Hostilities in the Gaza Strip and Israel | Flash Update #5


Information on humanitarian needs is as of 12:00, while casualty figures and the number of people displaced are updated as of 21:00.

  • Heavy Israeli bombardments from the air, sea, and land have continued almost uninterrupted across the Gaza Strip, demolishing entire sections of neighbourhoods. Palestinian armed groups in Gaza continued their indiscriminate rocket firing towards Israeli population centres.
  • At 14:00 hrs, Gaza’s sole power plant ran out of fuel and was forced to stop functioning, triggering an immediate black-out, which continues, throughout Gaza. This followed Israel’s halt of its electricity and fuel supply to Gaza on 8 October. The Humanitarian Coordinator has issued a statement calling for all relevant parties to facilitate safe access of humanitarian goods and personnel.

  • According to the Ministry of Health in Gaza, between 17:30 yesterday and 14:00 today, a total of 270 Palestinians were killed, and 1,089 others injured as a result of Israeli attacks. The cumulative casualty toll in Gaza since the start of the hostilities, as of 14:00 reached at least 1,100 fatalities and 5,339 injuries. Additionally, Israeli media sources reported that the bodies of about 1,500 Palestinian members of armed groups killed in Israel are being held by the Israeli authorities.

  • As of 9:00 am today, according to Israeli media reports, more than 1,200 Israelis and foreign nationals have been killed in Israel by Palestinian members of armed groups, and, according to Israel Ministry of Health, at least 3,192 people have been injured. The vast majority of the Israeli casualties occurred on 7 October.

  • According to Israeli sources, between 100 and 150 Israelis, including soldiers and civilians, some of whom are women and children, as well as some foreign nationals, have been captured and forcibly taken into Gaza.

  • Mass displacement across the Gaza Strip continues. The cumulative number of displaced people increased by 30 percent over the past 24 hours, now totaling 338,934, of whom over two thirds are taking shelter in UNRWA schools.

  • The scope of damage sustained by civilian infrastructure is also of increasing concern, with reports on major damage sustained to electricity, water and communication networks, mostly in Gaza city and northern Gaza.

  • In the West Bank, four Palestinians were killed today by Israeli forces during a settler attack in Qusra village (Nablus).

Sheikh Redwan Neighborhood / Gaza city, 8 Oct 2023. Photo by Bashar Taleb


Hostilities have continued for the fifth consecutive day, resulting in additional Palestinian and Israeli casualties and property damage and a significant rise in internally displaced persons (IDPs).

Hostilities and casualties

Heavy Israeli bombardments, from the air, sea and land, have continued almost uninterrupted across the Gaza Strip. Numerous residential buildings in densely populated areas, including Al Karama neighborhood in Gaza North, as well as Al Rimal, and Al Naser in Gaza city have been among the most heavily targeted, leading to casualties among the elderly, women, and children. Many casualties are still beneath the rubble, with Civil Defense and medical teams unable to access the area due to equipment shortages, severely damaged streets, and the intensity of ongoing hostilities.

On 11 October at 11:00, Israeli air forces reportedly struck with several missiles a residential building in An Nussairat Refugee Camp, in Deir Al Balah, killing 13 members of the same family.

According to the Ministry of Health in Gaza, since the start of hostilities, at least 28 Palestinian families have had most of their members killed in the same incident.*

According to the Gaza Ministry of Public Works and Housing, at least 752 residential and non-residential buildings have been destroyed, and a total of 4,626 housing units were totally demolished or severely damaged and rendered uninhabitable; another 32,000 housing units sustained moderate damage.

Human rights organizations have expressed concerns about incidents where civilians and civilian objects appear to have been directly targeted by Israeli airstrikes.

Since the start of hostilities, seven significant water and sewage facilities serving over 1,100,000 people were hit by airstrikes and severely damaged. In some areas, sewage and solid waste are now accumulating in the streets, posing a health hazard.

During the past 24 hours, airstrikes have targeted areas near the Beit Hanoun hospital and a healthcare facility in Gaza city, causing damage to the surrounding areas of both facilities and rendering them inaccessible. The Palestinian Red Cresent Society (PRCS) reported that four of its paramedics were killed while on duty, when an ambulance was targeted in Beit Hanoun area.  Since 7 October, the World Health Organization (WHO) has documented 33 attacks that resulted in eleven fatalities and 16 injuries among healthcare staff and have affected 18 healthcare facilities and 20 ambulances.

According to the education cluster, at least 88 education facilities have been struck. This figure includes 18 UNRWA schools, two of which were used as emergency shelters for IDPs, and 70 Palestinian Authority (PA) schools, one of which was destroyed. For the fifth consecutive day, there has been no access to education or a safe place for more than 600,000 children in Gaza.

Palestinian armed groups in Gaza continued launching rockets and mortar shells into Israel, with some rockets reaching the Jerusalem and Tel Aviv metropolitan areas, as well as southern Israel. On 11 October, a number of Palestinian armed personnel attempted naval infiltrations in the areas of Ashkelon and Zikim.


As of 23:00 today, the number of IDPs has risen by an additional 75,000 people and reached 338,934. UNRWA is hosting 218,597 or 65 per cent of the IDPs in 92 schools, some of which operated as designated emergency shelters. Additionally, 14,837 IDPs have taken refuge at 18 PA schools.

It is estimated that over 105,500 IDPs, whose homes have been destroyed or damaged or left their homes due to fear, are with relatives and neighbours, a church in Gaza City and other facilities. About 3,000 Palestinians in Gaza remain displaced due to previous escalations.

Part of IDPs have left their homes following Israeli authorities’ evacuation warnings. The last evacuation warning map was issued on 10 Oct for the relocation from al-Daraj neighborhood in Gaza city.

Basic services and livelihoods

On the evening of 9 October, the Israeli authorities announced a total halt of electricity supply and hindered the entry of food, non-food items (NFI)s and fuel into the Gaza Strip, triggering a serious deterioration.

As of 14:00, the Gaza Power Plant (GPP) ran out of fuel and stopped running, cutting the only electricity source to the Gaza strip. According to the GPP, the Israeli authorities have warned that they would attack the plant if it received any fuel and reoperate.

The electricity blackout means that there is not enough power to operate water wells and pump the water through the system, to run water desalination and purification plants, and to sustain sanitation services across the entire Gaza Strip. Already, four out of five of the Gaza wastewater treatment plants have stopped working due to the lack of fuel, and more than 120,000 cubic meters of wastewater are being disposed into the sea every day.

Water supply from Israel was also cut since the evening of 8 October, causing a severe shortage of drinking water for over 650,000 people. The municipalities of the Gaza Strip are urging residents to reduce water consumption.

Lack of electricity disrupts refrigeration, irrigation, incubation, and other machinery that impacts agriculture, poultry, cattle, fish, and other products, which will have a detrimental effect on the food security within the Gaza Strip. Poultry farms have been devastated due to restricted access to fodder and airstrikes, resulting in significant losses for small-scale chicken breeders. Furthermore, there has been a surge in fresh vegetable prices in local markets due to limited supplies resulting from restricted farm access, exacerbating food security concerns.

Meanwhile, half of the bakeries have less than a week's supply of wheat flour, and 70 percent of shops report significantly decreased food stocks. Certain items, such as eggs and vegetables, have experienced price increases. Over 50% of shops now have dwindling stocks of essentials like wheat flour, dairy products, vegetables, eggs, and mineral water. This dire situation calls for urgent clean water access for cooking, underscoring the severe and multifaceted humanitarian impact of the ongoing crisis.

According to the Ministry of Health in Gaza, all 13 hospitals and other health facilities in the Gaza Strip are operational and providing treatment for injuries, although they are facing severe shortages of medical supplies, damage from airstrikes, and extended electricity outages. The Beit Hanoun hospital is also inaccessible due to damage to surrounding areas.
Movement and access

Erez and Kerem Shalom crossings remain closed due to the hostilities. An estimated 130 referral patients and their companions from the Gaza Strip are unable to cross Beit Hanoun (Erez) checkpoint to reach scheduled medical appointments each day. More than 1,000 Gazan workers were stuck inside Israel and transferred to the West Bank recently.

The Rafah crossing with Egypt, has remained closed for the movement of people and goods for the second consecutive day. On 10 October, Israeli forces carried out two strikes within less than 24 hours, resulting in the closure of the crossing.

Access to the sea has been prohibited and all fishing activity has stopped since the start of the hostilities. Overall, 180,000 people, including farmers, fishers and their families, have their access to livelihood almost completely cut.

Humanitarian operations

All humanitarian agencies and personnel have faced major constraints in providing humanitarian assistance to affected people. The prevailing insecurity is preventing safe access to impacted areas and warehouses. This is impeding the distribution of assistance, particularly to the families who are not in UNRWA shelters. Movement restrictions, the barring of imports, shortages of electricity, fuel, water and other essential materials have all constrained every sector of the humanitarian response.

Despite these challenging conditions, humanitarian actors managed to carry out interventions and reach people in need. Apart from the increasing number of IDPs hosted by UNRWA, these included, for example, the distribution of fresh bread to 137,000 IDPs, the allocation of some 70,000 litres of fuel to WASH facilities, and the activation of psychosocial support helplines (for further detail see Cluster Section below).



In the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, confrontations between Palestinians and Israeli forces have continued for the third consecutive day. Between 7 and 11 October, 26 Palestinians, including three children, were killed by Israeli forces in multiple incidents, and 427 Palestinians, including 62 children, were injured. Sixteen (16) out of the 26 Palestinians killed and most of the injuries (368) were reported in clashes during demonstrations in solidarity with residents of the Gaza Strip. Overall, 227 Palestinians were treated for teargas inhalation, 131 were shot with live ammunition, 35 were injured by rubber bullets, nine were hit by shrapnel or teargas canisters, and 25 were physically assaulted.

Access restrictions

The Israeli authorities have continued to impose multiple movement restrictions, including the closure of several checkpoints and the blocking of entrances to towns and cities across the West Bank. This has been done either by closing road gates or erecting earth mounds disconnecting cities and towns from the main roads in the West Bank for the fifth consecutive day.

Since 7 October, Israeli authorities continue to isolate six communities severed from the rest of the West Bank by the Barrier (the Barta’a enclave), home to about 9,000 people, by closing the checkpoint and Barrier gates impeding their movement and access to services. All checkpoints segregating part of the Israeli-controlled area of Hebron (H2) from the rest of the city were closed for the fifth consecutive day, impeding the movement of 7,000 Palestinian residents, and preventing them from reaching essential services. Access of Palestinians to the Old City in Jerusalem, including the Al Aqsa Mosque, has been also restricted for the fifth consecutive day.

Attacks on health care

WHO has documented 18 health attacks since 7 October in the West Bank, including 15 attacks involving obstruction to delivery of health care; seven involving physical violence towards health teams; five involving detention of health staff and ambulances; and three involving militarized search of health assets.



Priority Needs

  • Psychological first aid (PFA) services, psychological counseling services and psychosocial/recreational/dignity kits.
  • Need to increase documentation of violations of International Human Rights Law and Humanitarian Law.
  • Supportive tools and devices such as crutches, wheelchairs, earphones, eyeglasses, etc., and medications for the elderly and people with disabilities

Response to Date

  • Child Protection (CP)/Mental Health Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) partners scaled up capacity of helplines and remote psychosocial support and referral to other services for children and their caregivers. This includes free remote (helpline, mobile, WhatsApp) PFA and psychosocial counseling
  • The United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) has initiated an emergency mass media campaign through various platforms, including social media and radio stations, to send Explosive Ordnance Risk Education (EORE) and Conflict Preparedness and Protection (CPP) messages to as wide a population as possible.
  • Providing family meeting services for children via conference calls.
  • In the West Bank, the assigned MHPSS Focal Points for responding to settler violence triggers are continuing their MHPSS response as possible and the MHPSS Coordination Lead Focal Points at governorate levels are intervening as needed.


Priority Needs

  • Urgent need to provide services and basic Shelter and Non-Food Items (NFI) to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).
  • Provision of shelter support in the form of NFIs and house maintenance for people displaced at urban centers and host families.
  • Provision of shelter cash assistance for IDPs (reintegration package and belongings loss compensation) for at least 1,500 families.

Response to Date

  • 218,597 IDPs are hosted at 92 UNRWA schools across Gaza Strip.
  • ICRC/PRCS distributed NFIs for 50-60 displaced families in urban displacement settings, limited by movement restrictions.


Priority Needs

  • Addressing shortages of medical supplies impacting case management.
  • The need for fuel for hospitals and ambulances continues to rise.

Response to Date

  • Partners continue to procure supplies from the local market to support hospital operations.
  • Surge staff remain present in the hospitals supporting case management.
  • Ambulances and emergency medical teams continue to operate despite the risk and difficult environment.

Food Security

Priority Needs

  • Electricity, fuel and water sources in order to maintain internal food markets.
  • Safe access to farms, livestock, fisheries and other food livelihood.
  • Urgent import of fodder.

Response to Date

  • WFP reached 137,000 displaced Gazans residing in UNRWA shelters with ready-to-eat fresh bread that WFP purchased from local bakeries.
  • WFP provided an additional cash-based transfer $5 to complement the regular WFP October food assistance for 164,000 of the most vulnerable Palestinians across Gaza and the West Bank.


Priority Needs

  • Safe access to schools and communities.
  • Lack of electricity makes it difficult to activate distance learning in Gaza.

Response to Date

  • Provision of school-based psychosocial support and recreational activities for at least 70,000 children and school staff as soon as the situation allows.
  • Emergency rehabilitation for at least 20 damaged schools, following a cluster rapid needs assessment.
  • Provision of emergency supplies and learning kits to 10,000 children in DES and 50,000 children in schools once they reopen.
  • Provision of catch-up classes, especially to displaced children (at least 20,000 child)


Priority Needs

  • There is an urgent need for an alternative power supply source.
  • Funding is needed to replenish fuel, chemicals, spare parts, provision of water, rapid rehabilitation of water and sanitation infrastructures and provision of hygiene items.

Response to Date

  • 70,000 litres of fuel have been allocated for distribution among the WASH facilities that are experiencing power shortages.

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 is monitoring calls daily and will increase the number of counselors if necessary

* This sentence has been revised after receiving additional information.