REPORTS FROM UN AGENCIES
These reports were published before the latest massacre: the intentional shelling of a designated shelter in an UNRWA school. The UNRWA insists it gave precise coordinates to the invaders, tried to work out a humanitarian escape for the refugees sheltering there. Israel refused, and claims Hamas wouldn’t allow the civilians to leave. The UNRWA denies this categorically. There are two reports here in summaries, with links to the entire reports and one article.The situation in Gaza, as you will read, is very dire for civilians. The number of dead and wounded is higher than noted since many more have been killed since the reports and article were published
23 July, 2014 UNRWA
Yesterday marked two weeks since UNRWA declared an emergency in all five areas of the Gaza Strip in response to escalating violence between Israel and Hamas. Since then, civilian displacement and fatalities have risen sharply. The total number of Palestinian deaths reported by the Protection Cluster currently stands at 656. The number of displaced people is now more than double the peak number from the 2008/9 conflict, and now exceeds 117,468 in 77 schools. UNRWA has launched an emergency flash appeal for US$ 115 million to respond to the urgent and pressing humanitarian needs of the people of Gaza.
23 July, 2014 UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) (pdf)
- According to preliminary information, at least 697 Palestinians, including at least 518 civilians, are reported to have been killed. This includes 170 children and 86 women,
- Intense overcrowding in shelters raises increasing concerns, as mass displacement continues: approximately 140,000 IDPs now seeking shelter in 83 UNRWA schools and additional thousands sheltering in Ministry of Education-run schools and with relatives. Low water supply to shelters is a major concern.
- Two Israeli missiles landed in the vicinity of the Gaza Power Plant causing it to suspend operations, further reducing power supply.
- In the last 24 hours, six more UNRWA schools have been damaged by shelling.
Palestinians killed, including at least 518 civilians, of whom 170 are children and 86 are women1
Israelis killed, including three civilians and 29 soldiers.
Palestinians injured, of whom 1,213 are children and 698 women2
Displaced hosted in 83 UNRWA schools
Of Gaza within a three kilometer wide strip declared as a ‘No-go zone’
UN humanitarian chief warns over civilian casualties in Gaza
24 July, 2014 AFP
UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos expressed deep concern Thursday about the mounting civilian casualties in Gaza, warning that it was “almost impossible” for Palestinians to shelter from Israeli airstrikes.
“The reality in Gaza is, it doesn’t matter how hard Israel tries to minimise harm, this is an extremely overcrowded stretch of land,” Amos told BBC radio.
“Forty-four percent of that land has been declared a no-go zone by the Israeli army so there aren’t that many places for people to go.”
She described “people crowded into a sliver of land, almost impossible for them to move”.
More than 700 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza in 17 days of conflict between Israel and Hamas.
The United Nations said on Wednesday that three quarters of those killed were civilians and one third of those were children — the equivalent of one child killed each hour over the previous two days.
“The trauma that they are experiencing is terrible, and one child killed every hour in the past two days — each and every one of us should sit up and take notice of this,” said Amos.
The British peer, the UN’s Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, added her call for a ceasefire to end this “devastating situation”.
“No one is denying the right of Israel to defend itself but there are huge concerns about the impact this is having on ordinary people on the ground,” she said.
Situated on the Mediterranean coast, flanking Israel and Egypt, the Gaza Strip is home to 1.7 million Palestinians who live in an area stretching just 362 square kilometres (140 square miles), making it one of the most densely-populated territories on the planet.