Fadia is staying with her displaced family in northern Gaza amid rubble and without access to basic services. Photo by UNRWA
Fadia is staying with her displaced family in northern Gaza amid rubble and without access to basic services. Photo by UNRWA

Hostilities in the Gaza Strip and Israel | Flash Update #172

The OCHA oPt Flash Update is published every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, with a comprehensive update on the West Bank included every Wednesday. The next update will be issued on 31 May.

Key Highlights

  • Humanitarian facilities in Rafah are forced to close one after another; only one hospital there remains functional, although partially, the World Health Organization reports.
  • The flow of humanitarian aid supplies into Gaza, already insufficient to meet the soaring needs, has dropped by 67 per cent since 7 May.
  • In Jenin Refugee Camp, in the northern West Bank, 12 Palestinians, including four children, were killed last week, and 21 were injured, in a 40-hour operation carried out by Israeli forces.

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. Ground incursions and heavy fighting also continue to be reported, including in Jabalya, south of Gaza city, northern An Nuseirat, eastern Deir al Balah, and Rafah. Intensified hostilities following the issuance of evacuation orders and the Israeli military operation in Rafah have so far resulted in the displacement of about one million people, most of whom had previously sought refuge in Rafah, amid bombardments, the absence of safety, lack of food and water, and unsuitable living and sanitary conditions, according to UNRWA.
  • On 28 May, at about 14:40, mass casualties were reported in an airstrike on a site hosting internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Al Mawasi area, southwest of Rafah. The Ministry of Health (MoH) in Gaza reported 21 fatalities and 64* injuries, including ten with serious injuries. On 27 May, in response to the 26 May Israeli military airstrikes that had also hit tents sheltering displaced people in Rafah, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Martin Griffiths, had stated: “We have said repeatedly that no place is safe in Gaza. Not shelters. Not hospitals. Not the so-called humanitarian zones. We have also warned that a military operation in Rafah would lead to a slaughter. We’ve seen the consequences in last night’s utterly unacceptable attack. Whether the attack was a war crime or a ‘tragic mistake,’ for the people of Gaza, there is no debate. What happened last night was the latest – and possibly most cruel – abomination. To call it ‘a mistake’ is a message that means nothing for those killed, those grieving, and those trying to save lives.” The UN Human Rights Chief, Volker Türk, also voiced his horror at the further loss of civilian life in Gaza, noting that the recent Rafah airstrikes “point to no apparent change in the methods and means of warfare used by Israel that have already led to so many civilian deaths.”
  • Between the afternoons of 27 and 29 May, according to MoH in Gaza, 121 Palestinians were killed and 394 were injured, including 75 killed and 284 injured in the past 24 hours. Between 7 October 2023 and 29 May 2024, at least 36,171 Palestinians were killed and 81,420 were injured in Gaza, according to MoH in Gaza.
  • The following are among other deadly incidents reported between 26 and 28 May:
    • On 26 May, at about 16:15, 13 Palestinians were reportedly killed and at least 20 injured when a house was hit in An Nazla area of Jabalya, in North Gaza.
    • On 26 May, at about 21:20, nine Palestinians, including at least two women and a child, were reportedly killed and others injured when a house was hit in Block C near Al Huda Mosque in An Nuseirat Refugee Camp, in Deir al Balah.
    • On 26 May, at about 22:50, five Palestinians, including a pregnant woman, were reportedly killed and others injured when a house was hit in Tal as Sultan area in western Rafah.
    • On 27 May, at about 21:25, seven Palestinians, including five women and one child, were reportedly killed and six others injured when a house was hit in Oraiba area, in northern Rafah.
    • On 28 May, in the morning hours, seven Palestinians were reportedly killed and others injured when the Barracks area was hit in western Rafah.
    • On 28 May, at about 10:35, at least six Palestinians, including a doctor, were reportedly shot and killed and others injured at Abu al Jadyan junction near Kamal Adwan Hospital in Beit Lahya, in North Gaza.
  • Between the afternoons of 27 and 29 May, three Israeli soldiers were reported killed in Gaza. As of 29 May, 290 soldiers have been killed and 1,831 soldiers have been injured in Gaza or along the border in Israel since the beginning of the ground operation, according to the Israeli military. In addition, according to the Israeli media citing official Israeli sources, over 1,200 Israelis and foreign nationals, including 33 children, have been killed in Israel, the vast majority on 7 October. As of 29 May, it is estimated that 125 Israelis and foreign nationals remain captive in Gaza, including fatalities whose bodies are withheld.
  • In a statement deploring the 26 May attack on IDP tents in Rafah, the Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, highlighted that the WHO-supported Trauma Stabilization Point (TSP) and other field hospitals in Rafah are overwhelmed, emphasizing that “the ongoing closure of the Rafah border, lack of fuel and aid getting into and across Gaza, and frequent mission delays and denials have choked [their] ability to support the health system at a time when operations should be rapidly growing to meet the rising needs.” Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) reported that, following the 26 May* airstrikes on IDP tents, the TSP it supports in Tal as Sultan area received 28 fatalities and 180 wounded people, most of whom suffered from shrapnel wounds, fractures, traumatic injuries and burns. “Though all the patients were stabilized and referred to field hospitals in Rafah, no single healthcare facility in Gaza can handle a mass casualty event such as this one. The health system has been decimated and cannot cope any longer,” underscored the MSF Emergency Coordinator in Gaza, Samuel Johann. The Field Hospital operated by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) played a key role in responding to the mass casualty incident. “We experienced first-hand the horror of this war, witnessing the appalling injuries and death,” stressed a Senior Medical Officer at the ICRC facility, informing that seven of the large number of patients treated were in critical condition and nine had “horrific orthopaedic injuries.” On the night of 27 May, medical staff and patients at the MSF-supported TSP in Tal as Sultan were reportedly forced to flee due to intensified hostilities and all medical activities ceased at the facility.
  • As intense military operations continue to cause scores of casualties, including among women and children, access to basic health services is increasingly shrinking in Gaza. Al Emirati Maternity Hospital is the only hospital in Rafah that remains functional, although partially, compared with three in early May. An Najjar Hospital was evacuated on 7 May, and Al Kuwaiti Hospital in Rafah ceased operations on 27 May; according to media reports quoting the hospital’s director, this occurred after two medical staff were killed when the hospital’s gate was hit. Moreover, only 13 international Emergency Medical Teams (EMTs) coordinated by WHO are currently deployed in Gaza, reports the Health Cluster, down from 19 EMTs prior to 7 May. On 29 May, the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) announced that its teams were forced to evacuate the PRCS Al Quds Field Hospital in Al Mawasi area of Rafah due to growing insecurity, including artillery and air bombardments, and evacuation of residents. PRCS is in the process of relocating its field hospital to Khan Younis. On 28 May, PRCS spokesperson, Nebal Farsakh, warned that critically wounded patients might die as there is no adequate surgical capacity to simultaneously treat all the injured persons, and the most serious cases cannot be evacuated abroad. She added that many patients, including pregnant women and people with chronic and infectious diseases, are not receiving the care they need, as “hospitals can barely save the lives of those who are critically wounded.”
  • Insecurity and severe constraints, including on access to border areas and restrictions on the movement between southern and northern Gaza, continue to create a non-permissive and volatile operational environment for humanitarian workers, preventing them from delivering life-saving aid to hundreds of thousands of people across Gaza. Between 1 and 28 May, out of 72 humanitarian missions coordinated with Israeli authorities to northern Gaza, 31 (43 per cent) were facilitated, 25 (35 per cent) initially received a green light but were subsequently impeded, 5 (7 per cent) were denied access, and 11 (15 per cent) were cancelled by humanitarian organizations. In addition, out of 236 humanitarian assistance missions coordinated with Israeli authorities to areas in southern Gaza, 122 (52 per cent) were facilitated, 43 (18 per cent) initially received a green light but were subsequently impeded, 32 (14 per cent) were denied access, and 39 (16 per cent) were cancelled by humanitarian organizations. Many missions classified as "impeded" experienced delays of up to nine hours, including extended delays imposed by Israeli authorities at insecure holding points located 2-3 kilometres south of Israeli military checkpoints en route to northern Gaza. In southern Gaza, military operations and movement restrictions have impeded multiple critical humanitarian missions, including preventing the collection of essential humanitarian supplies from Kerem Shalom Crossing and disrupting the rotation of humanitarian personnel into and out of Gaza, a vital operational function for humanitarian organizations. Some impeded missions had to be aborted while others could be carried out despite the impediment, although often partially.
  • According to the Health Cluster, the cancellation of missions to northern Gaza has delayed the critical resupply of fuel and medical supplies and prevented partners from assessing conditions at hospitals in the north. Despite continued challenges, on 27 May, WHO and its partners reached northern Gaza for the first time since 13 May and delivered to Al Ahli Hospital in Gaza city 15,000 litres of fuel, 14 hospital beds, medicines and trauma supplies to cover the needs of 1,500 people. The mission also escorted five PRCS ambulances to the north. These vehicles have allowed PRCS to reactivate ambulance and emergency services in Gaza city, which had been suspended since two PRCS members were killed during a humanitarian mission four months ago. WHO stressed that Al Ahli Hospital is serving twice the number of patients it is designed for, is lacking essential surgical supplies and is unable to conduct life-saving surgeries in the evenings due to lack of specialized staff. Due to delays at a checkpoint, the mission was unable to visit the nearby Public Aid Hospital. WHO noted that the destruction of roads, lack of safe access and shortages of fuel continue to impede movement to the north.
  • The amount of food and other aid entering Gaza, already insufficient to meet the soaring needs, has further shrunk since 7 May, with a daily average of 58 humanitarian aid trucks reaching Gaza between 7 and 28 May compared with a daily average of 176 aid trucks between 1 April and 6 May. These figures exclude private sector cargo and fuel. Of note, no aid has entered Gaza on 27 and 28 May through the temporary floating dock recently built by the US military, after a section was damaged due to bad weather conditions. Since it began operating on 17 May, 137 truckloads of food supplies were transported from the dock, according to the World Food Programme. Combined with intensified hostilities and access constraints within Gaza, this has gravely affected humanitarian operations and the ability of people to access live-saving aid. According to the Health Cluster, there are very limited medical supplies available within Gaza and this is placing major constraints on health service delivery.
  • The ability of Nutrition partners to scale up operational presence and provide needed services has also been hampered despite a continuous rise in detected malnutrition cases. A post-distribution monitoring survey conducted by the Nutrition Cluster shows that dietary diversity has worsened in May, with 95 per cent of children aged six to 23 months eating two or less different food groups per day. Moreover, 85 per cent of children did not eat for a whole day at least once in the three days before the survey was conducted. Lack of dietary diversity is one of the key drivers of acute malnutrition and has been identified by key experts as one of four main indicators for assessing the severity of nutrition insecurity in Gaza from low to extremely critical. The lack of dietary diversity is considered “extremely critical.” The Minimum Dietary Diversity indicator is measured by the percentage of children aged six to 23 months who consumed foods and beverages from at least five out of eight defined food groups during the previous day. The other indicators are the level of disease, the level of access to clean water, and Mid-Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC) measurements. Nutrition partners continue to conduct MUAC screenings in shelters and healthcare facilities across the Gaza Strip. Since mid-January, 93,409 children aged 6-59 months have been screened for malnutrition, of whom 7,280 have been diagnosed with acute malnutrition, including 5,604 with Moderate Acute Malnutrition, and 1,676 with Severe Acute Malnutrition.

West Bank Updates (21-27 May)

  • During the reporting period, Israeli forces shot and killed 13 Palestinians, including five children, and injured 35 others, including seven children. Fatalities include 12 Palestinians killed in Jenin (see below) and a 17 -year-old boy from Sa’ir village, in Hebron governorate, who was shot by Israeli forces on 26 May after he allegedly attempted to stab an Israeli soldier at Beit ‘Einun junction on Road 60 that leads to Hebron city. The body of the boy has been withheld by the forces. Since 7 October, 502 Palestinians have been killed: 485 by Israeli forces, including 122 children, ten by Israeli settlers, and seven where it remains unknown whether the perpetrators were settlers or soldiers. During the same period, over 5,100 Palestinians have been injured, including 4,859 by Israeli forces.
  • Since 7 October, ten Israelis have been killed, including six soldiers and four settlers, and at least 105 have been injured, including 70 soldiers, in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.
  • Between 21 and 23 May, Israeli forces carried out a 40-hour operation in Jenin Refugee Camp and its surroundings, during which the forces killed 12 Palestinians with live ammunition, including four children, and injured 21 others with live ammunition. Israeli forces besieged the camp with jeeps and bulldozers and exchanged fire with armed Palestinians. The Palestinian fatalities included at least one school student, a doctor and a teacher. Emergency medical teams were denied access by Israeli forces to several areas inside the camp during the operation while it took up to two hours to be granted access to other areas. Since 7 October, Israeli forces have killed 122 Palestinians, including 30 children, in the Jenin governorate.
  • On the first day of the operation in Jenin Refugee Camp, Israeli forces demolished on punitive grounds a two-story residential building, displacing nine people, including four children. The residence belonged to the family of a Palestinian who was accused by the Israeli authorities of killing an Israeli settler one year ago, in May 2023, and was subsequently killed by an Israeli drone on 20 March 2024. On 23 May, following the withdrawal of Israeli forces from Jenin, a UN-led inter-cluster mission conducted a rapid assessment and reported that at least two houses were destroyed, displacing four people. In addition, some 1,300 metres of water and sewage networks sustained damage by the bulldozing of roads in Jenin city and camp, according to the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Cluster. This has resulted in severe water and electricity outages for three days, affecting 80 per cent of the camp’s residents, estimated at 23,600 people, and 40 per cent of them are still without water as of 29 May. Further assessments are ongoing to assess other sustained damage, including dozens of houses and multiple UNRWA facilities.
  • Injured Palestinians during the reporting period also include an elderly Palestinian farmer who was shot in the leg by Israeli forces while working on his land near At Taybe herding community in Hebron. The community’s 67 residents have been all displaced gradually since 7 October due to settler attacks and the declaration of their land as a closed military zone by the Israeli military. Moreover, seven Palestinians were injured during search and arrest operations, including a 14-year-old who was shot in the leg by Israeli forces in Tammun village (Tubas). Overall, during the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted 100 search-and-arrest operations, around half of which were in Hebron governorate.
  • During the reporting period, Israeli settlers perpetrated 20 attacks that led to the injury of ten Palestinians and damage to property. Since 7 October, incidents involving Israeli settlers have resulted in the killing of 31 Palestinians, including six children, and the injury of over 500. These include incidents of alleged attacks against settlers and settlements by Palestinians. In total, around 43,000 Palestinian-owned trees and saplings were destroyed by Israeli settlers during this period.
    • Israeli settlers physically assaulted and injured nine Palestinians in four separate incidents during the reporting period. These included: four herders, three of whom were children, near Al Maniya village (Bethlehem); three workers travelling in a vehicle when they stopped at a traffic light on Road 60 in Hebron and were attacked by settlers with knives and screwdrivers; and a municipality worker while on duty near Masafer Bani Na’im (Hebron). Settlers gathering on Road 60 in the Ramallah area also forced a truck driver to leave his truck and punctured the tires, reportedly because they believed he was transporting aid to Gaza.
    • Israeli settlers vandalized 166 olive trees during the reporting period, including 16 in Al Khader village (Bethlehem) and 150 in Dhahr el ‘Abed village (Jenin), some aged 50 and 60 years. In addition, Israeli settlers burnt 15 dunums of wheat in Sabastiya village (Nablus) and set fire to land and agricultural rooms in Burqa (Nablus) as well as Susiya and At Taybe (both in Hebron). In Al Hathroura (Jericho) and Masafer Yatta (Hebron), settlers also grazed their livestock on Palestinian land, causing damage to hundreds of dunums planted with seasonal crops. On 27 May, Israeli settlers raided a Palestinian youth center in Kafr Ni’meh village (Ramallah) and vandalized the windows and doors.
    • On 23 May, settlers vandalized water networks in Ein Samiya, a community that was entirely displaced by repeated settler violence. Latest figures across the West Bank indicate that since 7 October, some 232 Palestinian households comprising 1,378 people, including 656 children, from 25 herding or Bedouin communities in Area C of the West Bank have been displaced amid settler violence and access restrictions.
  • Since 7 October, Israeli authorities demolished 330 Palestinian homes, resulting in the displacement of 1,993 Palestinians, including at least 870 children. Over half were displaced during operations by Israeli forces, mainly in refugee camps in and near Tulkarm and Jenin cities, 38 per cent (760) due to lack-of-permit demolitions, and eight per cent (159) by punitive demolitions. Since 7 October 2023, 149 inhabited homes have been demolished for lacking building permits and 28 on punitive grounds throughout the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.


  • As of 29 May, Member States have disbursed about US$987 million out of $3.4 billion (29 per cent) requested 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 January and December 2024. This includes about $623 million out of $600 million (104 per cent) requested for January-March 2024 and about $364 million out of $2.8 billion (13 per cent) requested for the Flash Appeal launched on 17 April to cover the period between April and December 2024. For funding analysis, please see the Flash Appeal Financial Tracking dashboard.
  • The oPt HF has 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). The HF has allocated an additional $22 million to bolster prioritized HF-funded projects in Gaza. Recently, 14 projects for a total of $5 million have been approved under the Third Reserve Allocation titled "Critical Humanitarian Aid for Gaza Amidst Escalating Conflict and Displacement (Phase 3)." Following a steep rise in displacement from Rafah to Khan Younis and Deir al Balah and to capitalize on the operational presence of national partners, these projects will be implemented by national NGOs (12 projects) or through a partnership between international and national NGOs (2 projects). Since 7 October, the oPt HF has mobilized over $100 million from Member States and private donors, designated for programmes throughout Gaza. A summary of the oPt HF activities and challenges in April 2024 is available through this link and the 2023 Annual Report of the oPt HF can be accessed here. Private donations are collected directly through the Humanitarian Fund.

For the Gaza Humanitarian Response Update for the period between 20 and 26 May, please visit: Gaza Humanitarian Response Update | 20–26 May 2024. It is updated throughout the week to reflect new content.

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