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Situation Report on the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip No.11

United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)

Jan 15, 2009

The following information is based on reports from member states, the UN Country Team for the occupied Palestinian territory, humanitarian partners and authorities involved in the humanitarian response.

1. General Overview

1. On 15 January, heavy shelling and air strikes led to an increased number of casualties. Residential areas, the UNRWA compound, three hospitals, a school and municipal buildings were hit. The Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) ground operation also advanced deeper into Gaza City (which has a population of 500,000 people), causing a large number of people to flee their homes in search of safety.

2. As at 1500 hrs (1300 hrs GMT) at least 15 rockets had been fired into Israel from Gaza on 15 January. There were no reports of injuries.

Total # since
27 December
#/% of total that are children
since 27 December
#/% of total that are women
since 27 December
Palestinian Fatalities*
1,086
346 / 32%
79 / 7%
Palestinians Injured*
4,900
1,709 / 35%
724 / 15%
Israeli Fatalities**
13
Unknown
Unknown
Israelis Injured***
78
Unknown
Unknown
* According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health (MoH), as of 15 January, not including those treated for shock.
**According to Israeli Police Spokesman and Magen David Adom.
*** According to Magen David Adom, not including those treated for shock.

3. At 1000 hrs (0800 hrs GMT) on 15 January, the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) Gaza Training Centre, which is part of UNRWA's main compound in Gaza City, was hit by artillery shells. Shortly afterwards, the UNRWA Field Office, located in the same compound, was hit three times. These hits resulted in a high-intensity fire affecting UNRWA's workshop and warehouses, and destroying most of the Gaza Training Centre and part of the Field Office. UNRWA's fuel stocks in the compound were also burned as a result of the fire. Three people, at least one of whom was a staff member, were injured by shrapnel. Seven hundred Palestinians who had sought shelter in the compound were being evacuated to a nearby emergency shelter. UNRWA has suspended some of its operations in Gaza due to the incident.

UN Casualties in Gaza since 27 December
Fatalities
Injured
UNRWA Staff
5
5
UNRWA Contractors
3
4
WFP Contractors
1
2
TOTAL
9
13

Humanitarian Installations/Convoys
# hit in Gaza since 27 December
UN Buildings
49
UN Compounds
1
NGO Installations
1
NGO Compounds
Several
Convoys
4

4. Following a meeting with the Israeli Foreign Minister, the UN Secretary General re-emphasized that he believes from the talks in Egypt, "that the elements are in place for this violence to end now. The time has come for the violence to stop and for us to change fundamentally the dynamics in Gaza, and to pursue again the peace talks for a two state solution, which is the only road to lasting security for Israel".

5. On 15 January, the UN Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs briefed the Security Council on the situation and latest developments in Gaza. The President of the Security Council informed that all Council members expressed grave concern at the situation of civilians on the ground and called for the full respect of international law, especially the protection of civilians. He also said that Council members believed that recent events in Gaza emphasized the need for the implementation of Resolution 1860. They also reiterated their support for the UN Secretary General's efforts to ensure that the Resolution is implemented.

6. ON 15 January, the Emergency Relief Coordinator briefed the Executive Committee on Humanitarian Affairs (ECHA) on the latest developments and current situation in Gaza. UNICEF highlighted that children continue to bear the brunt of the conflict. ECHA members also highlighted the need for the inter-agency coordination of surge capacity so as to ensure an effective response to needs in Gaza. There was agreement that a common framework on early recovery should be defined.


 Full_Report (pdf* format - 250,8 Kbytes)

:: Article nr. 50874 sent on 16-jan-2008 04:27 ECT

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Link: www.reliefweb.int/rw/rwb.nsf/db900SID/KSAI-7NC4AF?OpenDocument



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