Gaza Strip


Palestinians in Gaza are ‘locked in’, denied free access to the remainder of the occupied Palestinian territory and the outside world. Movement restrictions imposed by Israel since the early 1990’s and intensified in June 2007, following the takeover of Gaza by Hamas, have severely undermined the living conditions. The isolation of Gaza has been exacerbated by restrictions imposed by the Egyptian authorities on its single passengers crossing (Rafah), as well as by the internal Palestinian divide. The UN Secretary-General has found that the blockade and related restrictions contravene international humanitarian law as they target and impose hardship on the civilian population, effectively penalizing them for acts they have not committed. Major escalations of hostilities in the past years have resulted in extensive destruction and internal displacement.

For access and movement related figures, see OCHA’s Gaza Crossings Activities Database or the monthly crossings operations status reports.

For operational reporting in emergencies, see the Situation Reports section.

Articles, statements and press releases

25 May 2017 |
Untreated sewage flowing into the sea, Gaza 27 April 2017. © Photo by OCHA.

On 17 April, Gaza’s sole power plant (GPP) was forced to shut down completely after exhausting its fuel reserves and being unable to replenish them due to a shortage of funds. The shutdown occurred in the context of an ongoing dispute between the Palestinian authorities in Gaza and Ramallah on tax exemption for fuel and revenue collection from electricity consumers.

25 May 2017 |
Nasser Sammour with his affected spinach, January 2017. © Photo FSS focal points in Qarara

Palestinian farmers in the Gaza Strip reported that in early April 2017, Israeli airplanes sprayed their farming land located along the perimeter fence with Israel with herbicides. The scope of land and farmers affected is yet to be assessed.

22 May 2017 |
Robert Piper

Gaza has been experiencing a severe electricity crisis since mid-April, when the Gaza Power Plant went silent due to a dispute between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas in Gaza over tax rates for the fuel needed at the plant.

27 April 2017 |
Fourteen-year-old Mohammed undergoing kidney dialysis at Ash Shifa hospital in Gaza, 27 April 2017. Photo by OCHA

The UN Coordinator for Humanitarian Aid and Development Activities, Robert Piper, expressed concern about the deteriorating energy situation in the Gaza Strip and called for swift action from Israeli and Palestinian authorities and members of the international community to protect the provision of critical basic services to Gaza’s 1.9 million residents.

21 April 2017 |
Archive picture: Gaza, January 2017. Photo by OCHA

On 17 April, Gaza’s sole power plant (GPP) was forced to shut down completely after exhausting its fuel reserves and being unable to replenish them due to a shortage of funds. Prior to this, the GPP was operating at only approximately half of its capacity, producing nearly 30 per cent of the electricity supplied to the Gaza Strip. On 20 April, electricity supply from Egypt, which accounts for 15 per cent of Gaza’s supply, also came to a halt due to technical malfunctioning that is yet to be repaired. Gaza is currently supplied only with electricity purchased from Israel (some 55 per cent of the previous supply), resulting in electricity blackouts of 20 hours per day, up from 12 hours previously, further undermining the delivery of basic services.

13 April 2017 |
Destroyed house from 2014 hostilities, Gaza. © Photo by OCHA, January 2016.

Despite significant progress in reconstruction, 7,700 Palestinian families, or about 40,000 people whose homes were destroyed or severely damaged during the 2014 hostilities, were still displaced in February 2017, down from over 16,000 families at the start of 2015. The greatest concern is for approximately 4,000 of these families who have not been allocated any funding for reconstruction and see no end in sight to their displacement.