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UN Update: 7,028 Killed, 45% of Housing Destroyed in Gaza

00:00 Oct 26 2023 Occupied Palestinian Territories (oPT) الأراضي الفلسطينية Gaza

UN Update: 7,028 Killed, 45% of Housing Destroyed in Gaza
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Displaced children queueing for water in a UN shelter in Gaza, Oct 2023. Photo by UNRWA Published by IMEMC News
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Published by IMEMC News
Oct 27,2023

The following is a report issued by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the Occupied Palestinian Territories:

Update #20
Oct 26, 2023

A total of 481 fatalities, including 209 children, were reported over the past 24 hours (as of 18:00 on 26 October) by the Ministry of Health (MoH) in Gaza. Overall, 7,028 Palestinians were killed in Gaza since the start of hostilities, of whom 66 per cent are children and women, according to MoH. About 1,600 people, including 900 children, have been reported missing and may be under the rubble.

On 26 October, the Rafah crossing with Egypt opened for the sixth consecutive day, allowing the entry of 12 trucks carrying water, food and medical supplies. This brings the total number of trucks with humanitarian aid that entered Gaza since 21 October to 74. Prior to the hostilities, an average of 500 truckloads entered Gaza every working day.

The entry of fuel remains banned by the Israeli authorities. As stated by UNRWA’s Commissioner General, Philippe Lazzarini, “without fuel, there will be no humanitarian response, no aid reaching people in need, no electricity for hospitals, no access to clean water, and no availability of bread.”

Around midnight on 25 October, the Israeli military reiterated its call upon the residents of four areas in Gaza city and one area in Al Bureij Refugee Camp to evacuate to Al Mawasi, on the seacoast in the southern Gaza Strip, by 8:00am. The latter area has almost no sheltering capacity.

The Humanitarian Coordinator for the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Lynn Hastings, stated on 26 October that “the United Nations intends to deliver aid wherever people in need are located. For people who can’t evacuate – because they have nowhere to go or are unable to move – advance warnings make no difference.

When the evacuation routes are bombed, when people north as well as south are caught up in hostilities, when the essentials for survival are lacking, and when there are no assurances for return, people are left with nothing but impossible choices.” She stressed that under international humanitarian law, “civilians must be protected and have the essentials to survive, wherever they are and whether they choose to move or stay.”

An estimated 1.4 million people in Gaza are internally displaced, with some 641,000 sheltering in 150 UNRWA-designated emergency shelters (DES). The average number of internally displaced people (IDPs) per shelter is almost three times their intended capacity.

About 45 per cent of housing units in the Gaza Strip have been destroyed (16,441), rendered uninhabitable (11,340) or moderately/lightly damaged (150,000), since the start of the hostilities, according to Gaza’s Ministry of Public Works and Housing.

Palestinian armed groups’ indiscriminate rocket firing towards Israeli population centres continued, with no reported fatalities. Overall, about 1,400 Israelis and foreign nationals have been killed since 7 October, according to the Israeli authorities, the vast majority on the first day.

According to the Israeli authorities, 224 people are held captive in Gaza, including Israelis and foreign nationals. The UN Secretary-General has called upon Hamas to release hostages immediately and unconditionally. His call was reiterated by the Humanitarian Coordinator on 26 October. A total of four hostages were released on 20 and 23 October. On 26 October, Hamas claimed that 50 of the hostages had been killed by Israeli airstrikes.

In the West Bank, since the afternoon of October 25 (as of 21:00 on 26 October), Israeli forces have killed one Palestinian child. This brings the total number of Palestinian fatalities by Israeli forces or settlers since 7 October to 103, including 32 children. This represents a third of all Palestinian fatalities in the West Bank so far in 2023.
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