An oPt Humanitarian Fund success story: Nour is a 17-year-old Palestinian from Beit Lahyia (Gaza Strip). When she was four, Nour survived an attack that took place during a round of hostilities, and during which her mother was killed right next to her, leaving deep emotional scars. Her father remarried after her mother’s death and their relationship almost severed. When she turned 16, her father made her drop out of school and tried to force her into early marriage, to protect her from being harassed on her way to school.
A total of 234 Palestinians were injured by Israeli forces during the reporting period in demonstrations held in the context of the ‘Great March of Return’ (GMR), which have been taking place near the perimeter fence with Israel since 30 March 2018. Over 16 per cent of those injured were hospitalized. For cumulative casualty figures and breakdowns, see here.
In the Gaza Strip, one Palestinian, aged 24, was killed on 10 May east of Rafah, and around 425 others were injured, in protests that took place near Israel’s perimeter fence in the context of the ‘Great March of Return’ (GMR) demonstrations.Over 47 per cent of the reported injuries were hospitalized, including 56 people hit by live ammunition.
The Gaza Strip faces an unprecedented humanitarian crisis, impacting the livelihoods and access to essential services by its two million residents. This crisis has been driven by over 11 years of an Israeli blockade and an unsolved internal Palestinian divide, exacerbated since March 2018 by the massive increase in Palestinian casualties in the context of demonstrations taking place near Israel’s perimeter fence, as well as limited escalations in hostilities. The following indicators were identified by theHumanitarian Country Team (HCT) to monitor the crisis, trigger humanitarian action and prevent further deterioration.
Longstanding restrictions on the movement of people and goods to and from the Gaza Strip have undermined the living conditions of about two million Palestinians in Gaza. Many of the restrictions, originally imposed by Israel in the early 1990s, were intensified after June 2007, following the Hamas takeover of Gaza and the imposition of a blockade. These restrictions continue to reduce access to livelihoods, essential services and housing, disrupt family life, and undermine people’s hopes for a secure and prosperous future.
Najwa Hamad is a 39-year-old resident of Beit Hanoun, in the northern Gaza Strip. Since she and her husband are unemployed, the family does not have a fixed income and relies on financial assistance from various sources, including their extended family.
New escalation in Gaza results in 25 Palestinians and four Israeli killed 16 families displaced from March escalation. Rising poverty in Gaza leads to increase in child labour. More people already displaced in East Jerusalem demolitions than in all of 2018.
Early May witnessed the most serious outbreak of hostilities in the Gaza Strip and southern Israel since the 2014 conflict, and the fifth recorded in the past year. This followed the wounding of two Israeli soldiers by a sniper during the weekly Friday “Great March of Return” protests on 3 May, and the Israeli Air Force’s targeting of a Hamas post, which killed two Hamas members. Over the following days, Israeli forces struck around 320 targets in Gaza and Palestinian armed groups fired nearly 700 rockets at Israel. Twenty-five Palestinians were killed, including militants, four women and two children, and about 154 were injured, according to the Ministry of Health in Gaza. Four Israeli civilians were killed and dozens wounded.
Between 25 and 27 March, the Gaza Strip and southern Israel witnessed one of the most significant escalations of hostilities since 2014, up to that point, after a rocket was fired from Gaza, severely damaging a house in central Israel, injuring seven Israelis. Following the incident, Israeli air force struck multiple locations across Gaza while Palestinian armed groups fired dozens of projectiles towards southern Israel.
About 68 per cent of households in Gaza experience severe or moderate levels of food insecurity, and the unemployment rate increased from 44 per cent in 2017 to 52 per cent in 2018. In an increasingly destabilized economy and weakened social fabric, families’ resilience capacities are increasingly eroded, and the vulnerability of certain groups, particularly children, is exacerbated. Child labour, including children engaging in hazardous occupations, has become a commonly used mechanism to alleviate poverty and secure daily expenses.