Displaced people carrying their belongings through the rubble of destroyed houses in Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza Strip, as they seek refuge. Photo: UNICEF/El Baba
Displaced people carrying their belongings through the rubble of destroyed houses in Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza Strip, as they seek refuge. Photo: UNICEF/El Baba

Hostilities in the Gaza Strip and Israel | Flash Update #150

The OCHA oPt Flash Update is published three times a week, with an update on the West Bank included once a week. The next update will be issued on 8 April.

Key Highlights

  • As of 1 April, 28 children have died of malnutrition and dehydration, according to the Ministry of Health in Gaza.
  • In northern Gaza, Palestinians are surviving on an average of 245 calories a day since January, Oxfam reports, and the Nutrition Cluster estimates that more than 50,000 children under five are acutely malnourished.
  • Some 19,000 litres of fuel were delivered over the past three weeks to northern Gaza to operate water wells, according to the Palestinian Water Authority.

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 afternoon of 3 April and 10:30 on 5 April, according to the Ministry of Health (MoH) in Gaza, 116 Palestinians were killed, and 173 Palestinians were injured, including 54 killed and 82 injured in the past 24 hours. Between 7 October 2023 and 10:30 on 5 April 2024, at least 33,091 Palestinians were killed in Gaza and 75,750 Palestinians were injured, according to MoH in Gaza. According to the Government Media Office in Gaza, fatalities include some 14,500 children and 9,560 women.
  • The following are among the deadly incidents not previously reported between 1 and 3 April:
    • On 1 April, at about 15:25, six Palestinians including three boys and three men, were reportedly killed, and others injured, when a group of people were struck in As Salam area in southern Rafah.
    • On 2 April, at about 17:00, six Palestinians, including two women and a child, were reportedly killed when a residential building, west of An Nuseirat Refugee Camp, in Deir al Balah, was hit.
    • On 3 April, during the morning hours, three Palestinians were reportedly killed when the courtyard of a house in Deir al Balah was hit.
    • On 3 April, during the evening, four Palestinians, including two baby girls, were reportedly killed and others injured when a house in western Rafah was hit.
    • On 3 April, at about midnight, two Palestinians, including a woman and a child, were reportedly killed when a house in eastern Rafah was hit.
  • Between the afternoons of 3 and 5 April, no Israeli soldiers were reported killed in Gaza. As of 5 April, 255 soldiers have been killed and 1,552 soldiers have been injured in Gaza since the beginning of the ground operation, according to the Israeli military. In addition, over 1,200 Israelis and foreign nationals, including 33 children, have been killed in Israel, the vast majority on 7 October. As of 5 April, the Israeli authorities estimate that 134 Israelis and foreign nationals remain captive in Gaza, including fatalities whose bodies are withheld.
  • As of April 2024, according to data provided by the Israel Prison Service (IPS) to Hamoked, an Israel-based human rights NGO, there are about 9,300 Palestinians in Israeli custody, including 3,661 administrative detainees (39 per cent) held without trial. These figures do not include Palestinians from Gaza who were detained by the Israeli military since 7 October 2023. In a press statement on 4 April, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club Association reported that more than 200 Palestinian children are currently detained in Israeli prisons, including 23 children from Gaza who are detained in Megiddo Prison, noting that this is the only figure available regarding detained children from Gaza and actual figures may be higher.
  • On 3 and 4 April, some 7,000 litres of fuel have entered northern Gaza to operate 13 water wells in Jabaliya city, Jabaliya Refugee Camp and Gaza city, amid extreme shortages of water, according to the Palestinian Water Authority (PWA). In total, over the past three weeks, PWA reports that 19,000 litres of fuel entered northern Gaza to operate 37 water wells serving some 320,000 people, in addition to continued work to rehabilitate water lines that have sustained damage due to bombings. On 4 April, a food mission to northern Gaza was also facilitated, comprising 10 trucks carrying 150 metric tonnes of food parcels and wheat flour. Between 30 March and 5 April, 53 per cent (10 out of 19) of aid missions to northern Gaza were facilitated by the Israeli authorities, 26 per cent (5) were denied, 16 per cent (3) were cancelled, and one mission was impeded.
  • Six months of hostilities have had a devastating toll on Gaza’s children. "Nearly 26,000 children – or just over two percent of Gaza’s child population - have been killed or injured in Gaza in six months of a war which has decimated the health system and severed access to education,” according to Save the Children.* Beyond the long-lasting psychological trauma, injured children will suffer life-long physical harm; in December 2023, UNICEF estimated that at least 1,000 children have had one or both legs amputated. In a press release issued on 4 April, on the eve of Palestinian Children’s Day, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) highlighted that four children are killed every hour in Gaza and women and children represent 70 per cent of the 7,000 individuals unaccounted for across Gaza. Children are also disproportionately impacted by food insecurity, with Palestinians in Gaza now constituting some 80 per cent of all people facing famine worldwide. The situation is particularly severe in northern Gaza, where some 50,400 children under the age of five are acutely malnourished and 31 per cent of children under two suffer from severe wasting, according to the Nutrition Cluster. Recently, Oxfam also estimated that the population in northern Gaza has been forced to survive on an average of 245 calories a day since January. As of 1 April, MoH in Gaza reports that 28 children have died due to malnutrition and dehydration, and, according to WHO, Kamal Adwan Hospital in northern Gaza has been receiving at least 15 malnourished children every day. The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child had cautioned: “Children in Gaza can no longer wait, as each passing minute risks another child dying of hunger as the world looks on.”
  • On 28 March, the UNFPA Representative in the occupied Palestinian territory visited the Al-Emirati Maternity Hospital in Rafah, describing a significantly worsened situation compared to his previous visit in February, with 60-70 births being delivered every day in an overwhelmed facility, facing shortages of even basic supplies like gauzes and sutures, and pregnant women having to give birth on floors in the little birthing suite that only comprises five rooms. In a separate account of the unacceptable situation at the hospital’s Incubator Care Unit, Dr. Ahmed Al-Shaer, indicated that the unit currently serves some 70 babies, compared to a capacity of ten beds for ten babies prior to 7 October, warning that some babies might die due to the shortage of ventilators. Currently, three or four babies share the same incubator, and the unit faces a critical lack of milk, oxygen, and medications for newborn and premature babies. In a statement on the looming famine in Gaza, the UNFPA Executive Director stressed that “hunger and malnutrition, driven wholly by manmade causes and by a lack of humanitarian access, have spread through Gaza at frightening speed, causing catastrophic rates of disease, death and despair. For pregnant women and newborns every day has become a fight for survival”.
  • Airstrikes on Rafah and statements by Israeli officials about an imminent ground operation in the area have heightened concerns about the impact such an operation could have on more than half of Gaza’s population who have been crammed into less than 20 per cent of the Gaza Strip. On 3 April, 13 humanitarian and human rights NGOs issued a statement warning that “time is running out for international action to protect civilians and prevent atrocity crimes in Rafah, as UN Security Council resolution is ignored.” On 26 March, UNICEF reported that Rafah is “unrecognizable” due to congestion and widespread displacement and there is a “hellish disregard for basic human needs and dignity.” For example, one toilet is available for every 850 people in Rafah, compared to the global standard of one toilet for a maximum of 20 people in a humanitarian emergency, according to UNICEF. Humanitarian Coordinator ad interim, Jamie McGoldrick, had stated: “If people are forced to move from Rafah right now…there could be up to 500,00 to 900,000 people moving. We cannot cope with that…when we are right now in such a fragile situation in terms of our ability to address the current humanitarian situation.”
  • The estimated cost of direct damage to critical infrastructure in the Gaza Strip is about US$ 18.5 billion, equivalent to 97 per cent of the 2022 GDP of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, according to an interim damage assessment report issued on 29 March by the World Bank, EU, and the UN. Using remote data collection sources to measure damage to physical infrastructure in critical sectors incurred between October 2023 and January 2024, the assessment finds that 80 per cent of damages were concentrated in the Gaza, North Gaza, and Khan Younis governorates and more than 60 per cent of homes have been damaged or destroyed, accounting for 72 per cent ($13.29 billion) of total damages. Moreover, nearly 80 per cent of assessed establishments in the commerce, industry and services sector have been damaged or destroyed, accounting for 9 per cent of total damages. The remaining 19 per cent of damages were incurred by other critical infrastructure and services sectors, such as education, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), health, energy, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), municipal services, and transport. Describing the shock to Gaza’s economy as “one of the largest observed in recent economic history,” the assessment report warns that most of the population has been pushed into multidimensional poverty. It further finds that the majority of the 980 NGOs registered in Gaza have ceased operations, disproportionately impacting vulnerable groups, including children, women, and persons with disabilities who relied heavily on services provided by the NGO sector. Finally, the assessment report presents recommendations for the prioritization of early recovery actions, including resumed access to essential health and education services, improvements in food production, cash for work programmes, removal of unexploded ordnances (UXOs), and clearing approximately 26 million tons of rubble, among other priorities.


  • The Flash Appeal for the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), which requests US$ 1.23 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 5 April, member states disbursed nearly $1.26 billion for the updated Flash Appeal (102 per cent); this includes about $649 million out of $629 million (103 per cent) requested for October-December 2023 and about $608 million out of $600 million (101 per cent) requested for January-March 2024. For funding analysis, please see the Flash Appeal Financial Tracking dashboard. The Humanitarian Country Team plans to launch an updated flash appeal through the end of 2024 on 16 April, taking into account continued access constraints and security challenges.
  • In March, the oPt Humanitarian Fund (oPt HF) had a total of 118 ongoing projects, for a total of US$ 72.5 million, addressing urgent needs in the Gaza Strip (85 per cent) and West Bank (15 per cent). Projects focus 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, 75 projects are being implemented by international NGOs, 28 projects by national NGOs and 15 projects by UN agencies. Of the 90 projects implemented by INGOs or the UN, 51 are being implemented in partnership with NNGOs. Since 7 October, the oPt HF has mobilized a total of $88 million from Member States and private donors, designated for programs throughout Gaza. For a summary of the oPt HF activities and challenges in March 2024, please follow this link. Private donations are collected directly through the Humanitarian Fund.
  • The oPt HF is temporarily supporting the procurement of diesel fuel for humanitarian partners to avert a critical gap that might have stalled life-saving operations. This followed the expiration on 31 March of a donor-funded project that provided subsidized fuel to humanitarian actors and critical private sector entities in Gaza, and humanitarian actors are currently devising a longer-term mechanism. Moreover, in light of the updated Flash Appeal, the HF has additionally allocated US$ 20 million to bolster selected ongoing HF-funded projects in Gaza to enhance the operational capacity of humanitarian partners as well as ensure the continuity and expansion of essential services amid escalating challenges. The HF is also developing an upcoming reserve allocation to bolster the capacity of national NGOs in the central areas of the Gaza Strip and Khan Younis, taking into account anticipated complexities in aid delivery, to ensure a more robust and effective humanitarian response. In the West Bank, the oPt HF has launched a repositioning funding allocation for $5 million for key partners to enhance system readiness and responsiveness to sudden-onset emergencies.

For the Humanitarian Needs and Cluster Response Update for the period between 26 March and 1 April, please visit: Humanitarian Needs and Cluster Response Update: 26 March – 1 April 2024. It is updated throughout the week to reflect new content.

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