Israeli forces operation in Jenin: 40 per cent of households in Jenin Refugee Camp still lack access to water. as of 17:00 Jerusalem time, 11 July 2023
Jenin Refugee Camp, home to about 23,600 people, including 7,150 children, still lacks access to water, a week after the destruction of the local water network in a two-day operation carried out by Israeli forces.
At least 40 families, comprising 173 people, including 64 children, remain internally displaced. Due to a lack of alternatives, some of the originally 3,500 displaced during the operation have returned and are staying in their uninhabitable homes. Most of the 40 displaced families are living with host families or in rented accommodation.
An estimated US$5.2 million is required to respond to immediate humanitarian needs in Jenin. However, this figure does not include UNRWA’s funding requirements or the amount that could be needed for mine action and is likely to change following further assessments. As an immediate response, the occupied Palestinian territory Humanitarian Fund is considering cost extensions of existing projects in order to cover some of these immediate needs.
Humanitarian partners have been on the ground during and after the operation, in coordination with local actors, to: assess people’s needs; deliver medical supplies; treat the injured; advocate for access of ambulances to the wounded deliver emergency assistance to the worst affected, with cash, provide mental health and psychosocial support services (MHPSS); support the local water authorities; provide education supplies; and complete an in-depth household assessment to further inform the ongoing response.
The withdrawal of Israeli forces from Jenin Refugee Camp and Jenin city overnight, between 4 and 5 July, concluded the large-scale operation that spanned two days. The operation that began on 3 July resulted in casualties, internal displacement, and significant damage to buildings and infrastructure. According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health (MoH), twelve Palestinians, including four children, were killed in Jenin during the operation. Furthermore, MoH reports that 143 Palestinians were injured. Official Israeli sources confirm that one Israeli soldier was killed and another one was injured.
Moreover, hundreds of housing units in Jenin Refugee Camp were damaged, with some becoming uninhabitable. The operation led to the internal displacement of over 500 Palestinian families, comprising more than 3,500 people.
The destruction of about 3.9 km of roads by Israeli forces in and around the refugee camp has undermined vehicular access, including to essential services.
On 4 July, international humanitarian actors carried out an inter-agency field mission to Jenin city, as the operation was still ongoing. They visited the Jenin Municipality and the Jenin Governmental Hospital and delivered essential medical supplies. On 5 July, once access to the camp was restored, humanitarian teams started a rapid multi-sectoral assessment. Together with the local authorities, they began delivering essential assistance, including water.
On 7 July, UNRWA and OCHA concluded an initial damage assessment, indicating that 460 housing units had been damaged in and around the camp. Of them, 23 are destroyed and 47 have otherwise been rendered uninhabitable. While most of those displaced have returned to the camp, at least 40 families, comprising 173 people (including 64 children), remain internally displaced, as their houses are uninhabitable. The two-day Israeli operation in Jenin Refugee Camp resulted in significant damage to the water and sewer networks, with at least eight kilometers of critical pipelines destroyed, alongside other essential infrastructure. As a result, since 3 July, the camp and its surrounding neighborhoods are without access to clean water, and about 100 households are without sewer connections.
On 8 July, Humanitarian Coordinator Lynn Hastings visited the Jenin Refugee Camp with diplomatic representatives of 25 Member States.
On 11 July the Palestinian Water Authority, in coordination with Jenin Municipality, was able to connect around 60% of the refugee camp households to the water distribution network with a temporary solution. The remaining 40% of households are still relying on trucked water due to the damage of the distribution pipelines in their neighborhoods. The temporary solution implemented for part of the refugee camp will not permanently solve the problem of the water network for these households. Residents need access to clean water to be restored immediately, alongside proper sanitation services.
Humanitarian responses are currently focused on fixing essential infrastructure and resuming essential services, alongside the mitigation of unexploded ordnance (UXO) concerns, the provision of health care, and the provision of cash assistance to displaced families, among others.
HUMANITARIAN RESPONSES AND ONGOING NEEDS
The following sections are thematic snapshots of people’s needs, as identified so far, alongside immediate responses, those that have been provided and those that are planned. Where possible, indications of emerging funding requirements have been included, but those currently exclude additional funds required by UNRWA and do not yet take into consideration the planned responses from local authorities. The Palestinian authorities have launched a ministerial committee to coordinate the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the Jenin Refugee Camp. The United Nations is in contact with the committee to coordinate efforts.
UNRWA protection teams visited the camp on 5, 6, 8, 9 and 10 July to conduct initial protection assessments. Most urgent protection needs identified include MHPPS and child Protection.
The need for safety access to UNRWA services, including schools and health facilities was identified.
Cases for possible documentation and further monitoring were identified.
There is a need for cash assistance and emergency case management that is currently being further assessed by the UNRWA Crisis Intervention Unit.
The UNRWA protection team, in close coordination with the Health Cluster, is currently assessing specific needs arising from the operation and pertaining to Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA), and how to address these risks, as well as how to include PSEA in the ongoing emergency response.
Initial monitoring and documentation of violations of international law.
UNRWA is documenting protection cases with a focus on the most serious cases.
Child Protection (CP) and MHPSS partners are providing support to children and caregivers, including psychosocial first aid (PFA), referral pathways, individual counselling, and house visits.
Nine CP Area of Responsibility or MHPSS partners have formed response teams consisting of 70 counsellors. Together, they have provided PFA to 350 households, and organized stress relief and recreational activities for 850 pupils.
Helping the helpers (self-care) is provided for frontline workers.
UNRWA’s MHPSS for children are currently provided mainly through the Agency’s Education Department.
On 8 July, UNRWA’s four schools are functional again. Less than half of the students attended, with some fearful of leaving their homes. Teaching time has been reduced, to give space to MHPSS. Children are being referred to counselling services and other specialised services as needed.
Counselling services are also provided through UNRWA’s Health Department.
The Palestine Red Crescent Society provided two psychological first aid activities in UNRWA girls’ schools, benefitting 340 girls and ten teachers. Additionally, PRCS teams provided psychological first aid to 65 families. Currently, PRCS is delivering 80 mental health Kits.
Gender-based violence (GBV):
Services responding to GBV resumed in the camp on 5 July.
A protection cluster partner is procuring 470 dignity kits to be delivered in the camp.
Partners specializing in response to GBV have, on average, provided medical services and psychosocial support (PSS) to 50 women per day.
One partner has sent social workers to Jenin to reinforce the provision of PSS.
A hotline based in Nablus is receiving daily calls and has provided online PSS.
UNRWA is ensuring ongoing safe identification and referral of cases needing more specialized counselling and follow-up (including for people exposed to GBV or sexual exploitation and abuse).
Partners responding to GBV have sent psychosocial support teams to Jenin camp, to assess the needs and situation and provide services. Two nationwide hotlines are available to support women who seek support in response to GBV. The GBV Sub Cluster has informed women and girls of services to which they may reach out.
UNRWA schools are raising awareness on UXOs through morning assemblies and classes, activities, and the display of relevant materials).
At UNRWA’s invitation, a United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) team conducted a UXO risk assessment and deciding on further actions requiring specific demining expertise.
Further MHPSS will include individual assessments, PSS, and referral to available case management services for children/family severely affected, and follow-up on critical cases.
UNRWA will further refer cases to specialized MHPSS and child protection partners as the assessment of their needs proceeds.
UNRWA will identify safe paths for children to access school and may provide community-based responses to enhance child safety in their journey to and from school.
UNMAS will lead a formal risk assessment of Jenin in coordination with the Palestinian Mine Action Center (PMAC).
Through PMAC, UNMAS will educate people at risk on UXO risks. This will include training in schools and social media campaigning.
Partners providing MHPSS and child protection interventions require $300,000 to respond to emerging needs. Medium-term financial needs are being assessed. There is currently no estimate available on the amount of funding needed for mine action. This will be provided once an assessment has been completed.
There is a need to support health care provision to the injured who are still admitted to hospitals.
Early access to rehabilitation services for those that have suffered debilitating injuries is needed.
The pre-positioned supplies that have been depleted need to be replenished.
Medical supplies and equipment need to be procured in preparation for another possible emergency.
MHPSS needs have been identified throughout the Jenin Refugee Camp and in the city.
On 6 July, UNRWA opened a temporary health point next to the camp, because its health centre inside is out of service, due to considerable damage caused by a nearby shelling.
Health Cluster partners have started replenishing depleted pre-positioned supplies at health facility and community levels.
Health Cluster partners are also procuring additional items locally, as needed by the hospitals, to ensure preparedness.
MHPSS partners are supporting those who need counselling (see above).
Rehabilitation needs among the injured is being assessed.
Lessons have been learnt on the pre-hospital, hospital and community response, to improve future response.
Patient referral mechanisms during emergencies are being reviewed.
MoH is consolidating information on in-kind and financial support commitments made by governments and private donors.
Insufficient financial resources to replenish pre-positioned and other supplies.
The MoH Public Health Emergency Operation Centre, needs to be supported to fulfil its internal coordination and information sharing function during emergencies.
• The Health Cluster requires $1.5 million to support:
Replenishment and pre-positioning supplies at facility and community level.
Capacity building of health workers and community volunteers.
Rehabilitation of the injured.
Provision of MHPSS.
A risk communication and community engagement campaign on the dangers of crowds getting into the hospital during crisis.
Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)
There is an urgent need to restore the Jenin Refugee Camp water distribution network and sewer collection network.
Water is required as a temporary solution to those households that are still without water.
The provision of domestic water tanks and hygiene materials is needed to help households cope with water shortages.
The Palestinian water authority, in cooperation with the Jenin municipally, fixed the main transition water pipeline of the camp and they are supporting water trucking until piping is resumed.
WASH Cluster partners are trucking water as an immediate emergency response.
WASH partners are providing materials for the rehabilitation of the water network.
WASH partners are purchasing 300 roof tanks for the households who lost their water storage capacities during the operation.
About 2,000 square metres of trucked water will be distributed in cooperation with Palestinian Water Authority and the Jenin municipality.
About 8 km of water pipes will be purchased and provided.
Insufficient financial resources are limiting the response.
The WASH Cluster is coordinating with its partners to mobilize $400,000 for the emergency WASH response.
There is a need to support 173 internally displaced persons (IDPs) and at least 40 families whose homes are uninhabitable with cash rental subsidies for 6 to 12 months.
Distribution of non-food items (NFIs), including bedding and kitchen sets for 100 families, is needed for those who lost their belongings.
400 households require repairs to their homes.
There is a need to advocate for quick reconstruction of destroyed houses in order to end internal displacement.
Rapid damage assessment at the household level.
Between 7 and 10 July, 44 families comprising 246 people, were provided with NFIs. UNRWA will provide rental subsidies to displaced families in addition to assistance for the loss of personal belongings.
The results of the ongoing in-depth assessments are needed to be able to identify in detail what reconstruction is needed and who will do what in the shelter response.
The Shelter Cluster requires $1,800,000, including $1,600,000 for immediate residential damage repairs and $200,000 for rental cash subsidy. This does not include estimates for the reconstruction of severely or fully damaged structures.
The damage to roads needs to be fixed so that pupils can reach schools safely and easily.
Back to school kits (stationary) are needed, including school bags, hygiene kits and uniforms for about 300 students.
MHPSS is needed for 1,690 students (850 boys and 840 girls) including community-based interventions and support to families. Additionally, MHPSS needs for school staff and parents are significantly high.
Safety and security sensitization is needed on UXOs for school children.
The four UNRWA schools need to have minor damages repaired (windows, doors, water tanks, solar panels).
Seven Education Cluster partners have distributed school bags, stationery and PSS kits and implemented MHPSS and recreational activities for students and school staff.
Insufficient financial resources is limiting the implementation of the full response.
While some of the Education Cluster interventions will use pre-positioned supplies and reprogramming of funds, the cluster estimates that addition funding of at least $200,000 is needed in the coming 4-6 weeks.
Direct food aid is needed to ensure that households have sufficient nutritious food.
There is a need to rehabilitate damaged productive livelihood assets and provide time-critical productive inputs.
Food distribution to the most vulnerable is ongoing, primarily from the community themselves.
There is an urgent need to provide long-tern support related to rehabilitation of disrupted livelihoods as a top priority and to ensure the self-reliance of food-insecure households.
The Food Security Sector (FSS) requires an estimated $1,000,000 to respond to priority needs.
Multi-Purpose Cash Assistance (MPCA)
In the coming days, 630 households will receive a one-off emergency MPCA of NIS1,640 ($445) each. The data for each recipient is currently being verified. UNICEF is assessing the availability of budget to complement an additional 150-200 households with emergency MPCA.
Prevention from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA)
On 6 and 9 July, SAWA sent about 10,000 SMS messages to affected people in Jenin to raise awareness on how to access confidential reporting channels and specialized MHPSS. Between 7 and 13 July, SAWA is broadcasting a 37-second radio spot on Albalad, the main radio station in Jenin, ten times per day, to raise awareness on how to access specialized MHPSS. A procurement process for dignity kits is ongoing and delivery will be coordinated with UNRWA. Furthermore, SAWA will deploy two MHPSS specialists to Jenin camp and a team of volunteers from the PSEA Network, and they will further raise awareness on access to safe reporting channels through the distribution of flyers.