Humanitarian response –Gaza

Published January 20th, 2009 - 01:04 GMT

Humanitarian response –Gaza

As relative calm returns to Gaza for the first time in three-weeks following the cease-fire, the influx of injured people to health facilities continues. According to the Ministry of Health, casualties as at 18 January are 1,305 killed (410 children and 104 women) and 5,450 injured (1855 children and 795 women). The increase in the death count is due to the identification of bodies discovered in areas that were previously inaccessible. 

Nine Israeli soldiers have been killed during the operation. According to the Magen David Adom national society (Israeli equivalent to Red Cross and Red Crescent Society), Israeli civilian casualties stand at four and 84 injured since 27 December.

Handicap international has estimated that up to 50% of the injured have sustained severe injuries such as fractures, amputations, burns and head injuries that will require rehabilitation in order to prevent permanent disability. At least 200-300 new amputees will result from this crisis. In addition, burns resulting from white phosphorus are usually severe and deep, and will require long and intensive rehabilitation to prevent long-term disability


Ceasefire took effect from 02:00hrs on 18 January. Although aerial bombardments appear to have ceased, there are reported clashes between Israeli forces and militants in the north. One Palestinian farmer was killed today and his son was injured while inspecting the damages to their land east of Khan Younis. (UNRWA Operational Update)

Fifty shelters provided refuge for 50,896 people on 17 January. On 18 January, those remaining in the shelters were 46,234 (a decrease of 4662).

Israel's newly appointed coordinator for humanitarian aid to Gaza, Welfare Minister Issac Herzog, toured southern Israel on 18 January, but his office has not yet said anything about humanitarian aid for Gaza.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health issued a critical statement today on the opening of a medical clinic by the Israeli forces at Erez crossing.

Under-Secretary-General of Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), John Holmes is expected to visit Gaza on Thursday 22 January.

A flash appeal, inter-agency humanitarian response strategy,  is expected in  the next ten days on the early early recovery phase before moving to early recovery.


© 2000 - 2021 Al Bawaba (

You may also like