About 5,000 people with disabilities acquired from injuries sustained in hostilities in Gaza suffer from a lack of accessible shelters, potential exploitation, insufficient medical services, and neglect of their needs. Photo by WHO
About 5,000 people with disabilities acquired from injuries sustained in hostilities in Gaza suffer from a lack of accessible shelters, potential exploitation, insufficient medical services, and neglect of their needs. Photo by WHO

Hostilities in the Gaza Strip and Israel | Flash Update #138

Key Highlights

  • For the first time in three weeks, the World Food Programme (WFP) was able to deliver food for 25,000* people in Gaza city.
  • There has been a dramatic deterioration in the mental health of children in Gaza, according to Save the Children.
  • According to a new assessment, 5,000 persons with disabilities acquired from injuries sustained in hostilities in Gaza suffer from a lack of accessible shelters, potential exploitation, insufficient medical services, and neglect of their needs.
  • Six Palestinians were killed in the West Bank between the afternoons of 12 and 13 March, bringing to 107 the number of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces since the beginning of 2024.

Gaza Strip Updates

  • Intense Israeli bombardment and ground operations as well as heavy fighting between Israeli forces and Palestinian armed groups continue to be reported across much of the Gaza Strip, resulting in further civilian casualties, displacement, and destruction of houses and other civilian infrastructure.
  • Between the afternoons of 12 and 13 March, according to the Ministry of Health (MoH) in Gaza, 88 Palestinians were killed and 135 Palestinians were injured. Between 7 October 2023 and 13 March 2024, at least 31,272 Palestinians were killed in Gaza and 73,024 Palestinians were injured, of whom 72 per cent are women and children, according to MoH in Gaza.
  • The following are among the deadly incidents reported on 12 March:
    • On 12 March, at about 11:50, seven Palestinians were reportedly killed, and six others injured, when a house in Az Zaytoun neighborhood, in Gaza city, was hit.
    • On 12 March, at about 3:00, 11 Palestinians were reportedly killed, and others injured, when three houses in Al Jaafarawi area, in southeastern Deir al Balah, were hit.
    • On 12 March, at about 9:30, 11 Palestinians were reportedly killed when a house in Al Qarara Town, in northeastern Khan Younis, was hit.
  • Between the afternoons of 12 and 13 March, according to the Israeli military, there were no Israeli soldiers killed in Gaza. As of 13 March, 247 soldiers have been killed and 1,475 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 13 March, the Israeli authorities estimate that 134 Israelis and foreign nationals remain captive in Gaza, including fatalities whose bodies are withheld.
  • Children in Gaza are among those worst affected by hostilities, hunger, displacement, disease, as well as the lack of basic services and vital aid. They make up roughly half of Gaza’s population of 2.3 million people, the vast majority of whom are internally displaced and at least 625,000 no longer have access to educational facilities. In a new report, Save the Children finds that “violence, displacement, starvation and disease on top of nearly 17 years of a blockade have caused relentless mental harm to children,” that is much worse than previous escalations in hostilities and has eroded children’s capacity to cope and recover. This is manifested by “fear, anxiety, disordered eating, bedwetting, hyper-vigilance and sleep problems as well as behavioural changes such as an alternation in attachment style with parents, regression and aggression.” Children as young as 12 have also been among those arbitrarily detained, according to the report, causing additional emotional distress, a compromised sense of safety, and a deterioration in children’s physical health. Since 7 October, Protection Cluster partners have provided child protection services, including mental health and psycho-social support (MHPSS), to more than 260,000 children and 27,000 caregivers across the Gaza Strip, but report facing difficulty in bringing psychological support kits into Gaza to support the implementation of activities.
  • On 12 March, WFP delivered food for 25,000 people in Gaza city, marking the first successful convoy to reach northern Gaza since 20 February, when it announced a pause in deliveries to the north due to unsafe access and distribution conditions. The movement of aid trucks from southern Gaza to the north has been severely constrained, with only 25 per cent of aid missions planned in February (6 out of 24) facilitated by the Israeli authorities. In December 2023, the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) projected that the entire population of Gaza would face acute levels of food insecurity by February 2024, including more than half a million projected to face catastrophic levels of food insecurity. A new IPC analysis is due to be released in mid-March. As of 12 March, MoH in Gaza reported that 27 people, including 23 children, have died of malnutrition and dehydration at hospitals in northern Gaza.
  • Some 5,000 people in Gaza who have acquired disabilities from injury over the past five months are among the vulnerable groups worst affected by hostilities, according to a new assessment by Atfaluna Society for Deaf Children, which identified the most urgent community needs of persons with disabilities (PwDs) and their families. The assessment finds that PwDs in Gaza, particularly women and children, suffer from a lack of accessibility in non-inclusive shelters, potential exploitation, insufficient medical services, and neglect of their needs. This is leading to social isolation and a deterioration in their mental health such as anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. The report provides recommendations to address the needs of PwDs, including the provision of assistive devices, psychosocial interventions, and improving accessibility measures in displacement shelters, among others.

West Bank Updates

  • Between the afternoons of 12 and 13 March, six Palestinians were killed in the West Bank:
    • On 12 March, Israeli forces fatally shot a 13-year-old Palestinian boy in the chest with live ammunition while reportedly holding a lit firework and playing with other boys in Shu’fat refugee camp (Jerusalem). Israeli forces have withheld the boy’s body and raided his house in the camp. A general strike was announced in the camp following the killing.
    • On 12 March, Israeli forces opened fire at Palestinians who were allegedly attempting to throw Molotov cocktails at a military observation tower in Al Jib village (Jerusalem). Two Palestinians, aged 16 and 23 years, were killed and three others were injured. Israeli forces detained the injured Palestinians for approximately 30 minutes before handing them over to Palestinian medical teams.
    • In the early hours of 13 March, Israeli forces shot and killed two Palestinian men, and injured four others, during a raid in Jenin city and nearby refugee camps.
    • On 13 March, a 15-year-old Palestinian boy from Al Khader village (Bethlehem) reportedly carried out a stabbing attack at the Tunnels checkpoint that controls access from the southern parts of the West Bank into East Jerusalem, injuring two members of Israeli forces. The boy was subsequently shot and killed by Israeli forces.
  • Since 7 October, 418 Palestinians have been killed, including 407 by Israeli forces, nine by settlers and two by either Israeli forces or settlers, across the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. These include a total of 109 Palestinians killed since the start of 2024 (compared with 80 during the same period in 2023), the vast majority by Israeli forces. Over 4,680 Palestinians have been injured, including 722 children, since 7 October in the West Bank.
  • The Israeli authorities have announced measures on the entry of Palestinians holding West Bank IDs, with valid permits and magnetic cards, to Al Aqsa Mosque on the first Friday of the month of Ramadan (15 March), limiting entry to children under 10 years of age, women over 50, and men over 55. In 2023, men over 55, women of all ages and children under 12 were allowed entry without a permit on Fridays during Ramadan. The UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Tor Wennesland, said in a statement on 12 March: “I take note of the guarantee by the Israeli authorities to allow the Muslim population of the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, access to the Holy Sites. I call upon all sides to refrain from provocations and demonstrate maximum restraint.”
  • Since 7 October, 15 Israelis, including four members of Israeli forces, have been killed and 99 injured in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Israel.
  • On 11 March, two households comprising seven people, including three children, were displaced after their house was demolished by the Israeli authorities in Um at Tiran community in Hebron governorate, due to the lack of Israeli-issued building permits. Since the beginning of 2024, 69 houses have been demolished in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, due to the lack of building permits that are almost impossible to obtain, resulting in the displacement of 219 people of whom over 60 per cent were in East Jerusalem.
  • A house in Nur Shams Refugee Camp was rendered uninhabitable during a military operation on 11 March, displacing a family of two people. Since 7 October 2023, some 868 Palestinians, including 358 children, have been displaced because of the destruction of their houses during operations carried by Israeli forces in the West Bank, the vast majority (93 per cent) in the refugee camps of Nur Shams, Tulkarm and Jenin.
  • In the evening hours of 12 March, Israeli settlers raided Burin village in Nablus and set fire to a Palestinian car and damaged four others. Israeli forces subsequently entered the village and physically assaulted a driver in a car who was with his four-month-old infant. Since 7 October 2023, OCHA has recorded 639 Israeli settler attacks against Palestinians that resulted in Palestinian casualties (59 incidents), damage to Palestinian-owned property (508 incidents), or both casualties and damage to property (72 incidents). Most of these incidents (over 400) took place between October and December 2023.


  • The Flash Appeal for the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), which requests US$1.2 billion to meet the 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 13 March, member states disbursed nearly $974 million for the updated Flash Appeal (79 per cent); this includes about $616 million out of $629 million (98 per cent) requested for October-December 2023 and about $358 million out of $600 million (60 per cent) requested for January-March 2024. For funding analysis, please see the Flash Appeal Financial Tracking dashboard.
  • During February 2024, the oPt Humanitarian Fund (oPt HF) had a total of 122 ongoing projects, for a total of US$ 74.5 million, addressing urgent needs in the Gaza Strip (83 per cent) and West Bank (17 per cent). Projects focused on the areas of Education, Food Security, Health, Protection, Emergency Shelter & NFI, WASH, Coordination and Support Services, Multi-Purpose Cash Assistance and Nutrition. Of these, 77 projects were being implemented by international NGOs (INGOs), 29 projects by national NGOs (NNGOs), and 16 projects by UN agencies. Of the 93 projects implemented by INGOs or the UN, 52 were being implemented in partnership with NNGOs. The oPt HF has also recently finalized its critical and time sensitive First Reserve Allocation of 2024, titled "Emergency Fleet Augmentation for Enhanced Gaza Aid Delivery", amounting to US$3.5 million. The allocation aims at boosting the aid transport capacity to enable humanitarian partners to increase the delivery of vital aid and services to people across the Gaza Strip. For a summary of the oPt HF activities in February 2024, please follow this link. Since 7 October, 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.

For the Humanitarian Needs and Cluster Response Update for the period between 5 and 11 March, please visit: Humanitarian needs and response update | 5-11 March 2024.The update was initially published on 11 March and new content has been subsequently added.

* Asterisks indicate that a figure, sentence, or section has been rectified, added, or retracted after the initial publication of this update.