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Israeli bombardment from the air, land, and sea continues to be reported across much of the Gaza Strip resulting in further civilian casualties, displacement, and destruction of houses and other civilian infrastructure. In the first week of May, the Kerem Shalom Crossing was temporarily closed. Israeli military ordered people in 31 square kilometres of eastern Rafah governorate to move to Al Mawassi (OCHA).

 

On 7 May, a ground operation by the Israeli military began in eastern Rafah, including the areas of Rafah and Kerem Shalom crossings as well as some 31 square kilometres where residents were ordered to evacuate on 6 May. The assault in Rafah occurred shortly after media reports indicated that Palestinian authorities had accepted a Gaza ceasefire proposal from Egypt and Qatar.

 

The UN Secretary-General reiterated an urgent call to the Israeli government and Palestinian leadership to reach an agreement and halt the suffering of civilians. An assault in Rafah will result to catastrophic consequences to 1.5 million men, women and children sheltering there and are already facing total deprivation and dire living conditions (ReliefWeb). On 8 May, the Israeli authorities announced the re-opening of Kerem Shalom Crossing from the Israeli side. As of 8 May, Rafah crossing remains closed (ReliefWeb).

 

In West Bank, at least 479 Palestinians have been killed, including 116 children since 7 October. In May, military operations persisted in the West Bank’s Deir al Ghusun village near Tulkarm city. Israeli forces extended their operations to Tulkarm city and its refugee camps, bulldozing several streets within Tulkarm Refugee Camp. This led to significant infrastructural damage, disrupting water, electricity, and internet services. Schools in Tulkarm have shut down, and movement in and out of the area remains severely restricted (OCHA).

 

About 690,000 women and girls in Gaza require menstrual hygiene supplies and are unable to manage their menstrual cycle in privacy and with dignity with some reportedly taking contraceptive pills being taken to avoid the unhygienic menstrual conditions (UNFPA).

 

At least 34,844 Palestinians have so been killed and 78,404 injured (OCHA). About 75% of the injured are estimated to be female. Over 8,000 others are reported missing or under the rubble. Over 14,500 children and at least 10,000 women, including 6,000 mothers have been killed, leaving 19,000 children orphaned (UN Women, OCHA). Gaza’s largest fertility clinic reported to have been storing 3,000 embryos has been destroyed (UN Women).

 

At least 17,000 children in the Gaza Strip are unaccompanied or separated About 50,400 children under five suffer from acute malnutrition with severe cases observed in Northern Gaza and Rafah (UNICEF).

 

All schools in Gaza have been closed for 625,000 students for 6 months. 86.1 per cent of schools (483 out of all 563 schools) have been damaged (UNICEF). As of 6 May, more than 6,425 students and 300 educational staff.

 

An assessment on socio-economic impacts of the war forecasts that Palestine’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) loss could reach 29 per cent in 2024 if the war extends to nine months, with total losses of US$7.6 billion. The poverty rate is projected to surge from 38.8 per cent to 60.7 per cent if the war extends to nine months, plunging an additional 1.86 million people into poverty. This will render Gaza fully dependent on external assistance, without a functional economy, or any means of production, self-sustainment, employment, or capacity for trade (OCHA).

 

Over 360,000 housing units have been destroyed in Gaza with about 270,000 tons of accumulated solid waste in Gaza municipalities (OCHA). The amount of debris from the destruction of residential housing units will exceed 23 million tonnes and will take years to remove (ESCWA UN).

 

Direct targeting of hospitals and obstructing access to healthcare facilities, alongside the shortage of beds and medical supplies, have endangered around 50,000 pregnant Palestinian women and 20,000 newborn babies. Approximately 183 women daily endure childbirth without pain relief, while numerous infants perish due to electricity shortages for incubators. Miscarriage rates have surged by as much as 300 percent. Moreover, over 95 percent of pregnant and breastfeeding women are facing severe food insecurity (OHCHR).

 

Over 380,000 and 712,00 cases of acute watery diarrhoea and acute respiratory diseases respectively have been reported in Gaza (WHO). Only 12 out of Gaza’s 36 hospitals are now partially functioning; these include two in North Gaza, three in Gaza, two in Deir al Balah, two in Khan Younis, and three in Rafah (OCHA).

 

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