"I no longer recognize my neighbourhood!" 15-year-old Hamza, Gaza city. Photo by UNICEF/Omar Al-Qattaa, 11 January 2024
"I no longer recognize my neighbourhood!" 15-year-old Hamza, Gaza city. Photo by UNICEF/Omar Al-Qattaa, 11 January 2024

Hostilities in the Gaza Strip and Israel | Flash Update #93

Key points 

  • Further civilian casualties and destruction reportedly occurred on 15 January as intense Israeli air, land and sea bombardments, ground operations and fighting with Palestinian armed groups continued across much of the Gaza Strip, alongside the firing of rockets by Palestinian armed groups into Israel. 
  • Between the afternoons of 14 and 15 January, according to the Ministry of Health (MoH) in Gaza, 132 Palestinians were killed, and another 252 people were injured. Between 7 October 2023 and 12:00 on 15 January 2024, at least 24,100 Palestinians were killed in Gaza and 60,834 Palestinians were injured, according to the MoH.  
  • Between 14 January and 15 January, no Israeli soldiers were reportedly killed in Gaza. Since the start of the ground operation, 186 soldiers have been killed, and 1,113 soldiers have been injured in Gaza, according to the Israeli military. 
  • On 15 January, the Secretary-General stated: “The long shadow of starvation is stalking the people of Gaza – along with disease, malnutrition and other health threats. I am deeply troubled by the clear violation of international humanitarian law that we are witnessing... An effective aid operation in Gaza – or anywhere else -- requires certain basics. It requires security. It requires an environment where staff can work in safety. It requires the necessary logistics and the resumption of commercial activity.”  
  • In the first two weeks of January, only 24 per cent (7 out of 29) of planned missions to deliver food, medicine, water and other lifesaving supplies successfully reached their destinations north of Wadi Gaza. Most of the denials involved the delivery of fuel and medicines north of Wadi Gaza. Around 95 per cent (18 of 19) of missions involving the allocation of fuel and medicines to water reservoirs, water wells and health facilities in the north of Wadi Gaza have been denied access by Israeli authorities. Lack of fuel for water, sanitation and hygiene increases risks of health and environmental hazards. Lack of medicine debilitated the functionality of the six partially functioning hospitals.  The missions that were not able to proceed include: five planned missions to the Central Drug Store, four planned missions to Jabalia Health Centre, and eight planned missions to four critical reservoirs and water and waste pumps. 
  • Since the escalation of hostilities, humanitarian missions have reported two instances where convoy members were being detained by Israeli forces, and two instances of attacks on convoys. Additionally, reluctance by the Israeli authorities to open main supply routes and facilitate timely crossing through the Israeli military-controlled checkpoint has exposed humanitarian actors to security risks. Furthermore, the capacity of humanitarian agencies to operate safely and effectively remains heavily compromised by restrictions applied by the Israeli authorities on the import of critical humanitarian equipment.
  • As of 15 January, only one of the three water pipelines from Israel is currently functioning. The Middle Area water pipleine, with a production capacity of close to 17,000 cubic metres of water per day), urgently needs repairs. Water, hygiene, and sanitation (WASH) partners have estimated that this could take up to four weeks with sustained access and the necessary supplies.
  • As of 15 January, telecommunication services in Gaza have remained shut down for the third consecutive day, since 12 January. This is the seventh time that communications have stopped working since 7 October. The absence of telecommunications deprives people from accessing life-saving information, while also detrimental for the operation of first responders and other humanitarian actors. On 13 January, a telecommunications company vehicle was reportedly struck in central Khan Younis, although the crew was on a repair mission having had coordinated their security in advance. Two staff were reportedly killed. 
  • On 15 January, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that the Nasser Medical Complex cared for 700 patients, double its normal capacity, requiring patients to receive treatment on the floor. The hospital continues to receive high volume of trauma and burn cases while the ICU and burn unit are severely understaffed, delaying lifesaving treatment. About 7,000 people are reportedly sheltering on the hospital grounds. The intensification of hostilities in the vicinity of the hospital are obstructing access for patients and health workers, endangering their lives and further eroding hospital functionality. 
  • On 15 January, the heads of the WFP, UNICEF and WHO released a joint statement urging the opening of new entry routes, allowing more commodity-border checks each day, easing restrictions on the movement of humanitarian workers and to guaranteeing the safety of people accessing and distributing aid. Humanitarian assistance in Gaza is limited by the closure of all but two border crossings in the south (Rafah and Kerem Shalom) and multi-layered vetting process for commodities transported into Gaza.  
  • On 15 January, WFP Executive Director, said that “people in Gaza risk dying of hunger just miles from trucks filled with food. Every hour lost puts countless lives at risk. We can keep famine at bay but only if we can deliver sufficient supplies and have safe access to everyone in need, wherever they are.” The latest Integrated Food Security and Nutrition Phase Classification report confirm that the entire population of Gaza, 2.2 million people, are in crisis or worse levels of acute food insecurity.  
  • On 15 January, UNICEF Executive Director, said that “children at high risk of dying from malnutrition and disease desperately need medical treatment, clean water, and sanitation services, but the conditions on the ground do not allow us to safely reach children and families in need. Some of the material we desperately need to repair and increase water supply remain restricted from entering Gaza. The lives of children and their families are hanging in the balance. Every minute counts.” UNICEF projects that child wasting, the most life-threatening form of malnutrition, could affect 10,000 children in the next few weeks. Additionally, UNICEF has warned that children in southern Gaza are accessing only 1.5 to 2 litres of water per day, well below the recommended requirements for survival. According to humanitarian standards, the minimum amount of water needed in an emergency is 15 litres, which includes water for drinking, washing, and cooking. For survival alone, the estimated minimum is 3 litres per day. 
  • On 15 January 2024, UNRWA announced that, as of 12 January, the total number of UNRWA staff killed since the beginning of hostilities had increased by four to 150. Furthermore, they stated that 232 incidents impacting UNRWA premises and people inside them had been reported since 7 October (some with multiple incidents affecting the same location), including at least 23 incidents of military use of UNRWA premises. A total of 66 UNRWA installations had been directly hit, and 69 different installations had sustained damage from hits to adjacent objects. 
  • On 13 January, 108 trucks with food, medicine and other supplies entered the Gaza Strip through Rafah crossing. Since the opening of Kerem Shalom crossing, almost 20 per cent of aid trucks have come in through that entry point. 

Hostilities and casualties (Gaza Strip) 

  • Due to the communications blackout, information of fatal attacks is limited and a list of the deadliest incidents on 14 January and 15 January 2024 cannot presently be compiled. 
  • During the reporting period, Israeli forces reportedly carried out successive airstrikes on a residential square containing ten residential buildings, in southeast of Khan Younis. Casualties are unconfirmed as of yet. 
  • On 14 January, at about 15:00, one Palestinian was reportedly killed, and others were injured, when a vehicle at the entrance of the Khaled Bin Walid School, in An Nuseirat, Deir al Balah, was struck. 
  • On 14 January, at about noon, two Palestinians were reportedly killed as the group of people they were part of was struck while attempting to maintain the sewage line of Al Khansaa school in Abasan, east of Khan Yunis. 

Displacement (Gaza Strip)

  • On 12 January, UNRWA reported that the average number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in UNRWA shelters south of Wadi Gaza was over 12,000 per shelter. This is more than four times their capacity. 
  • As of 11 January, according to UNRWA, 1.9 million people, or nearly 85 per cent of Gaza’s population, were estimated to be internally displaced, including many who have been displaced multiple times, as families are forced to move repeatedly in search of safety. Nearly 1.4 million IDPs are sheltering in 154 UNRWA facilities across all five governorates, including 160,000 in the north and Gaza city; facilities are far exceeding their intended capacity. A total of 1.78 million IDPs are receiving assistance from UNRWA. Rafah governorate is the main refuge for those displaced, with over one million people squeezed into an extremely overcrowded space, following the intensification of hostilities in Khan Younis and Deir al Balah and the Israeli military’s evacuation orders. Obtaining an accurate figure of the total number of IDPs remains challenging. 


  • Since 11 October 2023, the Gaza Strip has been under an electricity blackout, after the Israeli authorities cut off the electricity supply and fuel reserves for Gaza’s sole power plant were depleted. The communications and fuel shutdown continues to significantly hinder the aid community’s efforts to assess the full extent of needs in Gaza and to adequately respond to the deepening humanitarian crisis. For more information on electricity supply to the Gaza Strip, please see this dashboard

Humanitarian Access (Gaza Strip-Northern Gaza) 

  • The movement of humanitarian missions into areas with active military operations is transparently coordinated with the different parties to the conflict to ensure safe passage. January has witnessed a steep increase in the rate of access denials by Israeli authorities to the north of Wadi Gaza, preventing the scale-up of humanitarian aid.  
  • In the first two weeks of January, humanitarian agencies planned 29 missions to deliver lifesaving supplies to the north of Wadi Gaza. Only 7 of the 29 (24 per cent) were accomplished, either fully or partially. The access of the rest of the missions was denied by the Israeli authorities. Two additional missions, originally coordinated with the Israeli authorities, could not be completed due to the non-viability of allocated routes or excessive delays at checkpoints, which did not allow the delivery during safe operating windows. 
  • The denials over the first half of January denotes a stark deterioration from the previous months (October-December), when only 14 per cent (6 out of 43) of missions planned to the north were denied, while the remaining 86 per cent (37 out of 43 missions) were facilitated. The denials prevent scale-up and have a paralyzing opportunity cost to the overall response. Any planned missions that are denied to the north of Wadi Gaza are opportunities missed for planned missions to other parts of the Gaza Strip. 

Health care, including attacks (Gaza Strip)

  • According to WHO, 15 out of Gaza’s 36 hospitals are partially functional; nine in the south and six in the north. In Deir al Balah and Khan Younis, three hospitals – Al Aqsa, Nasser, and Gaza European – are at risk of closure due to the issuance of evacuation orders in adjacent areas and the ongoing conduct of hostilities nearby. Hospitals in the north have been offering limited maternity, trauma, and emergency care services. However, they face challenges such as a shortage of medical staff, including specialized surgeons, neurosurgeons, and intensive care staff, as well as a lack of medical supplies, and have an urgent need for fuel, food, and drinking water. The nine partially functional hospitals in the south are operating at three times their capacity, while facing critical shortages of basic supplies and fuel. According to the MoH in Gaza, occupancy rates are reaching 206 per cent in inpatient departments and 250 per cent in intensive care units. 
  • On 13 January, WHO, UNFPA and OCHA visited Al Aqsa hospital and Nasser Medical Complex in Khan Younis to assess the needs due to ongoing hostilities and evacuations orders in the neighbourhoods surrounding the two hospitals. Since the withdrawal of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), Medical Aid Palestine and the International Rescue Commitee (IRC) from the Al Aqsa hospital on 6 and 7 January, only 12 health workers remain, including two doctors, representing 10 per cent of the total hospital workforce pre-crisis. About 140 patients are at the hospital, while 1,500 IDPs are sheltering there. UNRWA has provided over 24,000 litres of fuel to sustain emergency services but much more is needed. WHO is planning to facilitate the deployment of an emergency medical team to support surgeries and the emergency department.  
  • WHO and health partners have been supporting the health system in Gaza with the delivery of medical equipment and supplies, medicines, fuel for hospitals, coordination of emergency medical teams and disease surveillance through over a dozen high-risk missions to hospitals in northern and southern Gaza. WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a joint statement with WFP and UNICEF on 15 January that “we need unimpeded, safe access to deliver aid and a humanitarian ceasefire to prevent further death and suffering.” 
  • On 14 January 2024, Dr. Ghebreyesus stated that only 15 facilities are currently providing limited health care in the strip as a result of “300 attacks on health and continuous lack of safe access to critical aid… WHO, UN and partners (are) repeatedly stymied from providing the aid so critically needed… while patients facing avoidable amputations due to the health system’s destruction. Those with serious chronic conditions are dying due to the lack of care. People in Gaza are living in hell. Nowhere is safe. Everything must be done to end the violence to prevent more needless death and injury.” 

Hostilities and casualties (Israel) 

  • Over 1,200 Israelis and foreign nationals have been killed in Israel, including 36 children, according to the Israeli authorities, the vast majority on 7 October. 
  • As of noon on 15 January, the Israeli authorities estimate that about 136 Israelis and foreign nationals remain captive in Gaza. During the humanitarian pause (24-30 November), 86 Israeli and 24 foreign national hostages were released. 
  • On 15 January, the Secretary-General reiterated his call for the release of all hostages: “I once again demand the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages. In the interim, they must be treated humanely and allowed to receive visits and assistance from the International Committee of the Red Cross. The accounts of sexual violence committed by Hamas and others on October 7th must be rigorously investigated and prosecuted. Nothing can justify the deliberate killing, injuring, and kidnapping of civilians – or the launching of rockets towards civilian targets.” 


Violence and casualties (West Bank)

  • On 14 January, Israeli forces shot and killed two Palestinian men driving along agricultural land near Sa’ir village (Hebron). Reportedly, Israeli forces fired shots in their direction, and they attempted to flee, after which they were shot and killed. 
  • On 15 January, Israeli forces shot and killed two Palestinians, including a man and a woman, and injured nine others, in Dura village in Hebron during confrontations between Palestinians and Israeli forces while the latter conducted a search-and-arrest operation in the village.  
  • Also on 15 January, Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian man at the Israeli-controlled checkpoint of Enav, close to Tulkarm city. According to Israeli sources, the man attempted to escape arrest and was shot. The details of the incident are still being verified. 
  • On 15 January, according to Israeli media and medical sources, two Palestinian men initiated an attack, where an elderly Israeli woman was stabbed and killed, in Ra’anana, Israel. Furthermore, at least one vehicle was hijacked by the two men and rammed into Israeli pedestrians, injuring thirteen. Israeli forces announced that they had arrested the two suspects, who are from Bani Na’im village in Hebron. 
  • From 7 October 2023 and as of 15 January 2024, 344 Palestinians have been killed, including 88 children, across the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Additionally, two Palestinians from the West Bank were killed while carrying out an attack in Israel on 30 November. Of those killed in the West Bank (344), 335 were killed by Israeli forces, eight by Israeli settlers and one by either Israeli forces or settlers. So far in 2024 (as of 15 January), 35 Palestinians, including seven children, have been killed. The number of Palestinians killed in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, in 2023 (507) marks the highest number of Palestinians killed in the West Bank since OCHA started recording casualties in 2005. 
  • From 7 October 2023 and as of 15 January 2024, five Israelis, including four members of Israeli forces, have been killed in Palestinian attacks in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Four Israelis were killed in an attack carried out by Palestinians from the West Bank in West Jerusalem (one of the four was killed by Israeli forces who misidentified him) on 30 November 2023; another Israeli woman was killed in another Palestinian attack in Israel on 15 January 2024. The number of Israelis killed (36) in the West Bank and Israel in 2023 in attacks perpetrated by Palestinians from the West Bank was the highest since OCHA started recording casualties in 2005. 
  • From 7 October 2023 and as of 15 January 2024, 4,212 Palestinians, including 637 children, were injured in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Of them, 4,082 have been injured by Israeli forces, 109 by settlers and 21 by either Israeli forces or settlers. Of the total injuries, 53 per cent were reported in the context of search-and-arrest and other operations, 35 per cent in demonstrations and 8 per cent during settler attacks against Palestinians. Some 33 per cent of those injuries have been caused by live ammunition, compared with 9 per cent in the first nine months of 2023

Settler Violence

  • ince 7 October 2023 and as of 15 January 2024, OCHA recorded 421 Israeli settler attacks against Palestinians, resulting in Palestinian casualties (41 incidents), damage to Palestinian-owned property (329 incidents), or both casualties and damage to property (51 incidents). This reflects a daily average of four incidents since 7 October 2023 until 15 January 2024. 
  • One-third of the settler attacks against Palestinians after 7 October 2023 involved firearms, including shootings and threats of shootings. In nearly half of all recorded incidents after 7 October, Israeli forces were either accompanying or reported to be supporting the attackers. 
  • In 2023, 1,229 incidents involving Israeli settlers in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem (with or without Israeli forces), resulted in Palestinian casualties, property damage or both. Some 913 of these incidents resulted in damage, 163 resulted in casualties and 153 resulted in both. This is the highest number of settler attacks against Palestinians in any given year since OCHA started recording incidents involving settlers in 2006. 


Displacement (West Bank) 

  • From 7 October 2023 and as of 15 January 2024, at least 198 Palestinian households comprising 1,208 people, including 586 children, have been displaced amid settler violence and access restrictions. The displaced households are from at least 15 herding/Bedouin communities. More than half of the displacements occurred on 12, 15, and 28 October, affecting seven communities. The displacement toll since 7 October 2023, represents 78 per cent of all displacement reported due to settler violence and access restrictions since 1 January 2023 (1,539 people, including 756 children).  
  • On 15 January, the Israeli authorities demolished two houses and an extension to one of the houses used as a barber shop in Qalqiliya city, displacing 12 people, including six children. This raises to 465 the number of Palestinians, including 233 children, displaced between 7 October 2023 and 15 January 2024, following the demolition of their homes, due to lack of Israeli-issued building permits in Area C and East Jerusalem, which are almost impossible to obtain. 
  • A total of 19 homes have been demolished and 95 Palestinians, including 42 children, displaced due to punitive demolitions from 7 October 2023 and as of 15 January 2024. The numbers exceed those reported in the first nine months of the same year, during which 16 homes were punitively demolished and 78 people displaced.  
  • From 7 October 2023 and as of 15 January 2024, 602 Palestinians, including 263 children, have been displaced, following the destruction of 94 homes during other operations carried out by Israeli forces across the West Bank. About 94 per cent of the displacement was reported in the refugee camps of Jenin, and in Nur Shams and Tulkarm, both in Tulkarm. This represents 65 per cent of all displacement reported due to the destruction of homes during Israeli military operations since January 2023 (908 people).  



  • As of 14 January, Member States have disbursed $677.5 million against the updated Flash Appeal launched by the UN and its partners to implement its response plan in support of 2.2 million people in the Gaza Strip and 500,000 people in the West Bank. This constitutes 56 per cent of the $1.2 billion requested. Private donations are collected through the Humanitarian Fund




  • According to WHO, only 15 of Gaza’s 36 hospitals are partially functional - nine in the south and six in the north.  
  • According to the MoH in Gaza, there is a shortage of available hospital beds, as occupancy rates in these hospitals are reaching 206 per cent in inpatient departments and 250 per cent in intensive care units. 
  • Food, drinking water, fuel, medical supplies, and support to health workers are urgently needed in healthcare facilities across the Strip.  
  • During missions to Shifa, Al Helou, Al Aqsa and Nasser hospitals to deliver supplies, fuel, and conduct assessments on 13 January, WHO team observed the following: 
    • A drastic decrease in the number of health personnel in some of the visited hospitals.  
    • Only 12 medical doctors still working at the Al Aqsa hospital, which is about 10 per cent of the staff who operated before the start of the hostilities. 
    • The maternity unit at Al-Aqsa Hospital is not operating, referring all pregnant women to Al Awda Hospital, which is further away. 
  • The poor living conditions in shelters have resulted in a rise in water-borne diseases.  
  • There is an urgent need to conduct assessments on the outbreak of communicable diseases, such Hepatitis to identify the most affected groups, hotspot locations and other key epidemiological information to tailor a proper response plan to address identified cases and prevent spread of disease.


  • Eleven Emergency Medical Teams (EMTs) are present in Gaza Strip and have been providing support to hospitals across the Strip. 
  • Health and WASH partners are finalizing an inter-cluster outbreak preparedness and response plan; and are mapping out formal and informal shelters without access to primary healthcare services to identify partners to cover the gaps. 

Challenges and Gaps: 

  • The security situation, access, transport, and deconfliction remain extremely challenging, especially for the hospitals in the northern governorates.  
  • Partners’ operations continue to be negatively affected by the displacement of staff and telecommunication challenges. 




  • Floodings are being reported across different parts of the Strip due to extensive infrastructure damage, destruction and huge clogging of sewage system and wastewater.  
  • Rainwater lagoons have been contaminated with wastewater and several lagoons are at risk of flooding if the rainfall intensifies. This situation poses a serious environmental and public health concern.  
  • WHO reported an increase in Hepatitis A cases in the Middle Area and Rafah governorates of Gaza, with the current water and sanitation conditions being prime for further spread. The Hepatitis virus is mainly spread when an uninfected (and unvaccinated) person ingests food or water contaminated with the feces of an infected person. 
  • To manage water supply and waste-management alone, 22 generators have been requested. These items are pending entry into Gaza.  
  • Only one of the three water pipelines from Isarel is currently functioning. The Middle Area water pipeline, with a production capacity of close to 17,000 cubic meters of water per day, needs repairs. It is estimated that repairs would take up to four weeks with sustained access and necessary supplies.  
  • Only two of the remaining three main low-capacity water desalination plants in Deir al Balah and southern Gaza that were not destroyed, are currently operational and are producing up to 2,400 cubic meters each day. 


  • Despite these challenges, WASH partners have undertaken the following responses since October 2023:  
    • Some 34,000 cubic meters of water were delivered through water trucking and 2,400 through bottled water.  
    • More than 53,000 jerrycans and more than 40 storage tanks were distributed.  
    • Nearly 145,000 hygiene kits and 1,800 cleaning kits were distributed.  

Challenges and Gaps:  

  • Access to areas with acute WASH needs is also being increasingly restricted. Since 1 January, all eight humanitarian missions to resupply water and wastewater facilities with fuel have been denied by Israeli authorities.  
  • Humanitarian partners have not been able to assess or resupply fuel to Jabalya area, where sewage flooding was reported in Jabalya camp on 5 January. At least 100,000 IDPs are estimated to reside in UN and public shelters in this area.  
  •  Markets are not functioning and construction materials for latrines, desludging services and other essential supplies for sanitation are not available for purchase.  
  •  Import restrictions, as well as complex and unpredictable clearance procedures of critical items considered by Israel as dual-use items, such as generators, pumps, pipes, and others, are preventing a scale up of WASH response.  




  • Hundreds of detainees who have been released and returned to Gaza since December 2023, are in need of support. Some were able to return to families while others moved to shelters. 
  • There is a need for safe shelters for women at risk of gender-based violence (GBV).  
  • There is still a high demand for women’s hygiene supplies which persist across Gaza.  


  • Protection partners continue to support formerly detained Gazans released through Kerem Shalom Crossing. Partners provide a support package comprised of food, water, clothes, blankets, hygiene supplies as well as medical care and treatment. The long-term needs include advanced mental health and psychosocial support.  
  • The GBV Sub cluster is coordinating distribution of critical hygiene supplies for women and girls to northern governorates; coordinating with all actors for distribution, procurement, and access.  
  • The sub cluster will also review with partners the composition of dignity kits based on changing needs and feedback from women in Gaza.  
  • Women Affairs Centre is preparing an assessment on the impact of current hostilities on women and girls, and the sub cluster will prepare for a wider scale assessment, including elements that can be used in any future intersectoral needs assessments.  
  • Mine Action partners continue to conduct outreach and risk education in Rafah through in-person sessions.  

Challenges and Gaps:  

  • Communication and network outages greatly curtailed the ongoing lifesaving Mine Action work, including outreach and mine risk education and conflict preparedness messages shared via SMS, radio, and social media. Partners continue to do outreach and risk education in Rafah through in-person sessions.  

Shelter and Non-Food Items (NFI) 


  • As of 14th January, it is estimated that about 70,000 housing units across the Gaza Strip have been destroyed or rendered uninhabitable and over 290,000 housing units have been damaged, according to the Government Media Office in Gaza.  
  • It is estimated that over 500,000 people will have no home to return to, and that many more will be unable to return immediately, due to the level of damage to surrounding infrastructure, as well as the risk posed by explosive remnant of war (ERW).  


  • During the reporting period, cluster partners distributed 1,000 tents and tarpaulin sheets in addition to 2,000 blankets. 

Challenges and Gaps: 

  • There is a high shortage of all essential NFIs for IDPs inside and outside the shelters. This includes 50,000 family winterized tents, 200,000 bedding sets (1,200,000 mattresses and blankets), 200,000 sealing-off kits, 200,000 winter clothes kits, and wooden timber to support IDPs in establishing self-built shelters. 

Food security 


  • According to Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC): 
  • 2.2 million people are at imminent risk of famine.  
  • 378,000 people at Phase 5 (catastrophic levels) Phase 5 refers to extreme lack of food, starvation, and exhaustion of coping capacities. 
  •  939,000 people at Phase 4 (emergency levels). 


  • During the second week of January, 12 Food Security Sector (FSS) partners reached 1.8 million individuals (considering possible duplication) with at least one type of food assistance. This does not imply sustained assistance.  
  • Some 13,000 people residing in UNRWA shelters and another 12,500 residing in public shelters were reached with hot meals, in efforts to alleviate the hunger and hardships faced by those displaced and in dire circumstances in the Northern region.  
  • In the south, FSS partners reached 290,000 IDPs in Rafah, Khan Younis, and the Middle areas through food parcels, bread supplies, ready-to-eat (RTE) packages and hot meals. Flour was additionally provided to some 270,000 households residing outside UNRWA shelters.  
  • Despite partners' efforts, food distribution in northern Gaza falls far below the needs. The challenges faced in Gaza underscore the importance of continued coordination and support to address the pressing food security needs of the affected people. 

Challenges and gaps: 

  • Continued hostilities, disruptions in healthcare services, lack of access to nutritious food, lack of access to clean water and poor sanitation conditions remain major challenges and contribute to the risk of famine in Gaza.



  • Given the current stock and funding situation, Nutrition partners can only meet 25 per cent of the nutritional needs for malnourished children and vulnerable mothers in the next two months. Without immediate funding and an expanded response, 375,000 individuals are at risk of severe undernourishment. Urgent action is crucial to prevent this life-threatening situation. 


  • UNICEF and other nutrition partners continued their efforts to address the nutritional needs of children and mothers through delivery of key nutrition commodities to the Gaza Strip. Partners are providing therapeutic services and supplies for children with acute malnutrition, alongside preventative nutrition supplies, including High Energy Biscuits (HEBs). During the second week of January 2024, nutrition partners delivered the following:  
    • Partners distributed 5,978 Lipid Nutrient Supplement (LNS) boxes, 638 Survival food ration and 2,063 ready-to-eat (RTE) therapeutic food.  
    • Over 33,407 pregnant and nursing women and children under two received LNS supply for one month and sensitization materials in 24 UNRWA shelters in Rafah.  
    • Five nutrition staff were trained in Infant and Young Child Feeding in Emergencies 
    •  (IYCF-E) and in Community Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM) while 12 triage staff were trained on Mother-led mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) screening aiming for caregivers and health workers to screen for acute malnutrition in children. 



  • According to the Education Cluster, more than 625,000 students and close to 23,000 teachers in the Gaza Strip have been affected by attacks on education and school closures since October 2023, and remain with no access to education or a safe place.  
  • According to the Ministry of Education in Gaza, between 7 October 2023 and 2 January 2024, 4,119 students and 221 teachers have been killed, while 7,536 students and 703 teachers have been injured across the Gaza Strip.  
  • 90 per cent of all school buildings in Gaza are being used as shelters for IDPs and have sustained varying levels of damage. Of these, 375 schools sustained damage including 12 that were fully destroyed. Combined, these schools previously served some 433,000 children and more than 16,200 teachers. The Khan Younis, North and Gaza governorates have the highest proportion (three quarters) of all damaged schools.  


  • The Cluster’s response is guided by a three-phased response plan – supporting conflict-affected children, teachers, and caregivers in shelters and in host communities; preparing a safe learning environment and re-establishing a sense of normalcy as soon as hostilities stop; and preparing to restore the formal education system through the reconstruction of education infrastructure after a reduction in hostilities.  
  • Since October 2023, nine partners have reached close to 93,000 students and teachers with psychosocial support, emergency learning and recreational supplies and activities in the Khan Younis, Rafah, and Middle governorates. Most of the cluster responses are delivered by local partners.  

Challenges and Gaps:  

  • No activities have been undertaken in the three northern governorates of Gaza due to ongoing hostilities and access challenges.  
  • In the first week of January, the education response remains significantly underfunded, receiving only three per cent of its requirements as articulated in the Flash Appeal. Education actors and donors are urged to mobilize rapid resources to meet immediate response requirements and start planning for reconstruction in the medium- to long- term when hostilities subside.   

Multi-purpose Cash Assistance (MCPA) 

  • Since the beginning of the hostilities, 118,200 households (about 787,233 people) have received emergency MPCA.   
  • While cash assistance has been provided to affected people across the Gaza Strip, the vast majority of cash assistance activities are now concentrated in the southern governorates.   
  • While formal markets are largely depleted, informal markets are now the key sources of basics goods and services. This includes trading of personal belongings, small household-based production (bread, vegetables), humanitarian assistance, and other items.  
  • Post distribution monitoring data from recipients of cash assistance point to food, medicines, debt repayment, drinking water, and transportation as the top expenditures reported. The percentage of expenditures on food has further decreased over the past weeks, while the percentage of expenditures on medicines has doubled. Some 70 per cent of the respondents report that unrestricted cash has helped them access needed goods and services, either fully or partially, while 87 per cent preferred unrestricted cash for future assistance. 


  • On 11 January, Logistics Cluster provided access to an additional warehouse in Rafah with a 400 square meters capacity, bringing the total space available for partners’ storage in Rafah to 1,470 square meters across three warehouses.  
  • Transport services are ongoing from the Rafah Transshipment Point to the Logistics Cluster warehouses in Rafah, as well as the cargo notification service to notify partners once their cargo arrives in Rafah. 
  • The Logistics Cluster is engaging with partners in Amman, Jordan to initiate discussions on the Jordan Corridor. Advocacy efforts are ongoing with the Jordan Hashemite Charity Organisation (JHCO) and Jordanian and Israeli authorities to further streamline the current processes for the Jordan Corridor that would allow a larger number of convoys per week. 
  • The IMPACCT Working Group published the updated bulletin on the process of transiting humanitarian aid items from Egypt to support the Gaza response. The live document provides the latest updates based on discussions with government entities and the Egyptian Red Crescent (ERC). 

Emergency Telecommunications 


  • Recurrent telecommunication shutdown in Gaza Strip. Telecommunication services in Gaza have been shut down since 12 January. This is the seventh time that communications have stopped working since 7 October.  
  • There is an urgent need for critical telecommunications equipment into Gaza to set up services for the humanitarian response. 


  • The Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (ETC) and its partners continue to engage with the Israeli Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) for authorization to import telecommunications equipment and set up an independent, efficient, and reliable communications platform for humanitarian responders. On 11 January, the ETC submitted two letters with detailed specifications of the equipment to be imported into Gaza.  
  • The ETC deployed an ICT Specialist to Gaza on 8 January for an initial technical engagement with local actors to plan initial ICT needs assessment and to set up technical coordination processes for the response.  
  • Since 9 January, the ETC is conducting technical support to partner agencies in Rafah that include United Nations agencies and international NGOs to improve their telecommunications platforms. 

Challenges and Gaps:  

  • The communications and fuel shutdown continues to significantly hinder the aid community’s efforts to assess the full extent of needs in Gaza and to adequately respond to the deepening humanitarian crisis.  
  • Attacks on telecommunication infrastructures and services providers remain a huge challenge to restore the telecommunication services in the Strip. On 13 January, a telecommunications company vehicle was reportedly struck in central Khan Younis, although the crew was on a repair mission and had secured security coordination. Two staff were reportedly killed. 

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 counselling and referrals for affected communities to access life-saving services. The PSEA Network monitors calls daily and will increase the number of counsellors if necessary.

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