UN mission to northern Gaza, 15 April 2024. Photo by WHO
UN mission to northern Gaza, 15 April 2024. Photo by WHO

Hostilities in the Gaza Strip and Israel | Flash Update #154

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 19 April.

Key Highlights

  • New Flash Appeal for the occupied Palestinian territory requests US$2.8 billion to meet the critical needs of over 3 million people in Gaza and the West Bank between April and December 2024. 
  • Twenty-three emergency medical teams (EMTs) have been deployed across Gaza to date, but access constraints prevent the scale-up of their operations in the north, WHO reports.  
  • More than a million women and girls in Gaza are facing inhumane living conditions and critical health risks due to the lack of safe water and basic sanitation services, according to UN Women. 
  • Some 37 Palestinian communities across the West Bank have been affected by Israeli settler violence incidents leading to casualties and/or property damage between 9 and 15 April, triple the number of affected communities in the preceding week.

Gaza Strip Updates

  • Israeli bombardment from the air, land, and sea continues 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 15 April and 10:30 on 17 April, according to the Ministry of Health (MoH) in Gaza, 102 Palestinians were killed, and 199 Palestinians were injured, including 56 killed and 89 injured in the past 24 hours. Between 7 October 2023 and 10:30 on 17 April 2024, at least 33,899 Palestinians were killed in Gaza and 76,664 Palestinians were injured, according to MoH in Gaza.  
  • The following are among the deadly incidents between 14 and 16 April: 
    • On 14 April, at about 18:25, five Palestinians were reportedly killed, and others injured, when a house in the new camp of An Nuseirat Refugee Camp was hit. 
    • On 16 April, at about 11:00, four Palestinians were reportedly killed when a house in Beit Hanun, in northern Gaza, was hit and significantly damaged.  
    • On 16 April, at about 0:10, four Palestinians, including a child, were reportedly killed when a house in Tal As Sultan area, in western Rafah, was hit.  
    • On 16 April, at about 13:00, at least eight Palestinians including seven police officers were reportedly killed when a police vehicle in At Tuffah neighbourhood, in northeastern Gaza city, was hit.  
  • Between the afternoons of 15 and 17 April, no Israeli soldiers were reported killed in Gaza. As of 17 April, 259 soldiers have been killed and 1,574 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 17 April, Israeli authorities estimate that 133 Israelis and foreign nationals remain captive in Gaza, including fatalities whose bodies are withheld. 
  • Efforts to recover bodies in and around Al Shifa Medical Complex, in Gaza city, continue. On 15 April, the bodies of 10 Palestinians, including women and patients, were reportedly discovered in front of the surgery building of Al Shifa. On 9 April, the Gaza Civil Defence spokesperson, Mahmoud Basal, reported that at least 381 bodies had been recovered from the area surrounding Al Shifa, excluding people buried within the hospital’s compound, and some were completely disfigured and rendered unidentifiable. On 9 April, UN agencies supported the Ministry of Health in organizing dignified burials for unidentified bodies on the hospital’s premises. Separately, several corpses were reportedly found on 14 April under sand barriers in Beit Lahiya, in northern Gaza, on land that had allegedly been used as a temporary cemetery. According to the Government Media Office (GMO) in Gaza, some 7,000 Palestinians are missing or under the rubble. 
  • On 15 April, the Israeli authorities reportedly released 150 Palestinians, including at least one child, who had been detained from various areas of the Gaza Strip. On the same day, PRCS announced that six of its ambulance crews remained in detention and two were released 50 days following their detention at a military checkpoint while evacuating patients from Al Amal Hospital in Khan Younis. On 16 April, UNRWA reported that it had documented the release of about 1,500 detainees from Gaza through the Kerem Shalom Crossing, including 326 Gaza labourers who were working in Israel prior to 7 October, 43 children, and 23 UNRWA staff. In a press statement on 15 April, Al Mezan Center for Human Rights stated that “Israeli forces have detained at least 3,000 Palestinian residents of Gaza, including women, children, elderly people, as well as professionals such as doctors, nurses, teachers and journalists,” and estimated that some 1,650 Palestinian residents of Gaza are in Israeli prisons under the Unlawful Combatants Law. Data provided by the Israel Prison Service (IPS) to Hamoked, an Israeli human rights NGO, indicates that Israel holds 849 people as "unlawful combatants" and that overall detention figures do not include detainees from Gaza held by the Israeli military. On 4 April, the Palestinian Prisoners Club had reported that 23 children from Gaza are among more than 200 Palestinian children in detention, noting that this was the only figure available regarding detained children from Gaza and actual figures may be higher.  
  • On 15 April, the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) announced that the emergency department of Al Amal Hospital in Khan Younis had been re-opened. All other departments, however, remain out of service due to extensive damage sustained during repeated bombardments and over 40 days of siege by Israeli forces. On 14 April, WHO and its partners were able to transfer a seven-year-old girl suffering from acute malnutrition and dehydration and a 34-year-old woman with multiple facial injuries and fractures from Kamal Adwan hospital in northern Gaza to a field hospital in the south. Both patients are expected to be medically evacuated abroad in the coming days. According to the latest WHO data, an estimated 6,000 critical trauma patients and 3,000 patients with serious chronic conditions need to be urgently evacuated from Gaza. Amid a severe shortage in primary and secondary health services, WHO has facilitated the deployment of 23 EMTs in 10 hospitals over the past 100 days; the EMTs have performed nearly 16,000 surgeries, undertaken over 298,000 consultations and provided an additional, combined capacity of 464 hospital beds. Extreme access constraints, however, continue to prevent the scaling up of vital EMT operations in the north, WHO notes. Six field hospitals have also been established, including four in Rafah and two in Khan Younis. On 15 and 16 April, the MoH in Gaza appealed for the urgent establishment of field hospitals in northern Gaza, the provision of generators, and restoration of electricity lines to support the operations of the remaining partially functional hospitals, warning that existing generators may stop functioning at any moment.  
  • On 15 April, the Palestinian Water Authority (PWA) announced that extensive repairs of the Israeli Mekorot Bani Suhaila water connection point and some segments of the transmission lines in Khan Younis have been completed, with work underway to inspect all the transmission lines in the network and repair identified damage. Once fully functional, this line is expected to serve about 500,000 people in Khan Younis city, Abasan Al Kabira, Abasan Al Jadida and Bani Suhaila, according to PWA. Repair of the northern water line (Al Mantar), which provides Gaza city with 25 per cent of its water needs, is also underway by PWA and the Municipality of Gaza.
  • Scaling up the Education-in-Emergencies (EiE) response is currently “near impossible and not without risk,” according to a joint statement by Save the Children International, Education Cannot Wait, and the Norwegian Refugee Council. EiE response entails the establishment of safe spaces for children to play and receive psychosocial support with referrals to specialised Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) and Child Protection services. But there are no safe places in Gaza amid relentless bombardment, the decimation of vital services, imminent famine, the destruction of all universities, and nearly 90 per cent of all schools destroyed or damaged. The statement further emphasized that the longer children are out of school, the more likely their learning regresses and the greater the risk that they drop out of school, which jeopardizes their potential in the long term and heightens the risk of their exposure to violence and abuse. Underscoring the need for an immediate ceasefire to keep the hope of children and parents alive and invest in their future, the organizations called on the Government of Israel to “immediately end unlawful attacks on education and endorse and fully implement the Safe Schools Declaration.” They also called on all parties not to use schools as battlegrounds and on the international community to strongly condemn attacks on schools, ensure accountability, and urgently prioritize inclusive MHPSS and EiE “whenever safe and unimpeded humanitarian access is a reality.” 
  • The health, dignity, safety and privacy of more than a million women and girls in Gaza have been compromised by limited water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services as a result of six months of war, reports UN Women in its latest gender analysis on Gaza. According to the report, more than 10,000 women are assessed to have been killed, including 6,000 mothers, and those who have survived are facing starvation, undignified living conditions in overcrowded shelters, and heightened risk of exposure to infectious diseases such as diarrhoea and Hepatitis A. They also face critical health risks, such as reproductive and urinary tract infections, related to desperate WASH conditions, including limited access to water, latrines, washrooms, and menstrual hygiene products. Over 690,000 women and girls are resorting to desperate coping mechanisms such as the use of improvised sanitary cloth or sponges as sanitary pads and need 10 million disposable menstrual pads each month, the report says. Moreover, according to UN Women, by mid-December, the average per capita daily water consumption in Gaza has reached 1.5 litres, or one-tenth of the minimum amount required under international humanitarian standards for emergencies and five times less than the amount pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers need to keep themselves and their babies healthy and hydrated. The spread of dehydration and lower food intake, within the context of a polluted environment, heighten the risk of exposure to food and waterborne pathogens and decrease resistance to infections, according to a doctor from Khan Younis quoted in the report. Emphasizing that women and girls must be at the heart of humanitarian response efforts, in line with the agreed conclusions of the 68th session of the Commission on the Status of Women, UN Women called for: an immediate and sustainable ceasefire; improving the access of women and girls to food, safe drinking water, toilets and menstrual hygiene products; ensuring that WASH coordination and response efforts fully consider the differentiated needs of women and girls; and strengthening support to women-led organizations, including through direct and flexible financing.

West Bank Update | 9-15 April

  • Between 12 and 15 April, seven Palestinians, including two children, were killed in the West Bank, including three by Israeli forces, one by an Israeli settler, and three where it remains unconfirmed if they were killed by Israeli forces or settlers (see detailed descriptions below). Four of the fatalities were killed in incidents involving Israeli settlers in a series of attacks on Palestinian communities during and after a search for a 14-year-old Israeli boy who went missing on 12 April and was found dead the following day near Malachei Hashalom settlement and Al Mughayir village in Ramallah governorate. During the reporting period, one Israeli soldier and 91 Palestinians were also injured. The Israeli soldier was injured on 14 April when Palestinians reportedly opened fire at Israeli forces patrolling the entrance to Sinjil village, in Ramallah governorate, and fled the scene. Injured Palestinians include 39 by Israeli forces, 43 by Israeli settlers, and nine where it remains unconfirmed if they were injured by Israeli settlers or forces. Roughly half of injuries among Palestinians were by live ammunition. 
  • On 12 April, a 25-year-old Palestinian man was killed during a large-scale raid by Israeli settlers, accompanied by Israeli forces, into Al Mughayyir village, in Ramallah governorate. The attack also resulted in the injury of 23 Palestinians, the displacement of 86 Palestinians when 21 houses were fully burnt by Israeli settlers, and damage to about 32 vehicles and several livelihood, agricultural and WASH structures. Some 220 sheep were also either killed or stolen and about 360 trees were vandalized. It remains unconfirmed whether the Palestinian man was killed by Israeli forces or settlers. 
  • On 13 April, a 17-year-old Palestinian boy was killed by an Israeli settler during a raid by Israeli settlers into Beitin village, in Ramallah governorate.  
  • In separate Israeli army raids that involved armed confrontations with Palestinians, two Palestinians (aged 22 and 26 years), reportedly uninvolved in an exchange of fire, were killed in Al Fara’a Refugee Camp and Tubas city on 12 April and a 17-year-old was killed when Israeli forces besieged a house in Nablus city on 15 April.  
  • On 15 April, two Palestinians were shot and killed, and three others were injured, when Israeli settlers were herding livestock on Palestinian land near Tell al Khashaba herding community in Nablus governorate. An altercation took place between the settlers and about 20 Palestinians, following which a large group of armed settlers and Israeli forces gathered and fired live ammunition toward Palestinians. It remains unconfirmed whether the Palestinian casualties were caused by Israeli forces or settlers. During the incident, Israeli forces prevented paramedics from reaching the two fatalities and have withheld their bodies.  
  • In total, since 7 October 2023, 451 Palestinians, including 112 children, have been killed in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, of whom 435 were killed by Israeli forces, ten by Israeli settlers and six by either Israeli forces or settlers. Another four Palestinians from the West Bank have been killed while perpetrating attacks in Israel. In addition, since 7 October, about 4,890 Palestinians have been injured in various incidents involving Israeli forces and/or settlers. Also since 7 October, nine Israelis, of whom five were members of Israeli forces, have been killed in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and 91 were injured, of whom 59 were members of Israeli forces. 
  • Overall, during the reporting period, OCHA documented 45 settler attacks that led to casualties and/or property damage in 37 Palestinian towns, villages and herding communities in the West Bank, including 20 in Ramallah, Nablus, and Jerusalem governorates, especially those located along Road 60 and 458. This is triple the number of incidents (14) and communities (13) affected by settler violence incidents in the preceding week (2-8 April). Incidents involved shootings, burning houses and other properties, damaging livelihood structures, and throwing stones at vehicles. Meanwhile, Israeli forces were witnessed accompanying Israeli settlers inside the villages, blocking villages’ entrances, tightening movement restrictions along Road 60 between Ramallah and Nablus governorates, and preventing medical crews from reaching the affected areas. In Qusra and Duma villages, in Nablus governorate, 36 people were displaced after their homes were burnt by Israeli settlers. In Hebron, Israeli settlers established a tent on Palestinian land in Tuba of Masafer Yatta and damaged water tanks and hundreds of trees in Susiya, Tarqumiya, and Juret al Kheil. In the Jordan Valley, Israeli settlers, believed to be from a newly established settlement outpost near Ras ‘Ein Al ‘Auja Bedouin community, destroyed water pipes and, on several occasions, physically and verbally assaulted Palestinians from the community. Since 7 October 2023, OCHA has recorded 774 Israeli settler attacks against Palestinians that resulted in Palestinian casualties (78 incidents), damage to Palestinian-owned property (608 incidents), or both casualties and damage to property (88 incidents). 
  • In a statement on 15 April, the UN Human Rights Office in the occupied Palestinian territory called on the Israeli authorities “to take immediate, concrete steps to end the rapidly escalating violence being perpetrated against Palestinians by Israeli settlers and Israeli Security Forces (ISF) across the occupied West Bank following the reported murder of a 14-year-old Israeli boy.” The statement also demanded that Israeli forces “immediately end their active participation in and support for settler attacks on Palestinians and prevent further attacks, including by bringing those responsible to account.”  
  • On 9 April, eight people, including four children, were displaced when a Palestinian family was forced to demolish their apartment for the lack of an Israeli-issued building permit and to avoid paying fines in Jabal al Mukkabir area of East Jerusalem. Since 7 October 2023, about 1,700 Palestinians have been displaced by home demolitions across the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, for lacking building permits, on punitive grounds, or during the course of operations by Israeli forces.


  • On 17 April, the Humanitarian Country Team released a new Flash Appeal for the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), which requests US$2.822 billion to meet the most critical needs of 2.3 million people in Gaza and 800,000 people in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, between April and December 2024. The figure reflects what is deemed most likely to be implemented over the next nine months, under access constraints and security challenges that limit the rapid scale-up of humanitarian response, and represents only a part of the $4.089 billion that the UN and partners estimate are required to meet the scale of humanitarian needs across the oPt. This Flash Appeal replaces the initial appeal launched in October 2023 and extended until March 2024, which sought $1.23 billion; roughly half of this amount was utilized in the last quarter of 2023 and the remaining half in the first quarter of 2024. 
  • The oPt Humanitarian Fund (oPt HF) has a total of 118 ongoing projects, for a total of $72.5 million, addressing urgent needs in the Gaza Strip (85 per cent) and West Bank (15 per cent). In light of the updated Flash Appeal, the HF has allocated an additional $22 million to bolster prioritized 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. In the West Bank, the oPt HF has allocated $5 million for key partners to enhance system readiness and responsiveness to sudden-onset emergencies, including those resulting from Israeli settler violence. Since 7 October, the oPt HF has mobilized $90 million from Member States and private donors, designated for programmes 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.

For the Humanitarian Needs and Cluster Response Update for the period between 9 and 15 April, please visit: Humanitarian Needs and Response Update | 9–15 April 2024. It is updated throughout the week to reflect new content.

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