According to the Israeli military, infantry and armoured forces massively expanded their ground operations within northern Gaza. Media reports indicate intense clashes in the southern and northwestern outskirts of Gaza city. Bombardment and airstrikes continued over the past 24 hours, and some 300 targets were reportedly attacked.
Despite Israel’s repeated calls on residents of Gaza city and northern Gaza to move to southern Gaza for safety, strikes in the Middle Gaza and two southern governorates continued. The strikes in the Middle Gaza have been particularly fierce over the last 48 hours.
On 31 October, at about 14:00, heavy airstrikes hit Jabalia Refugee Camp, reportedly destroying an entire quarter with 30 residential buildings. Initial reports indicated at least 50 people killed and many being trapped under the rubble. At around midnight ending 30 October, an airstrike reportedly hit the Abu Shamala family house, in Az Zawayda (Middle area), killing 18 Palestinians and injuring several others. In this incident, an entire family of three generations, mostly children and women, was reportedly killed. Shortly thereafter, another airstrike reportedly struck Abu Sariyah family house in Az Zaytoun neighbourhood of Gaza city, killing at least 15 Palestinians.
Since 7 October, 8,525 Palestinians have been killed, including at least 3,542 children and 2,187 women, and about 21,543 have been injured, according to the MoH in Gaza. Among the fatalities, 995 have not been identified yet, including at least 248 children.
As of 29 October, about 1,950 people, including at least 1,050 children, have been reported missing and may be trapped or dead under the rubble, awaiting rescue or recovery. Rescue teams, primarily from the Palestinian Civil Defense, are struggling to carry out their missions, amid continuous airstrikes, severe shortage of fuel to run vehicles and equipment. The Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) announced that, due to the lack of fuel, it was forced to reduce the number of ambulances it operates. Anecdotal evidence indicates that, due to the shortage of ambulances and the lack of fuel to run vehicles, the evacuation of injured people is increasingly relying on donkey carts.
According to the MoH in Gaza, over two thirds of the fatalities have been reportedly killed in their homes. Relatedly, a total of 192 Palestinian families have lost ten or more of their members, 136 Palestinian families have lost six to nine members, and 444 families have lost two to five of their members, the Ministry says.
Since 7 October, 19 IDPs sheltering in UNRWA premises have been killed and 310 have been injured. In total, 44 UNRWA installations have been damaged since 7 October. As of 31 October, 67 UNRWA staff have been killed during the hostilities; this is the highest number of UN aid workers to be killed in such a short period of time.
The Committee to Protect Journalists says that 31 journalists have been killed thus far since the start of the hostilities, including 26 Palestinians, four Israelis and one Lebanese.
According to Israeli sources, at least 1,400 Israelis and foreign nationals have been killed in Israel, and at least 5,400 have been injured, the vast majority on 7 October. Since Israeli forces began its ground assault, three Israeli soldiers have reportedly been killed. Israeli media reported that, as of 31 October, the names of 1,138 of these fatalities have been released, including 826 civilians and police, and 315 soldiers. Of those whose ages have been provided, 31 are children.
The cumulative number of IDPs since the start of hostilities in Gaza is estimated at over 1.4 million. This figure includes nearly 689,000 people staying in 150 UNRWA facilities, 121,750 sheltering in hospitals, churches, and other public buildings, and nearly 83,000 in 72 non-UNRWA schools. The remaining 550,000-600,000 IDPs are residing with host families, with as many as 150,000 having relocated to shelters in the past few days, seeking food and basic services.
Provision of assistance to about 300,000 IDPs hosted in 100 shelters and public buildings in Gaza city and Northern Gaza is increasingly challenging, due to the intensity of hostilities. At least 117,000 of these IDPs are taking refuge in 13 hospitals and other healthcare facilities. On 29 October, the MoH in Gaza committed to provide services to the latter IDPs, in coordination with the Ministry of Social Development, similar to the services provided in other public shelter centres. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Social Development has appealed to humanitarian agencies to provide food, water, including drinking water, as well as relief assistance to IDPs in those areas.
The average number of IDPs per shelter in UNRWA facilities has reached almost four times their intended capacity. The Khan Younis Training Centre is currently the most crowded shelter, hosting 22,100 IDPs, more than ten times its capacity.
Poor sanitation conditions and consumption of unsafe water among IDPs raise serious concerns about potential public health risks. Limited resources generate frustration and tensions among IDPs, exacerbating risk of abuse and gender-based violence.
Healthcare services are maintained in the 92 UNRWA shelters in the Middle and Southern
areas, with the support of mobile medical units and medical teams, serving 9,100 people on 30 October.
Over 15 per cent of the IDPs are estimated to have disabilities, yet most shelters are not adequately equipped for their needs. Shelters lack the required medical mattresses and beds, causing ulcers for people unable to move and other medical issues that cannot be treated in unsterilized conditions.
In recent days, UNRWA, in cooperation with the ‘Humanity and Inclusion’ NGO, provided 2,600 persons with disabilities, injured persons, children and the elderly with hygiene kits, assistive devices, eyeglasses, first aid kits and baby kits.
In Israel, hundreds of thousands of people residing near the Gaza Strip, as well as along the border with Lebanon, have fled or been evacuated, with the Israeli authorities providing for the needs of these IDPs (this report focuses on the humanitarian situation in Gaza).
Since 11 October, Gaza has been under a full electricity blackout, following Israel’s halt of its electricity and fuel supply to Gaza, which in turn triggered the shutdown of Gaza’s sole power plant. This has forced essential service infrastructure to rely on backup generators, which are limited by the scarcity of fuel in the Strip. Goods entering Gaza since 21 October through the Rafah crossing have not included fuel.
Hospitals are facing an unprecedented level of devastation, primarily driven by the overwhelming number of injuries, critical shortages of vital resources and concerns of being hit by airstrikes.
During the past 24 hours, there have been three attacks affecting health facilities, including one resulting in the destruction of a primary care clinic, alongside damage to two hospitals, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). One of the affected hospitals is the Turkish-Palestinian Friendship Hospital, the main cancer treatment centre in Gaza city, which was hit for the second night in a row. The hospital was directly hit in an aerial bombardment, with damage to the third floor and smoke causing suffocation and panic among the staff and people sheltering there. On 30 October, WHO’s Director-General stated that “cancer patients are already fragile, and it’s imperative to do everything possible to ensure they’re receiving the care they need. It’s truly a matter of life or death.”
All 13 hospitals that are still operational in Gaza city and northern Gaza have received repeated Israeli evacuation orders. Thousands of patients and medical staff, as well as about 117,000 IDPs, are staying in these facilities, and for some it is impossible to move.
Since 7 October, 37 health care facilities (including 21 hospitals) and 28 ambulances have been damaged in attacks and 16 health care workers on duty have been killed and another 30 injured.
Since the start of the hostilities, over one-third of the hospitals in Gaza (12 of 35) and nearly two-thirds of all primary health care clinics (46 of 72) have shut down due to damage or lack of fuel, increasing the pressure on the remaining health facilities that are still operational. All 13 hospitals still operational in Gaza city and Northern Gaza have received evacuation orders.
Nine UNRWA health centres (out of 22) are still operational in the Middle and South areas. On 30 October, they received some 4,300 patients’ visits.
Of the 59 trucks that entered Gaza through the Rafah Crossing today (31 October), at least 19 carried medical supplies. Overall, at least 75 out of the 217 trucks that have entered since 21 October, carried medical supplies.
On 31 October, UNICEF delivered content of three trucks that entered Gaza on 30 October to An Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis. The trucks carried dozens of pallets of, primarily disposables and antibiotics. Another six trucks brought by UNICEF carrying similar items could not be delivered to hospitals due to the hostilities; they were supposed to reach Al Aqsa Hospital in the Middle Area and Shifa hospital in Gaza city. Since the hostilities began, UNICEF delivered 17 trucks to different hospitals, which in addition to medicines and consumables, also included blankets and special tents for triage centers.
The distribution plan for these supplies is based on the needs confirmed on the ground by technical officers, by PRCS, WHO, and UNICEF in Gaza. After delivery into Gaza and reception, the technical officers accompany the supplies to each hospital. Post-delivery monitoring is carried out regularly to assess consumption.
The ongoing hostilities have displaced most of the medical professionals in Gaza, forcing the hospitals to operate with less than one-third of their normal staffing levels, according to MoH in Gaza. The hospitals continue to suffer from a severe fuel shortage, leading to stringent rationing and limited use of generators for only the most essential functions. Moreover, maintaining and repairing backup generators, originally not intended for continuous operation, is growing increasingly challenging due to the scarcity of spare parts.
As of 17:00 on 31 October, one out of the three water supply lines from Israel, servicing the Middle area, was restored for the first time since it was cut off on 8 October. While water provision resumed in Nuseirat, Bureij, Maghazi, and Zawaida areas, the volumes received have yet to be assessed. On the other hand, on 30 October, two main water wells in Nuseirat were struck and seriously damaged.
Additionally, the second supply line from Israel to western Khan Younis, which stopped on 30 October was not restored. This line previously supplied 600 cubic metres of drinking water per hour. The third pipeline from Israel to northern Gaza remains also closed since 8 October.
In the Middle Area and southern Gaza, the operation of two seawater desalination plants at about 40 per cent of their capacity, alongside 120 water wells and 20 pumping stations, has continued. This has been enabled by the delivery of small amounts of fuel by UNRWA and UNICEF. As a result, households still connected to the water network have been receiving water for a few hours a day, while others have received water by trucks.
Almost all water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) support is largely limited to southern Gaza, while access to water in Gaza city and northern Gaza is far more challenging. Neither the water desalination plant nor the Israeli pipeline supplying those areas is operational. While UNRWA and UNICEF have also provided limited amounts of fuel to a number of water wells, water is provided by trucks only. Over the past two days, water trucking activities came to a halt due to the ongoing military operations.
On 31 October, three trucks out of the aid convoy were carrying about 3,700 hygiene kits and 22,000 bottles of water, which are set to be distributed among the IDP centres in the south of Gaza. Overall, out of the 217 trucks that have entered Gaza since 21 October, at least 18 carried drinking water (jerrycans and bottles), water tanks, water purification equipment, and hygiene kits.
On 30 October afternoon, Israeli airstrikes reportedly hit and damaged a bakery in Al Amal neighbourhood of Khan Yunis, injuring ten people. This brings to eleven the number of bakeries that were struck and destroyed since 7 October (six in Gaza city, two in Jabalia, two in the Middle Area and one in Khan Younis). As a result, people are struggling to obtain bread. Hours-long queues are reported in front of bakeries, where people are exposed to airstrikes.
As of 31 October, only one of the bakeries contracted by the World Food Programme (WFP), and eight additional local bakeries (one in Rafah, four in Khan Younis, and three in the Middle area) are operational and supplying bread to shelters. UNRWA continued to cooperate with these local bakeries and supply them with flour, allowing them to offer bread at half the cost. The shortage of fuel is the primary obstacle preventing these bakeries from meeting local demand.
WFP estimates that current stocks of essential food commodities in Gaza are sufficient for about seven more days. However, at the shop level, the available stock is expected to last for five days. Retailers are facing significant challenges when restocking from wholesalers due to widespread destruction and lack of security.
Whenever possible, UNRWA has been distributing hot meals to IDPs in shelters, mostly donations received from host communities. While limited, this assistance plays an important support role, given the limited access to the local market and the inability of many IDPs to prepare hot meals at their shelters.
Forty of the trucks that entered Gaza through the Rafah Crossing on 31 October carried food items, including ready-to-eat food, such as canned tuna, canned meat, and other non-perishables. Overall, over 100 out of the trucks that have entered since 21 October, carried food.
All humanitarian agencies and personnel have faced significant constraints in providing humanitarian assistance, due to ongoing hostilities, movement restrictions and shortages of electricity, fuel, water, medicines, and other essential items. Humanitarian partners cannot safely access people in need and warehouses where aid supplies are stored.
Despite these challenges, humanitarian actors are working around the clock to support the most vulnerable. The major operation entails the hosting of IDPs in UNRWA schools, where basic food, medicine and support is provided to retain dignity and a glimmer of hope. Other interventions include the distribution of food and cash assistance to IDPs and emergency fuel to WASH facilities, psychosocial support helplines, and a mass media campaign to raise awareness about the risks of unexploded ordnance (for further detail, see Humanitarian Needs and Responses).
As of 27 October, about US$107.93 million worth of pledges have been confirmed in support of the inter-agency Flash Appeal launched on 12 October by the oPt Humanitarian Country Team. This represents about 37 per cent of the estimate required when the Appeal was first launched. Of the total amount pledged, 88 per cent are for UN agencies and 12 per cent for national and international NGOs. About $81.85 million were earmarked for UNRWA; $7.1 million for WHO, and $4 million for WFP.
Private donations to the Occupied Palestinian Territory Humanitarian Fund are collected online through this link: crisisrelief.un.org/opt-crisis.
In the West Bank, between the afternoon of 30 October and 21:00 on 31 October, Israeli forces killed two Palestinians, including one child and an elderly man. This brings the total number of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces or settlers since 7 October to 123, including 34 children. Of these 115, including 33 children, were killed by Israeli forces; and eight, including one child, by Israeli settlers. One member of Israeli forces was killed by Palestinians.
On 30 October, Israeli forces shot and injured with live ammunition a 14-year-old child during confrontations over the course of a search-and-arrest operation near Zawata junction in Nablus city; the boy succumbed to his wounds the following day. On 31 October, a bystander elderly man was shot and killed during a search-and-arrest operation in Tubas city that involved exchanges of fire between Israeli forces and Palestinians.
Of the Palestinian fatalities since 7 October, almost 50 per cent were killed during confrontations that followed Israeli search-and-arrest operations; 35 per cent were in the context of demonstrations in solidarity with Gaza; and most of the remaining 10 per cent were killed while attacking or allegedly attacking Israeli forces or settlers, and in settler attacks against Palestinians.
Since 7 October, Israeli forces and settlers have injured 2,157 Palestinians, including at least 201 children, with an additional 52 Palestinians have been injured by settlers, including nine with live ammunition. About 1,200 Palestinians have been injured by Israeli forces in the context of demonstrations. Some 27 per cent of the injuries have been caused by live ammunition. The number of Palestinian injuries from live ammunition is almost eight times higher than the average of such injuries between 1 January and 6 October 2023.
On 30 October, a group of Israeli settlers broke into the Isfey al Tahta herding community in southern Hebron, and set fire to a donor-funded residential structure. This community is located within an area declared closed for Israeli military training (Firing Zone 918), where some 1,300 Palestinians are at high risk of a forcible transfer.
The already high level of Israeli settler violence recorded during the first nine months of 2023 has sharply increased since the escalation of hostilities. Since 7 October, OCHA has recorded 178 settler attacks against Palestinians, resulting in Palestinian casualties (26 incidents), damage to Palestinian property (121 incidents), or both casualties and damage to property (31 incidents). This reflects a daily average of seven incidents, compared with three since the beginning of the year.
Out of the 171 settler attacks, more than one-third involved threats with firearms, including shooting. Almost half of all incidents involved Israeli forces accompanying or actively supporting Israeli settlers while carrying out the attacks. Many of the latter incidents were followed by confrontations between Israeli forces and Palestinians, where three Palestinians were killed, and dozens injured. Affected properties included 25 residential structures, 42 agricultural/animal-related structures, 74 vehicles and more than 670 trees and saplings.
No new displacements were recorded over the past 24 hours.
Since 7 October, 76 Palestinians, including 35 children, have been displaced following demolitions in Area C and East Jerusalem, due to lack of permits, and another 23, including 13 children following punitive demolitions, targeting the family homes of perpetrators and alleged perpetrators of fatal attacks against Israelis.
In addition, there has been an increase in the displacement of Palestinians amid settler violence and access restrictions. Since 7 October, at least 98 households comprising 828 people, including 313 children, have been displaced in this context. The displaced households are from more than 15 herding/Bedouin communities.
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Protection against sexual abuse and exploitation (PSEA) remains a cross-cutting priority for all clusters. The SAWA helpline, reachable at 121 and through WhatsApp at +972 59-4040121 (East Jerusalem at 1-800-500-121), operates 24/7. This toll-free number is widely disseminated across all areas of intervention to report cases of SEA and to facilitate emergency counseling and referrals for affected communities to access life-saving services. The PSEA Network monitors calls daily and will increase the number of counselors if necessary.
* This figure has been rectified following the publication of this update.