Nothing and nobody is safe in #Gaza. To date, seven of our staff members have been killed. This morning, for at least the sixth time, one of our emergency shelters was struck. In accordance with international law, including the 1946 Convention on Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations, United Nations operations, personnel and premises must remain inviolable.
Over 204,166 internally displaced persons are sheltering in 85 UNRWA schools. With the current escalation entering its fourth week, there is a very real fear of a public health disaster through a disease outbreak. Schools provide a quick solution for emergency accommodation for a few days but are not a long term solution. Based on historical patterns, we estimated that 35,000 to 50,000 displaced civilians would take refuge in emergency shelters. That number has exceeded expectations four times over and we are anticipating a flood of new displacements amidst intensified fighting. UNRWA has reached a breaking point.
Gaza’s sole power plant has shut down after being hit and damaged. The repair will take up to a year, dramatically exacerbating the electricity crisis. United Nations OCHA reports that Gaza City is receiving electricity for about two hours a day and localities in the Middle Area of the Gaza Strip have no electricity supply at all.
We reiterate our call for an immediate, lasting ceasefire and an end to the blockade.
© Shareef Sarhan/UNRWA Archives"