UN Launches Flash Appeal for Palestinians in Gaza and West Bank
The United Nations, in collaboration with partner organisations, is poised to launch a flash appeal on Monday, with a mission to secure funding to cover the remaining costs of the year for Palestinians in Gaza and the occupied West Bank.
Jens Laerke, Deputy spokesperson for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), revealed that an estimated US$1.2 billion is required to meet the needs of the entire population of Gaza, comprising 2.7 million people, as well as 500,000 individuals in the occupied West Bank.
The heavy bombardment in Gaza has pushed the death toll to 9,922 over the past 17 days. Approximately 62% of the victims are women and children. The number of displaced individuals in Gaza has surged to nearly 1.5 million, including almost 700,000 people taking refuge in 149 UNRWA facilities, surpassing their intended capacity fourfold.
About 70% of the victims of the Israeli bombings are children. Many of them suffer from shrapnel wounds and head injuries. A children’s hospital in northern Gaza receives 30 bodies and 200 wounded patients on a daily basis.
In addition to immediate medical care, these children will require extensive psychological support as they grapple with the trauma and loss they have experienced.
The UN documented 130 deaths and 2,200 injuries in the occupied West Bank. The UN Human Rights Office, represented by Liz Throssell, expressed deep concern over the alarming escalation in violence, particularly by Israeli settlers. Settler violence has reached an average of seven attacks per day, and in more than a third of these attacks, firearms were employed. Many of these incidents saw settlers accompanied by members of the Israeli forces or wearing uniforms and carrying army rifles.
Of even greater concern is the near-total impunity for settler violence, where armed settlers have acted with the acquiescence and collaboration of Israeli forces, leading to entire communities being forcibly displaced from their lands.
A coalition of 18 United Nations agencies and humanitarian organisations issued a joint plea to halt the ongoing hostilities.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ party criticised Israel’s actions, labelling them a barbaric war of extermination against the Palestinian people. This condemnation echoes the sentiments expressed by countless Palestinians who have been directly impacted by the violence.
Eighty-eight staff members of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) have lost their lives. It is the highest ever recorded UN fatality rate in a single conflict. These individuals provided critical aid and supported those in desperate need.
Jordan has begun air-dropping medical supplies to its field hospital in Gaza.
Israeli army has divided Gaza into northern and southern parts. Many displaced families from the north sought refuge in southern Gaza, which has become increasingly overcrowded. The southern Gaza has become a de facto concentration camp.
The separation of the two regions has also created significant difficulties for those trapped in the north, making it challenging to evacuate to the south and access much-needed humanitarian assistance.
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