Posted on 16 November 2018

The Monthly Humanitarian Bulletin | October 2018

Children filling water gallons from distribution point in the Beach refugee camp 2017. © Photo by OCHA
Children filling water gallons from distribution point in the Beach refugee camp 2017. © Photo by OCHA

Electricity supply in Gaza increased up to 18 hours a day in some areas, following the provision of additional fuel to operate the Gaza Power Plant. Only 22 per cent of patients injured during the Gaza demonstrations, who were referred for follow- up surgery in the West Bank or Israel have been granted Israeli exit permits. 97 per cent of ground water extracted in Gaza is unfit for human consumption, generating the risk of a waterborne disease outbreak. The number of Israeli settler attacks against Palestinians and their property during 2018 grew by 57 and 175 per cent, compared with 2017 and 2016, respectively.

In this document

Israeli settlers, accompanied by Israeli soldiers, assault ‘Urif village (Nablus), 6 July 2018. © Photo by ‘Adel al-’Amer/B’Teselem

During the first week of November, residents of the Gaza Strip experienced some respite from the deteriorating humanitarian situation. First, the electricity supply increased up to 18 hours a day in some areas, from 4-5 hours in previous months, following the provision of additional fuel to operate the Gaza Power Plant. Second, around 27,000 civil servants, hired by Hamas after the 2007 takeover, were paid their August salaries, while 50,000 of the poorest families began receiving an US$ 100 allocation. These developments have been made possible due to funding provided by the Government of Qatar, and following Israel’s authorization of the entry of the fuel and cash into Gaza. In addition, while the ‘Great March of Return’ demonstrations along the perimeter fence continue, there has been a significant decline in clashes between demonstrators and Israeli forces and a resulting decrease in casualties.

Palestinian injured during a demonstration protesting the naval blockade on the beach near the fence , northwest of Beit Lahiya. September 2018. © Photo by Ashraf Amra

While participating in a demonstration near the Gaza fence with Israel on 6 April 2018, a university student in his mid-twenties was shot and injured in his left hip by Israeli forces. He was standing about 30-40 metres from the barbed wire fence inside Gaza territory and burning a tyre with other demonstrators.

USAID project of distributing potable water for vulnerable people in the North area 2017. © Photo by OCHA

A recent report prepared by the RAND Corporation warns that if the chronic state of emergency in Gaza’s water and sewage sector continues, an endemic disease outbreak or other public health crisis is imminent, with the risk of it spreading to Israel and Egypt. The projection is based on data collected by Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) partners and authorities over previous years, analysis of the expected impact of recent developments, and lessons learnt from disease outbreaks in Haiti, Yemen and Iraq. The report emphasised that cooperation between the Palestinian Authority, Israel and Egypt is vital if an epidemic is to be pre-empted.

Talmon-Nahliel settlement bloc, Dec 2016. ©  Photo by OCHA

The high level of Israeli settler violence against Palestinians reported during the first four months of 2018 in an earlier Humanitarian Bulletin, continued through October as the annual olive harvest began. Since the start of 2018, OCHA has documented 217 incidents attributed to Israeli settlers that have resulted in Palestinian casualties (60 incidents) or in damage to Palestinian property (157 incidents). As a monthly average, this is the highest level of incidents recorded since 2014 and represents a 57 and 175 per cent increase compared with 2017 and 2016 respectively (see chart).