMR. Partners are also trying to establish emergency safe spaces, to provide PFA and recreational activities for vulnerable women and girls. Partners continue to expand PFA services for vulnerable groups, including GBV survivors, through frontline responders.

    Challenges and Gaps

    • The increased hostilities in Rafah governorate pose a significant threat for partners providing lifesaving protection services in the governorate. There is a lack of available space to provide group-based psychosocial support activities, due to the population density.
    • Limited access to other governorates prevents thousands of affected people from being reached with critical protection services.

    Education

     

    Needs

    • More than 625,000 students and nearly 23,000 teachers in the Gaza Strip have been affected by school closures and attacks on education, leaving them with no access to education or safe places.
    • According to the Ministry of Education, as of 13 February, more than 5,055 students and 246 educational staff have been killed and more than 8,497 students and 836 teachers have been injured in Gaza since 7 October.
    • Some 92 per cent of all school buildings in Gaza are being used as shelters for IDPs and/or have sustained varying levels of damage. Some 394 schools (79.5 per cent of the total school buildings in Gaza) have sustained damage, including 142 schools that sustained major damage or were destroyed. Combined, these schools previously served some 459,231 children and more than 17,110 teachers. The North, Gaza, and Khan Younis governorates have been especially impacted, accounting for 76 per cent of all damaged schools (source: Education Cluster Damaged School Dashboard.)
    • The Education Cluster conducted a Satellite-derived Damage Assessment of all Gaza schools to verify damage to schools based on proximity to damaged sites. Key findings include:
      • -Satellite-derived Damage verification exercise confirmed the large level of damage to schools previously reported by the cluster in Gaza.
      • -Actual damages to school infrastructure might be 15 to 20 per cent higher than what has been previously reported by the Education Cluster.
      • -At least 55 per cent of schools in Gaza will either need full reconstruction or major rehabilitation work to be functional again.
      • -One quarter of directly hit and damaged schools are UNRWA-run schools.
      • -Forty-five per cent of school buildings that have been used by IDPs as shelters, have been either directly hit or damaged.
      • -The satellite-derived images provide evidence for the military use of schools.
    • Education partners are concerned about reports, videos and pictures depicting schools being used for military operations by Israeli forces, including their use as detention and interrogation centres, or as military bases.
    • Key priorities include the provision of Education in Emergencies (EiE) recreational activities and psychological support, including Social Emotional Learning (SEL) activities to children in shelters and designated emergency shelters (DESs); establishing Temporary Learning Spaces (TLS) in shelters/DESs to start non-formal learning for children; and provision of emergency supplies and learning kits. In addition, a key need is to identify and support of children with disabilities and other needs, with assistive devices for learning.

    Response

    • Since October 2023, eleven partners have reached more than 160,975 students and teachers with psychosocial support, emergency learning, recreational supplies and activities, and awareness sessions in the Deir al Balah, Khan Younis, and Rafah governorates. Most of the cluster responses are delivered by local partners (source: Education Cluster 5W dashboard).

    Challenges and Gaps

    • No activities have been undertaken in the North Gaza and Gaza governorates due to ongoing hostilities and access challenges.
    • As of 18 February, the education response remains significantly underfunded, receiving less than 10 per cent of its requirements. Urgent funding is required to meet immediate response requirements.

    Logistics

     

    Response

    • As of 18 February 2024, the Logistics Cluster has stored 7,256 cubic metres of cargo on behalf of 17 organisations, and so far supported 21 organisations with cargo notification service in Rafah.
    • Of relief items transported through the Jordanian corridor, the Logistics Cluster facilitated partners` access to the inter-agency convoy, transporting a total of 6,159 metric tons of relief items on 463 WFP trucks on behalf of six partners.
    • The Logistics Cluster has circulated the Compiled Logistics Supplier List through the mailing list. The aggregated list comes from partners to partners and is intended to ease access to and exchange of information; it is the list is based on partners' vendors’/suppliers’ contributions. The list will be circulated on a regular basis.

    Challenges and Gaps

    • The storage and transport capacity inside Gaza remains limited. The Logistics Cluster continues to facilitate access to temporary storage, transport from handover points to common warehouses, and cargo notification trans-shipment services.
    • The Logistics Cluster is coordinating the pipeline for incoming cargo through the Egyptian and Jordanian corridors for the coming three months. This is a vital exercise for operational planning, in terms of understanding the resources available and making allocations based on the prioritization list. Partners have received a dedicated form and are requested to update it weekly. Partners who have not received the form can reach out to palestine.logcluster@wfp.org.

    Emergency Telecommunications

     

    Needs

    • Recurrent telecommunications shutdown in the Gaza Strip continues to restrict people from accessing life-saving information and is impeding other forms of humanitarian response.

    Response

    • On 12 February, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator received approval from the Israeli authorities to import 30 digital Very High Frequency (VHF) handheld radios for the use of UN agencies in Gaza, and solar solutions to power radio repeaters. Since its establishment on 3 November 2023, the ETC has been engaging with the Israeli authorities to obtain authorizations to import all essential telecommunications equipment into Gaza and provide independent access to communications for humanitarian responders.
    • Since 9 January, the ETC has supported humanitarian agencies with Information and Communication Technology (ICT) assessments, technical advice and information, repairs, and guidance on the use of ICT equipment in Gaza. To date, the ETC has conducted eight ICT assessments across four locations in Rafah and supported 14 humanitarian agencies with ICT repairs, technical advice, and guidance on the use of ICT equipment, in order to maximize the available telecommunications resources on the ground.

    Challenges and Gaps

    • Limited access to electricity, fuel, and telecommunications services continues to hamper the humanitarian response in Gaza.
    • The import of telecommunications equipment into Gaza is fraught, lengthy, and extremely challenging.

    Multi-Purpose Cash Assistance (MPCA)

     

    Response

    • Since the start of hostilities, one round of emergency MPCA was delivered to some 130,000 households, a top-up was delivered to 35,000 people (including people with disabilities and nursing mothers), and over 21,000 households have received a second round.
    • Around 93,000 households have cashed out their assistance since 7 October. Around 5,400 payments have been cancelled after not being cashed out for months, despite multiple follow ups. Cash out operations are currently almost exclusively in the southern governorates.
    • Provided assistance falls well short of need under the recurrent in-extremis circumstances, particularly given market collapse and price volatility. The last post-distribution monitoring data (PDMD) showed a significant decrease in the number of people who reported being able to meet all their needs with the received assistance, combined with a major decrease in the number of people who reported not being able to cover any need. Overall, some 70 per cent of respondents reported that the assistance helped them access needed basic goods and services.
    • Based on the last PDMD collected between mid-January and mid-February, food remains the most purchased item with humanitarian cash (80 per cent), followed by medicines (39 per cent), water (23 per cent), hygiene bedding (10 per cent), and transportation.

    Challenges and Gaps

    • Poor electricity supply and connectivity is affecting the ability of financial service providers to make cash accessible, compromising the encashment of the MPCA package.
    • Since late December, commercial trucks have sporadically entered Gaza, with 770 trucks recorded up to date. Truck vendors sell goods on the streets and in informal markets, complicating efforts to track distributions and gather market data. Informal markets are the primary source of accessible goods. Currently, there is limited market data available on informal markets/street vendors due to challenges with collecting data about informal market transactions.

    19 februari 2024

    Today's headlines

    Netanyahu approves Ramadan restrictions on Al-Aqsa Mosque

    Hamas slams Israel over plans to restrict access of Palestinian worshipers to the Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem during the holy month of Ramadan. Meanwhile, more Palestinians die from preventable causes as Israel besieges hospitals in Gaza.

    Music and resistance after October 7

    The Palestinian people practice resistance through "sumud" and steadfastness in every aspect of their lives, including in music. After October 7, Palestinian music can serve as the moral compass pointing toward decolonization.

    Trying to survive a mouse click away from death

    Musa, Moses, fled the then all-powerful pharaohs to this side of the Sinai. Now, my daughter and I will, with God’s grace, flee the Israelis to the land of Egypt, to save our lives.

    Many Palestinians are fleeing Rafah ahead of Israel’s impending invasion, but when they return to their destroyed neighborhoods they still face bombardment. "We escaped death to walk into a different kind of death,” Jamila Eleywa tells Mondoweiss.

    18 februari 2024

    Biden's legacy is genocide, let it not be ours

    18 februari 2024

     

     

    AMP and eight other Palestinian organizations in the U.S. have issued a critical call and warning to President Biden. The situation in Gaza demands continued attention, as Palestinians face the imminent threat of extermination or expulsion, while this administration appears to be persistent in greenlighting such atrocities.

    Israel's ongoing genocidal assault on the Gaza Strip is not merely a contemporary crisis; it is the latest chapter in a long history of dispossession and oppression dating back to the Nakba in 1948. As we witness the horrors unfolding in real-time, it's evident that urgent action is needed to prevent further bloodshed and displacement.

    As we reflect on the values and principles our nation claims to stand for, it's imperative that we hold our leaders accountable for their complicity in enabling these atrocities.

    TAKE ACTION AND SPREAD THE WORD

    Today's headlines

    Israel’s war on Gaza’s hospitals continues

    18 februari 2024
     

    Nasser Hospital, the second-largest medical facility in the Gaza Strip, was forced closed Sunday following an Israeli siege, storming, and arrest of medical staff and patients. Meanwhile, Israel also bombed Al-Amal Hospital in Khan Younis.

    Good Christians, bad Christians

    Palestinian Christians are viewed by the West as "bad Christians" because they refuse to act as a minority. To be considered a "good Muslim" or a "good Christian" in the Middle East, you must be aligned with Israel and the U.S.

     

    The role of food in the movement for Palestine

     

    Food is central to the movement for Palestinian liberation, because food is central to history, identity, and life.

    17 februari 2024

     

    All over Palestine, from Israel’s genocidal massacres in Gaza to military attacks in the West Bank, the Israeli regime is bent on annihilating Palestinian life to remove our people from our native land. Israel is operating with full impunity and full U.S. backing, with zero consequences from our elected officials for each new war crime.

     

    For weeks, Israel has been viciously attacking Palestinian refugees and patients trapped inside Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis amid a media blackout. Palestinian people in Gaza have a right to live in safety and freedom. We must keep fighting to stop the genocide funded by our tax dollars.

     

    Read the latest updates below.

    Your Activist Scoop

    OUR GOVERNMENT'S GUILT

    • Biden’s “Deadly Deal” spending package, now reduced to $95 billion without border militarization in an effort to push it through Congress, has passed the Senate and now heads to the House. Every non-Republican senator except for Sen. Bernie Sanders and Sen. Jeff Merkley voted to send $14 billion more in weapons to Israel AND disband UNRWA. They have blood on their hands.
    • Israel is continuing to murder and harm Palestinian-American U.S. citizens with impunity, including most recently 17-year-old Mohammad Ahmed Khdour.
    • Biden administration officials have revealed that there will be zero consequences if Israel launches a full-scale ground invasion to expel and slaughter 1.9 million Palestinian refugees sheltering in Rafah.

     

    YOUR IMPACT

    No Pride in Genocide protest at Human Rights Campaign in DC

    • You’ve collectively took action, raising your voice to end the genocide and stop U.S. weapons to Israel.
    • Thanks to the pressure you’ve built, 68 members of Congress have now called for a ceasefire. See the full list here. Additionally, about 60 cities have now passed ceasefire resolutions as seen on this map.
    • The AME church, a Methodist Black denomination with millions of members, has called for both a permanent ceasefire and a withdrawal of U.S. military funding and complicity from Israel’s genocide.
    • Protests and disruptions are halting business as usual, calling out powerful actors for their complicity, and stopping traffic across the country, including at the Golden Gate Bridge on Wednesday.

    WHAT TO DO NEXT

    • Meta, already deeply complicit in genocide, is now considering heightening its censorship of Palestinian and ally voices who critique Zionism.
    • Email Parliament now to tell them to stop the genocide!The Deadly  U.S. Deal with $14 billion in weapons to Israel is coming through the House next. No more money for Israel’s crimes! 

    Onward to liberation,

    AHMAD ABUZNAID

    Executive Director

    17 februari 2024

    17 februari 2024

    Today's headlines

    Biden claims to push for temporary ceasefire, as US authorizes more weapons to Israel

    Academics form national group to advocate for justice in Palestine

    Faculty for Justice in Palestine, which already has 80 affiliate groups across college campuses, was formed to support students who are being targeted for their Palestine activism.

    A reformed PLO that includes Hamas is the only hope

     A reformed PLO that includes Hamas and other Palestinian factions will revive for many Palestinians the idea that the PLO still supports the right to resist. While this outcome remains a long shot, it is the only way forward with a positive future.

    17 februari 2024

     

    We call on the American people to continue to rise up for justice.​​
     

    Take Action

    Palestinians in Gaza are facing the threat of expulsion, and this administration is greenlighting it. The situation is dire, with Israel's relentless assault amounting to nothing short of genocide.
     

    The appalling targeting of Rafah, where 1.5 million Palestinians are sheltering, seeks to drive Palestinians into permanent exile. We cannot stand idly by as our people face this brutality
     

    What happens in Gaza is about much more than freedom for Palestine and our return to our homes. The struggle for Gaza is a struggle of all oppressed peoples.
     

    We call on everyone of you who reads these words to not stay silent, not stay seated. Rise up. To those who have been on the streets with us, do not tire.

    Do not allow the inhumanity to become normalized. Disrupt the complacency of everyday life, and refuse to turn a blind eye to the genocide unfolding before us.

    Take Action

    16 februari 2024

    16 februari 2024

     

    Maandag 12 februari werd bekend dat we de rechtszaak hebben gewonnen die we tegen de Nederlandse staat aanspanden. Samen met PAX en Oxfam Novib eisten wij dat Nederland zou stoppen met het leveren van onderdelen voor F-35 gevechtsvliegtuigen aan Israël.

    Het Gerechtshof Den Haag stelde vast ‘dat er een duidelijk risico bestaat dat door Israël met de F-35-gevechtsvliegtuigen ernstige schendingen van het humanitaire oorlogsrecht worden gepleegd in de Gazastrook', en dat Nederland de uitvoer van militaire goederen daarom dient te staken.

     Lees hier onze analyse van de uitspraak

    Andere landen gingen Nederland voor
    De uitspraak komt twee weken na de conclusie van het Internationaal Gerechtshof dat het ‘aannemelijk’ is dat Israël genocide pleegt in Gaza. De regionale regering van Wallonië en de regering van Spanje kondigden vorige week daarom al aan te stoppen met de wapenexport naar Israël vanwege het risico bij te dragen aan ernstige schendingen van het humanitair oorlogsrecht.

    Uitspraak volop in het nieuws
    In binnen- en buitenland was de uitspraak in de F-35-zaak volop in het nieuws. In Nederland schreven onder meer de NRCVolkskrant en Trouw uitgebreid over het vonnis van het Gerechtshof en de kwalijke rol van Nederland als leverancier. Ook buitenlandse media zoals MondoweissAl-JazeeraNew York TimesWashington Post en Deutsche Welle besteedden aandacht aan de zaak.

    Staat in cassatie
    Demissionair minister Geoffrey van Leeuwen voor Buitenlandse Handel heeft inmiddels bekendgemaakt dat de staat in cassatie gaat tegen de uitspraak. Volgens Van Leeuwen heeft het gerechtshof er onvoldoende rekening mee gehouden dat het aan de staat is om zijn buitenlandbeleid vorm te geven. Wel zal de minister de uitspraak van het hof uitvoeren.

    Ook de Tweede Kamer heeft zich inmiddels uitgesproken over de uitspraak. Op donderdag 15 februari stemde een meerderheid van de Kamer voor een motie van Ruben Brekelmans (VVD) waarin de regering wordt opgeroepen ‘om de brede zelfverdediging van Israël niet in het gedrang te laten komen’; en om ‘een betrouwbare partner te blijven binnen zowel het F-35-programma als toekomstige internationale defensiesamenwerking’.

    De motie gaat volledig voorbij aan de redenen van het oordeel van het Hof, namelijk dat met levering 'een duidelijk risico bestaat op ernstige schendingen van internationaal humanitair recht'. Naar onze mening is de motie dan ook een verkapte oproep om de rechterlijke uitspraak te omzeilen.

    Moed en inspiratie
    Ondanks de reactie van de Nederlandse politiek heeft de overwinning ons een nieuwe dosis moed, energie en inspiratie gegeven voor de voortzetting van onze strijd voor rechtvaardigheid. De vele berichten van steun die wij van jullie kregen naar aanleiding van de uitspraak speelden daarin ook een belangrijke rol.

    Internationaal Gerechtshof Hoorzittingen over situatie in Palestina van start

    Van maandag 19 tot en met maandag 26 februari vinden de eerste hoorzittingen plaats van het Internationaal Gerechtshof in het kader van de gevraagde adviesopinie m.b.t. de ‘Legal Consequences arising from the Policies and Practices of Israel in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem’.

    Er komen 52 landen en drie internationale organisaties aan het woord. Palestina bijt maandag de spits af. Nederland is dinsdag van 11.40 tot 12.10 uur aan de beurt. Israël ontbreekt.

    De zittingen zijn online te volgen via de website van het Gerechtshof en UN Web TV.

    Klik hier voor meer informatie over de hoorzittingen. Komend weekend publiceren wij een toelichting op de hoorzittingen op onze website.

    Tweede Kamer debatteert met minister over Gaza, kolonistengeweld en F-35-zaak

    Afgelopen dinsdag en woensdag debatteerde de Tweede Kamer met minister van Buitenlandse Zaken Hanke Bruins Slot (CDA). Ter sprake kwamen onder meer de catastrofale situatie in Rafah, het kolonistengeweld op de Westoever en de F-35 uitspraak. Dieptepunt van het debat was de inbreng van Kamerlid Raymond de Roon (PVV) die in een discussie met Stephan van Baarle (Denk) stelde dat Israël het ‘netjes doet’ in Gaza. 

    Grondoffensief in Rafah
    Over Rafah gaf Bruins Slot aan dat een Israëlisch grondoffensief ‘onder de huidige omstandigheden’ ‘gewoon niet te rechtvaardigen’ zou zijn, en dat er ‘maximale druk’ gezet zou worden op Israel om dit te voorkomen. Op vragen van vrijwel de gehele linkse oppositie over wat die maximale druk inhoudt kwam de minister niet verder dan het herhalen van de oproep aan Israël om geen grondoffensief te starten. ‘Hopelijk’ zou dit Israël ertoe bewegen van het offensief af te zien. 

    Laurens Dassen (Volt) verweet de minister niet bereid te zijn tot het uiterste te gaan: 'Het zijn tandeloze woorden die geen enkel effect zullen hebben.' Kati Piri (PvdA) sprak van een ‘nieuwe Nakba’ als Palestijnen over de grens met Egypte zouden worden gedwongen. Voor Don Ceder (CU) zou dit scenario wel acceptabel zijn. Dat Ceder de situatie in verband bracht met etnische zuivering en een vergelijking maakte met de situatie van de Armenen in Nagorno Karabach veranderde opmerkelijk genoeg niets aan zijn standpunt. 

    Kolonistengeweld
    De Tweede Kamer lijkt tot actie over te gaan met betrekking tot het kolonistengeweld op de Westelijke Jordaanoever. Dat gebeurt in navolging van de VS, het Verenigd Koninkrijk en Frankrijk, die de afgelopen weken sancties instelden.

    Nederland werkt momenteel op Europees niveau aan het instellen van individuele sancties tegen gewelddadige kolonisten, maar de plannen worden door Hongarije en Tsjechië tegengehouden. De Kamer nam een motie aan die de minister oproept desnoods zonder Europese unanimiteit over te gaan tot het instellen van sancties. Verdergaande moties om ook organisaties en bedrijven die meewerken aan het uitbreiden en instandhouden van de nederzettingen werden door de minister afgeraden en behaalden geen meerderheid, ondanks een voorstem van haar eigen partij CDA. 

    F-35
    Kamerlid Dobbe (SP) kwalificeerde het besluit van de staat om in cassatie gaat tegen de hierboven bespreken uitspraak van het Haags Gerechtshof als ‘verschrikkelijk’ en ‘ongeloofwaardig’ gezien de zogenaamde zorgen over de situatie in Rafah.

    De regering wil dat er meer duidelijkheid komt van de Hoge Raad over de vraag 'in hoeverre wij ons eigen buitenlandbeleid mogen bepalen'. Maar het Gerechtshof gaf hier maandag al glashelder antwoord op: het beleid wordt beperkt door 'verplichtingen onder het EU Gemeenschappelijk Standpunt, het Wapenhandelsverdrag en art. 1 van de Geneefse Conventie'. Het is de Nederlandse Staat zelf die zich hieraan heeft gecommitteerd.

    De verslagen van de debatten zijn hier en hier terug te lezen. Alle ingediende moties (zowel aangenomen als verworpen) staan hier.

    Petitie Nederland, laat Palestijnse vluchtelingen niet in de steek

    De gezondheidszorg in Gaza staat op instorten. Veel mensen hebben honger, ziektes verspreiden zich razendsnel en ouders hebben geen toegang meer tot schoon water en babyvoeding.

    Te midden van deze humanitaire ramp stopt Nederland de financiering van UNRWA, de VN-organisatie voor hulpverlening aan Palestijnse vluchtelingen.

    UNRWA is de belangrijkste reddingslijn voor meer dan 2 miljoen mensen in Gaza.

    Daarom is Amnesty een petitie gestart, met een duidelijke oproep aan de Nederlandse regering:

     de steun aan UNRWA moet worden hervat.

    Teken de petitie

    Opinie Het grootste obstakel voor vrede is Israëls straffeloosheid

    Op 8 februari 2024 organiseerde de commissie voor Buitenlandse Zaken van de Tweede Kamer een rondetafelgesprek over de situatie in het Midden-Oosten en de oorlog in Gaza. Eén van de deelnemende experts was Mouin Rabbani, lid van de Raad van Advies van The Rights Forum. Op onze website publiceerden wij zijn inbreng tijdens het rondetafelgesprek.

    'The Middle East is experiencing a moment of truth. And so are we. Our governments, our political parties, our civic organisations, and indeed each of us as members of global society, must now choose whether to be part of the solution or part of the problem. Our actions, and the choices we make, are being recorded for posterity. History will – and should – judge us accordingly.'

    16 februari 2024

     

    Yesterday, more than 200 youth from across the country staged a “die-in” at the Capitol to demand Congress vote NO on a harmful supplemental funding bill that would increase funding for Israeli weapons.

    Immigrant, Palestinian, Jewish, and Black and brown youth came together to demand a permanent ceasefire in Gaza.

    WRITE CONGRESS

    Earlier this week, the Senate voted to pass its deadly foreign aid package that would send $14.1 billion in weapons to Israel following months of bad-faith efforts by Senators who attempted, but failed, to include harmful anti-immigrant provisions.

    In the coming days and weeks, the debate will be taken up in the House where funding to Israel and funding for border militarization will be linked once again.

    Capitol Police arrested over a dozen youth during their civil disobedience action yesterday. But we will not be silenced or intimidated.

    Photo Credit: Eman Mohammed; IG:@emanit

    We know that the struggle against genocide in Palestine is tied to the struggle against militarism here in the U.S.

    We won’t stop fighting until all of us are free.

    Alia El-Assar
    Director of Media Organizing
    Adalah Justice Project

     

    Adalah Justice Project is a Palestinian-led advocacy organization based in the U.S. that builds cross-movement coalitions to achieve collective liberation.

    Today's headlines

    Israel cuts electricity to critical Nasser Hospital patients, forces staff to evacuate

    Medicins Sans Frontiers reports "an unknown number of dead and wounded” following Israel's attack on Nasser Hospital. UNRWA says 84% of Gaza health facilities have been impacted by Israeli attacks, and 70% of civilian infrastructure has been damaged.

     

    16 februari 2024

    Former Mossad official: Children in Gaza over the age of 4 deserve to be starved

    In an interview on Israeli television, former Mossad official Rami Igra said all Palestinians in Gaza over the age of 4 are "involved" and deserve to face Israel's collective punishment policy of withholding food and humanitarian aid.

    From the cities to the countryside, armed resistance is spreading in the West Bank

    Armed resistance in the West Bank had been concentrated in larger cities, but since October 7 it is spreading. “Resistance in Azzun used to be non-armed,” a resident of the small town tells Mondoweiss. “Then everything changed after October 7.”

    16 februari 2024
     
    The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), the largest Palestinian coalition that leads the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, calls for escalating campaigning against fossil fuel giant Chevron by engaging in consumer boycotts of Chevron, Texaco, and Caltex gas/petrol stations, in addition to ongoing campaigns to divest from Chevron.
     
    Chevron has been the main international actor extracting fossil gas claimed by Israel in the Eastern Mediterranean since it acquired Noble Energy in 2020. With its extracting activities, Chevron is implicated in Israel's policy and practice of depriving the Palestinian people of their right to sovereignty over their natural resources. Chevron’s extraction activities generate billions of dollars in revenue for apartheid Israel and its war chest, helping to fund the ongoing genocide against 2.3 million Palestinians in Gaza, as well as its regime of settler-colonialism, apartheid and military occupation. 
     

    Chevron fuels apartheid and environmental devastation.

     
    The BDS Movement issued a call to boycott both Siemens and Chevron in 2022, with campaigning around Chevron previously focused on divestment. Now, we are calling on supporters of Palestinian rights and climate justice to escalate pressure on Chevron also by boycotting Chevron gas stations and gas stations owned by Chevron, including Texaco and Caltex. There are thousands of Chevron, Texaco, and Caltex gas and petrol stations worldwide.
     
    During the struggle against apartheid in South Africa, a movement to boycott Shell oil for its complicity in apartheid gained worldwide momentum, with supporters taking part in gas/petrol station pickets and major divestment campaigns from the fossil fuel company. Inspired by the South African liberation struggle, the Palestinian-led BDS movement aims to build pressure on Chevron until it no longer conducts business that gravely violates our human rights and benefits Israel’s genocidal apartheid regime.
     
    We reiterate our call upon supporters of Palestinian rights worldwide to build and strengthen intersectional #BoycottChevron partnerships with the climate justice movement and the many communities and Indigenous peoples around the world who are exposing and resisting the colonial violence of Chevron’s extractivism, environmental destruction and grave human rights violations.

    We have already seen organizations taking action to escalate pressure on Chevron, including by activists in Houston who protested Chevron’s sponsorship of the Houston marathon, and climate activists in California, who led a protest at Chevron’s Richmond refinery. They also disrupted two Chevron executives’ private events leading up to the protest. Sign their pledge to boycott Chevron, and look out for more information and resources to assist campaigning in the coming weeks and months.

      

    In solidarity,
     
    The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC)

    Hostilities in the Gaza Strip and Israel
    Flash Update #120

    The United Nations and its humanitarian partners in Gaza work to deliver the supplies and services essential for people’s survival despite operational conditions that are nearly impossible, including heavy import restrictions, systematic denial of access to large areas, and the constant risk of coming under fire. Photo by UNRWA

     

    16 februari 2024

     

    Key points

     

    • Intense Israeli bombardment from air, land and sea continues to be reported across much of the Gaza Strip, resulting in further civilian casualties, displacement, and destruction of civilian infrastructure. Widespread ground operations and heavy fighting between Israeli forces and Palestinian armed groups also continue to be reported, especially in the centre of Khan Younis and east of Deir al Balah.
    • Between the afternoon of 15 February and 11:00 on 16 February, according to the Ministry of Health (MoH) in Gaza, 112 Palestinians were killed, and 157 Palestinians were injured. Between 7 October 2023 and 11:00 on 16 February 2024, at least 28,775 Palestinians were killed in Gaza and 68,552 Palestinians were injured, according to MoH in Gaza.
    • Intensified airstrikes on Rafah, where more than half of Gaza’s population are crammed into less than 20 per cent of the Gaza Strip, and statements by Israeli officials about a ground operation in Gaza have reportedly led to the movement of people out of Gaza’s southernmost governorate toward Deir al Balah. On 14 February, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) emphasized that international humanitarian law “protects all civilians from the effects of hostilities, including those who may not be able to depart Rafah,” and added: “Israel, as the occupying power, must ensure that the basic needs of the civilian population are met. In addition, it is necessary … that the trickle of aid being let into Gaza becomes a steady, robust stream: food, drinkable water, hygiene items, medicines, and materials to do basic sanitation and allow for adequate shelter.”
    • Between the afternoons of 15 and 16 February, two Israeli soldiers were reported killed in Gaza. As of 16 February, 232 soldiers have been killed and 1,368 soldiers injured in Gaza since the beginning of the ground operation, according to the Israeli military. In addition, over 1,200 Israelis and foreign nationals have been killed in Israel, according to the Israeli authorities, the vast majority on 7 October. As of 16 February, the Israeli authorities estimate that about 134 Israelis and foreign nationals remain captive in Gaza and reportedly include fatalities whose bodies are being withheld.
    • As of 16 February, the Israeli forces’ operation in the the Nasser Hospital complex in Khan Younis continues. The Israeli military alleged that Hamas was holding hostages or withholding the bodies of Israelis within the compound, and subsequently reported that its forces arrested twenty of the suspects from the 7 October attacks in Israel. On 15 February, the Ministry of Health in Gaza reported that hundreds of patients and staff had been relocated to a building within the hospital compound, where they lacked food, water, and baby formula, and that the hospital generators had stopped functioning, putting the lives of six patients on ventilators in the intensive care unit (ICU), and three premature babies, at risk. On the morning of 16 February, the Ministry of Health reported that five ICU patients had died due to the depletion of oxygen. On 15 February, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) reported that the hospital had been shelled, killing and wounding an undetermined number of people, and that one of its staff was unaccounted for. On 15 February, Martin Griffiths, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, expressing his concern about developments at the hospital, stated the “wounded and sick, as well as medical personnel and facilities must be protected. All feasible precautions must be taken to spare patients, staff and civilians sheltering in the hospital. Hospitals must be places of greater safety, not of war.”
    • According to the Food Security Sector (FSS), a consistent and dependable food supply to serve the entire population of Gaza continues to be hindered by frequent border closures, longstanding import restrictions of goods into Gaza, damage to critical infrastructure, and the security situation. Food insecurity in North Gaza and Gaza governorates has especially reached an extremely critical state, given significant restrictions on the delivery of humanitarian assistance. In Rafah, humanitarian conditions have become increasingly severe, with continued reports of people stopping aid trucks to take food. Vulnerable segments of the population, including children, the elderly, and people with underlying health conditions, are particularly susceptible to the risk of malnutrition.
    • Between 1 January and 12 February, 51 per cent of missions planned by humanitarian partners to deliver aid and undertake assessments to areas to the north of Wadi Gaza were denied access by the Israeli authorities. During the same period, 25 per cent of missions planned to areas assessed as necessitating coordination to the south of Wadi Gaza were denied by the Israeli authorities. Missions to areas not requiring coordination to the south of Wadi Gaza are not included in these statistics.
    • On 15 February, UNRWA reported that its Rehabilitation Centre for the Visually Impaired in Gaza city, which had provided services and recreational activities for affected children across Gaza, has been destroyed. Some 321 incidents impacting UNRWA premises in Gaza have been reported since 7 October 2023, including at least 45 incidents of military use and/or interference at UNRWA premises. In the same period, at least 396 IDPs sheltering in UNRWA shelters have been killed and at least 1,383 injured. As of 15 February, the total number of UNRWA staff members killed since the beginning of hostilities is 158.

    Hostilities and casualties (Gaza Strip)

     

    The following are among the deadliest incidents reported on 14 February, mainly in Gaza city and Deir al Balah governorate:

    • On 14 February, at about 14:00, three Palestinians were reportedly killed, when a civilian car was reportedly hit in Gaza city.
    • On 14 February, at about 15:00, 15 Palestinians were reportedly killed, when a residential building in An Nuseirat Refugee Camp in Deir al Balah, was hit.
    • On 14 February, at about 16:00, five Palestinians were reportedly killed, when a group of people in Az Zaytoun neighbourhood in Gaza city, was hit.
    • On 14 February, at about 16:00, six Palestinians were reportedly killed, and 18 others were injured, when an area behind Al Aqsa Hospital, in Deir al Balah, was hit.
    • On 14 February, at about 16:00, six Palestinians were reportedly killed, and 10 others were injured, when a residential building in An Nuseirat Refugee Camp in Deir al Balah, was hit.
    • On 14 February, at about 17:00, three Palestinians, including a journalist, his wife and son, were killed when a car in Ash Sheik Radwan neighbourhood in Gaza city was hit.

    West Bank Updates

     

    • Since 7 October 2023, 389 Palestinians have been killed, including 100 children, and 4,503 Palestinians, including 698 children, have been injured in conflict-related incidents across the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Israel. During the same period, 10 Israelis, including four members of security forces, were killed and 75 injured in conflict-related incidents in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Israel.
    • Since 7 October 2023, OCHA has recorded 552 Israeli settler attacks against Palestinians that resulted in Palestinian casualties (51 incidents), damage to Palestinian-owned property (440 incidents), or both casualties and damage to property (61 incidents).
    • Since 7 October 2023, 524 people, including 256 children, have been displaced in Area C and East Jerusalem after their homes were demolished due to the lack of Israeli-issued building permits, which are almost impossible to obtain.
    • Since 7 October 2023, 814 Palestinians, including 332 children, have been displaced, following the destruction of 127 homes during operations carried out by Israeli forces across the West Bank. About 94 per cent of the displacement was reported in the refugee camps of Jenin, Nur Shams and Tulkarm.

    Funding

     

    • The Flash Appeal for the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) was extended through the end of March 2024 on a “no cost” basis given that enabling operational conditions for the implementation of planned activities did not materialize, and requirements were split between the last quarter of 2023 and the first quarter of 2024. The Flash Appeal, which was launched in October 2023 and updated in November 2023, requests US$1.2 billion to meet critical needs of 2.7 million people across the oPt (2.2 million in the Gaza Strip and 500,000 in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem). As of 13 February, member states disbursed a total of $900.7 million against the updated Flash Appeal (73 per cent); this includes $611.7 million out of $629.1 million (97 per cent) requested for October-December 2023 and $289 million out of $600 million (48 per cent) requested for January-March 2024. For funding analysis, please see the Flash Appeal Financial Tracking dashboard.
    • The occupied Palestinian territory Humanitarian Fund (oPt HF) and the Central Emergency Relief Fund (CERF) are currently funding more than 94 ongoing projects in the Gaza Strip to address urgent humanitarian needs. These interventions, totalling about $77 million, cover needs in the areas of food security, shelter, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), health and protection. Since October 7, the oPt HF has received a total of $86 million in contributions from member states and private donors. Private donations are collected directly through the Humanitarian Fund. Funding for recently approved projects includes $3.5 million for the Emergency Fleet Augmentation project that aims to enhance aid delivery to Gaza under the oPt HF, and $700,000 for strengthening collective, gender-responsive and inclusive Accountability to Affected People (AAP) in the oPt under the CERF.

    HUMANITARIAN NEEDS AND RESPONSE UPDATES | 5–12 February

    Health

    Needs

    • High need for primary health services in informal shelters hosting IDPs.
    • The high number of surgeries and procedures has led to increased demand for anaesthetic and analgesic medications which are in short supply.
    • There is a need to increase routine immunization coverage and conduct a catch-up campaign.
    • Provision of medication for non-communicable diseases and psychotropics is needed.
    • There is a need to reduce overcrowding in maternity hospitals.
    • The continued siege around some hospitals is significantly affecting their case management capacity.
    • Laboratory equipment and reagents are needed to support diagnostics.
    • Blood and blood products in hospitals are needed for emergencies and medical procedures to ensure that patients receive timely transfusions.

    Response

    • Cluster partners are reaching a weekly average of about 450,000 people in need of various health services and supplies.
    • Ongoing disease surveillance at all health facilities is underway to ensure early diagnosis and treatment of cases as well as early detection of potential outbreaks.
    • Planning to open stabilization centres for acute malnutrition cases with medical complications. One will be at Tal as Sultan and another in one of the field hospitals.
    • Twelve emergency medical teams were deployed, assisting more than 16,000 patients.
    • A weekly average of nearly 300,000 primary health care consultations was reported by partners.

    Challenges and Gaps:

    • There is a need to strengthen referral mechanisms between hospitals.
    • The influx of IDPs migrating to Rafah has overwhelmed the available bed availability in hospitals, leading to insufficient capacity to meet the healthcare needs of the population. Heigtened insecurity in Rafah is also greatly affecting response activities.
    • Heightened insecurity and limited access to health facilities in the northern and middle governorates continue to present major challenges for partners to respond.
    • Persisting siege of hospitals remains a major challenge.
    • Referring patients outside of Gaza remains a challenge, as the waiting list continues to grow.
    • Partner operations continue to be negatively affected by the displacement of staff, social stresses and telecommunication challenges.
    • Limited access to proper WASH facilities is hindering prevention of diseases.

    Nutrition

     

    Needs

    • There is a need for continued prepositioning of essential nutrition supplies to ensure timely access to life-saving supplies in areas facing significant challenges.
    • Ongoing collaboration with partners is still needed to enhance capacity in Mid-Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC) screening, identify cases of Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) and Moderate Acute Malnutrition (MAM), and the delivery of effective treatment.
    • There is an urgent need to establish a stabilization centre in Rafah for treating children suffering from severe malnutrition and suffering from complications.

    Response

    • Thirty-six staff members (17 Female, 19 male) received training on MUAC screening to enhance early case identification and treatment. The training is crucial for enhancing the capacity of our partners and expanding MUAC screening across affected areas.
    • Five implementing partners continue conducting screenings for malnutrition in 4,466 children aged 6 to 59 months, using MUAC measurements in shelters and health facilities. Children who are detected with MAM and SAM are referred for treatment using simplified treatment protocol.
    • The Nutrition Cluster continues to conduct MUAC training sessions every week.
    • UNICEF and WFP continue to collaboratively stock up nutritional supplies in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.
    • The Nutrition Cluster is partnering with WHO to set up a stabilization centre in Rafah with five beds to treat children with SAM and suffering from medical complications.

    Challenges and Gaps

    • Ongoing hostilities in Gaza have caused significant food shortages, poor access to clean water and sanitation facilities, and disruptions to healthcare services. This situation is putting children under five and pregnant or lactating women (PLW) at a relatively higher risk of malnutrition.
    • Without private areas for breastfeeding women, it is challenging to encourage and sustain breastfeeding practices. This lack of privacy could have lasting negative effects, particularly on children under two years of age and new-born babies.

    Food Security

     

    Needs

    • The humanitarian situation in North Gaza and Gaza governorates is extremely critical, exacerbating the challenges faced in delivering essential aid. The food security situation in the Middle Area and southern governorates is particularly dire, with the majority of the population in extreme hunger.
    • In Rafah, in the south the situation is becoming increasingly dire, given the expected ground attack. The humanitarian crisis in Rafah is alarming, with makeshift shelters congested and the population desperate, hungry, and terrified. People in Rafah are reported to be in such dire need that they stop aid trucks to take food and eat it immediately, highlighting the severity of their desperation and hunger.
    • There is an urgent need to augment the fleet of delivery trucks to ensure the entire population's nutritional requirements are met and to improve healthcare services, including primary health services, routine immunization coverage, and the provision of medication for non-communicable diseases.
    • Vulnerable segments of the population, including children, the elderly, and individuals with underlying health conditions, are particularly susceptible to the risk of malnutrition. Partners are working to ensure that aid reaches these vulnerable groups.
    • Establishing secure and uninterrupted humanitarian corridors in Gaza, with the support of the private sector and a focus on critical resources like fuel and cooking gas, is essential to address the immediate needs of the affected population and support the overall humanitarian response.

    Response

    • Between 5 and 11 February, a total of 18 partners engaged in providing food assistance across the Gaza Strip. Around 1.8M people were reached as per the following geographical distribution:
      • Rafah Governorate received about 40 per cent of the total food assistance.
      • Deir al Balah received about 25 per cent of the total food assistance.
      • Khan Younis received around 20 per cent of the food assistance.
      • Northern Gaza Strip received around 15 per cent of food assistance.

    Challenges and Gaps

    • The ongoing airstrikes and heavy fighting in Gaza continues to impact the flow of food. Frequent border closures, restrictions, and security concerns hinder the ability to ensure there is a consistent and dependable food supply.
    • The escalation of hostilities has substantially damaged critical infrastructure, including roads, electricity, and water supply systems, exacerbating severe impediments to the efficient distribution of food aid.
    • The volatile security situation poses risks to food distribution, making it challenging to conduct safe and efficient operations.

    Shelter and Non-Food Items (NFI)

     

    Needs

    • Some 1.7 million people are need of shelter and NFI assistance, including 900,000 people reached with partial shelter and NFI assistance. Partial assistance means that although a household has received some shelter and NFI items, not all their needs have been met.
    • Urgent needs are tents, sealing-off kits (SOKs) and NFIs, including bedding, kitchen sets, and winter clothing. SOKs can be used to consolidate makeshift shelters or to protect damaged housing to facilitate return where possible.
    • Technical assistance is required to improve self-built shelters ad spontaneous/informal sites. Also see Shelter Cluster snapshot, as of 7 February.

    Response

    • A total of 26 partners are providing assistance. Some 28,000 tents, 7,600 SOKs, and 35,000 NFI kits are currently in the pipeline.
    • The vast majority of assistance is currently provided in-kind; cash will be pursued further when market conditions allow.
    • Further details in the Cluster response strategy and website dashboard.

    Challenges and Gaps:

    • Slow entry of items into Gaza due to limited aid trucks and bureaucratic processes are complicating procurement.
    • Rising prices of shelter materials in neighbouring markets, including high freight rates and shipping costs.
    • Need to restore commercial imports and re-establish local markets to relieve pressure on in-kind provision.
    • Restrictions on or denial of the entry of key shelter items including timber, hand tools, and cooking stoves.
    • Lack of security and access to IDP locations, including logistical challenges such as lack of fuel and rising social tensions because of the limited quantity of aid available in comparison to outstanding needs.
    • Unplanned sites and lack of adequate tools is leading to water damage to makeshift shelters and tents, and recurrent displacement resulting in loss and need for re-distribution of assistance.

    Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)

     

    Needs

    • Some 2.25 million people need WASH Assistance. Two-thirds of IDPs are concentrated in the Rafah area and urgently need WASH support.
    • Access to safe drinking water for the entire population of Gaza is needed, especially for IDPs and in the northern areas of Gaza.
    • Currently only 5.7 per cent of water is being produced from all the water sources in Gaza, compared to pre-war production levels. Safe drinking water and water for domestic use, including personal hygiene, remains very limited.
    • Only 17 per cent of the 284 groundwater wells are operating with limited hours; some 39 wells were destroyed and 93 were moderately to severely damaged.
    • None of the wastewater treatment systems are working due to damage, lack of fuel/power supply, and maintenance. Municipalities have limited water treatment, no water quality testing capacity, and no fuel for solid waste management, and operations have been suspended since 19 November 2023.
    • Mekorot Connections: Two of the three water pipelines are not functioning (the Mentar pipeline since the beginning of the conflict, and the Bani Suhaila pipeline since 18 December. The Bani Saeed pipeline is functioning, but is currently producing 6,000 cubic metres per day, which is only 42 per cent of its full capacity. Plans are in place to repair the Bani Suheila pipeline, but there are challenges for safe access, communication, and coordination of repair activities.
    • Two out of out of three desalination plans are partially operating: the Middle Area plant produces an average of 750 cubic metres per day and is distributed via water trucking and the South Gaza desalination plant produces 1,700 cubic metres per day; around 600 cubic metres are distributed via water trucking and 1,100 cubic metres via the water network.
    • The UAE's small desalination plant located on the Egyptian side of Rafah, operates at full capacity, providing 2,400 cubic metres per day, following the construction of a 3-kilometre transmission line.

    Challenges and Gaps

    • The risk to public health is intensified due to an acute scarcity of hygiene materials and adequate sanitation infrastructure. Persistent anecdotal reports of Hepatitis A cases in Gaza, as recorded by UNRWA and the Health Cluster, highlight ongoing concerns.
    • The constraints of the clearance and transport of items considered to be dual-use into Gaza remain a limiting factor of the overall WASH response.
    • Sanitation remains a major issue and the situation continues to deteriorate. Despite significant efforts by UNICEF through its partners to construct 80 family latrines this week, the sanitation coverage remains very low. WASH partners continue to construct family latrines, but the lack of cement, wood and other construction materials slows down the progress.
    • The crisis is exacerbated by a fuel shortage, hindering sewage station operation and leading to environmental and public health concerns. The situation is worsened by continuous restricted access to essential sanitation supplies and services in Gaza.

    Education

     

    Needs

    • More than 625,000 students and nearly 23,000 teachers in the Gaza Strip have been affected by school closures and attacks on education, leaving them with no access to education or a safe place.
    • According to the Ministry of Education, as of 6 February, more than 4,851 students and 239 educational staff have been killed and more than 8,227 students and 836 teachers have been injured in the Gaza Strip since 7 October.
    • Some 92 per cent of all school buildings in Gaza are being used as shelters for IDPs and/or have sustained varying levels of damage. Some 392 schools (79 per cent of the total school buildings in Gaza) have sustained damage, including 141 schools that sustained major damage or were destroyed. Combined, these schools previously served some 457,019 children and more than 17,043 teachers. The North, Gaza, and Khan Younis governorates have been especially impacted, accounting for 76 per cent of all damaged schools (source: Education Cluster Damaged School Dashboard.)
    • The Education Cluster conducted a Satellite-derived Damage Assessment of all Gaza schools to verify damage to schools based on proximity to damaged sites. Key findings include:
      • Satellite-derived Damage verification exercise confirmed the large level of damage to schools previously reported by the cluster in Gaza.
      • Actual damages to school infrastructure might be 15 to 20 per cent higher than what has been previously reported by the Education Cluster.
      • At least 55 per cent of schools in Gaza will either need full reconstruction or major rehabilitation work to be functional again.
      • One quarter of directly hit and damaged schools are UNRWA-run schools.
      • Forty-five per cent of school buildings that have been used by IDPs as shelters, have been either directly hit or damaged.
      • The satellite-derived images provide evidence for military use of schools.
    • Education partners are concerned about reports, videos and pictures depicting schools being used for military operations by Israeli forces, including their use as detention and interrogation centres, or as military bases.
    • Key priorities include the provision of Education in Emergencies (EiE) recreational activities and psychological support, including Social Emotional Learning (SEL) activities to children in shelters and designated emergency shelters (DESs); establishing Temporary Learning Spaces (TLS) in shelters/DESs to start non-formal learning for children; and provision of emergency supplies and learning kits. In addition, a key need is to identify and support of children with disabilities and other needs, with assistive devices for learning.

    Response

    • Since October 2023, eleven partners have reached more than 135,126 students and teachers with psychosocial support, emergency learning, recreational supplies and activities, and awareness sessions in the Deir al Balah, Khan Younis, and Rafah governorates. Most of the cluster responses are delivered by local partners (source: Education Cluster 5W dashboard).
    • UNICEF, with three of its partners and Teacher Creativity Centre, is working on establishing TLS to start non-formal education activities with displaced children in shelters/DESs.
    • The Education and the Shelter Clusters are jointly carrying out advocacy activities to highlight the devastating impacts of the current situation in Gaza on children and the inextricable links between shelter and schooling.

    Challenges and Gaps:

    • No activities have been undertaken in the North Gaza and Gaza governorates due to ongoing hostilities and access challenges.
    • As of 11 February, the education response remains significantly underfunded, receiving less than 10 per cent of its requirements. Urgent funding is required to meet immediate response requirements.

    Logistics

     

    Response

    • The Logistics Cluster has conducted the Gaps and Needs Analysis Survey to identify needs and gaps, and to adapt the Cluster`s strategy and services accordingly. Findings will be made available by mid-February.
    • The Logistics Cluster has made available to partners an additional common warehouse in the North Camp of Rafah, bringing up the total storage capacity to 2,470 m2. The Logistics Cluster has secured storage space at the WFP warehouse in Amman with a capacity of 1,300 m2 for consolidation and pre-positioning of cargo.
    • As of 11 February, the Logistics Cluster in Rafah has stored 6,696 cubic metres of cargo for of 16 organisations and supported 21 organizations with cargo notification service.
    • On 6 February, the Logistics Cluster facilitated access for an inter-agency convoy (five partners), which transported a total of 335 metric tons of relief items on 24 WFP trucks from Jordan to Gaza, via the King Hussein Bridge.

    Challenges and Gaps:

    • The storage and transport capacity inside Gaza remains limited. The Logistics Cluster continues to facilitate access to temporary storage, transport from handover points to common warehouses, and cargo notification trans-shipment services.
    • The Logistics Cluster is coordinating the pipeline for incoming cargo through the Egyptian and Jordanian corridors for the coming three months. This is a vital exercise for operational planning, in terms of understanding the resources available and making allocations based on the prioritization list. Partners have received a dedicated form and are requested to update it weekly. Partners who have not received the form can reach out to palestine.logcluster@wfp.org.

    Emergency Telecommunications

     

    Needs

    • Recurrent telecommunications shutdown in the Gaza Strip continues to restrict people from accessing life-saving information and is impeding other forms of humanitarian response.

    Response

    • On 8 February, the Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (ETC) presented a one-month telecommunications planning and implementation document to the Humanitarian Coordinator, Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator and other agencies in Rafah. The plan should inform humanitarian responders, clusters, and agencies about achievable telecommunication goals with or without the anticipated humanitarian pause, provided the successful importation of the required telecommunications equipment.
    • Since 9 January, the ETC has supported humanitarian agencies with Information and Communication Technology (ICT) assessments, technical advice and information, repairs, and guidance on the use of ICT equipment in Gaza.
    • Since its establishment on 3 November 2023, the ETC has been engaging with the Israeli authorities to obtain authorizations to import all essential telecommunications equipment into Gaza and provide independent access to communications for humanitarian responders.

    Challenges and Gaps

    • Limited access to electricity, fuel, and telecommunications services continues to hamper the humanitarian response in Gaza.
    • The import of telecommunications equipment into Gaza is fraught, lengthy, and extremely challenging.

    15 februari 2024

    Officials keep admitting Biden’s anger at Israel isn’t real.

    15 februari 2024

     

    Buried in one of the recent spate of stories about how President Joe Biden is really, really upset with Benjamin Netanyahu when no one’s looking — part of a newly urgent press campaign by the White House to distance the president from his own increasingly unpopular policy on the brutal Gaza war — was a telling line: “Yet, even as Biden has escalated his rhetoric, he is not yet prepared to make significant policy changes, officials said. He and his aides continue to believe his approach of unequivocally supporting Israel is the right one.”

    Besides comically negating the fourteen paragraphs that came before it emphasizing Biden’s supposed unhappiness with Israel’s conduct in the war, the line corroborates what has been, from time to time, explicitly stated in reporting on Gaza: that Biden is and has been consciously and deliberately helping Israel carry out what the International Court of Justice has now ruled is plausibly a genocide.

    Here’s the latest...

    An invasion of Rafah would be the most dangerous stage of Israel’s genocide of Palestinians yet, causing death on a scale unseen even in these four months of sheer brutality.