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Country analysis

Palestine


The conflict between Israel and Palestine continues to generate severe humanitarian needs in Gaza and the West Bank. The Israeli occupation, recurring periods of escalating hostilities, violations to international humanitarian and human rights laws, and internal Palestinian political divisions continue to drive humanitarian and protection needs. As at late 2023, 3.1 million people out of a total population of 5.3 million were estimated to need humanitarian assistance. These include the entire population in Gaza (2.3 million) and 900,000 people from the West Bank. Following the latest round of hostilities that erupted in October 2023, as at early 2024, over 75% of Gaza’s population had been displaced. Almost the entire population faces severe challenges in accessing adequate shelter, water, food, health services, and education. Prior to the latest hostilities, the Gaza Strip had been under an Israeli blockade since 2007, limiting people’s movement and the import of fuel and other basic goods. In the West Bank, Palestinians face serious protection challenges, including threats to their lives, liberty, property, and freedom of movement. The coercive environment and restrictive measures imposed by the Israeli occupation in the West Bank contribute to insecurity and prevent Palestinians from accessing essential services, basic housing, and livelihoods.

(OCHA 31/12/2020, UNRWA 07/02/2024, OCHA accessed 08/02/2024, OCHA 07/02/2024, OCHA 06/11/2023)

The conflict between Israel and Palestine continues to generate severe humanitarian needs in Gaza and the West Bank. The Israeli occupation, recurring periods of escalating hostilities, violations to international humanitarian and human rights laws, and internal Palestinian political divisions continue to drive humanitarian and protection needs. As at late 2023, 3.1 million people out of a total population of 5.3 million were estimated to need humanitarian assistance. These include the entire population in Gaza (2.3 million) and 900,000 people from the West Bank. Following the latest round of hostilities that erupted in October 2023, as at early 2024, over 75% of Gaza’s population had been displaced. Almost the entire population faces severe challenges in accessing adequate shelter, water, food, health services, and education. Prior to the latest hostilities, the Gaza Strip had been under an Israeli blockade since 2007, limiting people’s movement and the import of fuel and other basic goods. In the West Bank, Palestinians face serious protection challenges, including threats to their lives, liberty, property, and freedom of movement. The coercive environment and restrictive measures imposed by the Israeli occupation in the West Bank contribute to insecurity and prevent Palestinians from accessing essential services, basic housing, and livelihoods.

(OCHA 31/12/2020, UNRWA 07/02/2024, OCHA accessed 08/02/2024, OCHA 07/02/2024, OCHA 06/11/2023)

Latest updates on country situation

20 February 2024

Between 16 October 2023 and 13 February 2024, around 312,700 acute respiratory infections, 222,600 acute watery diarrhoea cases, and 74,700 scabies and lice cases were reported in the Gaza Strip. It is estimated that around 93% of children under five had one or more diseases, more than 70% had diarrhoea, 60% had acute respiratory infections in the two weeks leading to 31 January. Deteriorating nutrition conditions and limited access to clean drinking water and WASH services are among the main drivers. As at January, 90% of children under two were experiencing severe food insecurity, consuming food with limited variety and low nutritional value. In the southern Gaza area of Rafah, 5% of children under two are acutely malnourished. In northern Gaza, where humanitarian access is severely restricted, around 15.6% of children under two are acutely malnourished. (WHO 19/02/2024, Health Cluster/WASH Cluster 20/02/2024, Global Nutrition Cluster 18/02/2024)

05 February 2024

As at 5 February 2024, the current conflict in Gaza continues to affect pregnant women in the Gaza Strip with additional challenges in accessing special foods, medicine, and vitamins. The Israeli siege and indiscriminate targeting of civilian infrastructure have exposed them to unstable shelter and inadequate nutrition. They face challenges in accessing special food items, medicine, and vitamins, as well as in reaching health facilities, with some having had to give birth in shelters with no proper medical equipment. (Al Jazeera 24/12/2023, OCHA 06/02/2024, WFP 02/02/2024)

05 February 2024

As at 5 February 2024, school closures and attacks on the education sector in the Gaza Strip since 7 October 2023 had affected more than 625,000 students and 23,000 teachers. These attacks on schools and civilian infrastructure in general had led the Ministry of Education to suspend the school year in Gaza on 7 November. (OCHA 05/02/2024, UNICEF accessed 05/02/2024, Al Jazeera 24/01/2024)

09 January 2024

As at 9 January 2024, only 15 of the 36 hospitals in Gaza (nine in the south and six in the north) were functional with partial capacity. The southern hospitals were operating at three times their capacity while facing basic supply and fuel shortages. The six northern hospitals were offering maternity, trauma, and emergency services with shortages in medical staff, supplies, fuel, food, and drinking water. From 7 October 2023 to 5 January 2024, the Israeli military operation resulted in more than 300 attacks on the health sector in the Gaza Strip, resulting in the targeting of 94 healthcare facilities and damaging 26 hospitals. The attacks also targeted 76 ambulances, with 38 sustaining damage. As at 29 December 2023, Israeli forces had detained or arrested 65 health workers in Gaza since 7 October, aggravating the challenges facing the health sector in the enclave. (UN 05/01/2024, WHO 29/12/2023, OCHA 09/01/2024)

19 December 2023

The hunger situation in Gaza continues to worsen. The conflict has forcibly displaced 85% of the people in the enclave. The vast majority have been displaced to the southern governorates, where severe hunger levels have increased from 38% in a WFP assessment conducted during the humanitarian pause to 56% on 14 December, 12 days after the end of the humanitarian pause on 1 December. The hunger situation is likely worse for those who have remained in northern Gaza]. The siege imposed by Israel on Gaza hampers the delivery of essential goods, including food, and prevents large-scale humanitarian operations. Israeli military ground operations and air strikes on heavily populated areas, agricultural lands, and essential infrastructure, such as bakeries and water networks, are also aggravating the hunger situation in the strip. (WFP 14/12/2023, OCHA 18/12/2023, HRW 18/12/2023)

10 December 2023

Between 7 October and 9 December 2023, settler violence and access restrictions displaced over 1,000 Palestinians from 15 Bedouin communities in the West Bank. The Bedouin are highly dependent on humanitarian assistance. Settler violence and displacement have aggravated livelihood and food security needs for these communities and affected their access to humanitarian assistance, such as health and education services. (OCHA 09/12/2023, OCHA 25/01/2023, OCHA 01/11/2023)

10 December 2023

Severe food shortages continue to be reported in Gaza in 2023, especially in the north where at least 97% of households have inadequate food consumption. Bread is almost not available, and people need to wait up to six hours for half the normal portion. The vegetable harvest is also depleting. To feed their children, adults are cutting down on their own meals. (OCHA 09/12/2023, TNA 05/12/2023, Al Jazeera 07/12/2023)

current crises
in Palestine


These crises have been identified through the INFORM Severity Index, a tool for measuring and comparing the severity of humanitarian crises globally.

Read more about the Index

PSE003 - Conflict in West Bank

Last updated 31/01/2024


Drivers

Conflict
Displacement
Socio-political
Violence

Crisis level

Country

Severity level

3.5 High

Access constraints

4.0

PSE004 - Conflict in Gaza

Last updated 31/01/2024


Drivers

Conflict
Displacement
Socio-political
Violence

Crisis level

Country

Severity level

4.2 Very High

Access constraints

5.0

PSE002 - Conflict

Last updated 31/01/2024


Drivers

Conflict
Socio-political
Violence

Crisis level

Country

Severity level

4.4 Very High

Access constraints

5.0

Analysis products
on Palestine

Palestine: impact of the conflict on people with disabilities in the Gaza Strip

14 February 2024

Palestine: impact of the conflict on people with disabilities in the Gaza Strip

DOCUMENT / PDF / 501 KB

The Israeli forces’ aerial strikes, ground offensive, and blockade of Gaza that followed the Hamas attacks on 7 October 2023 have had a disproportionate impact on people with disabilities.

Conflict and violence
Palestine: impact of the conflict on children in the Gaza Strip

01 February 2024

Palestine: impact of the conflict on children in the Gaza Strip

DOCUMENT / PDF / 876 KB

As at 20 January 2024, almost one million children were estimated to be internally displaced within Gaza. Most were in the southern Rafah governorate bordering Egypt, currently the most populated governorate in the Gaza Strip.

Conflict and violenceProtection
Palestine: water crisis in the Gaza Strip

13 December 2023

Palestine: water crisis in the Gaza Strip

DOCUMENT / PDF / 489 KB

This report analyses the WASH crisis in the Gaza Strip aggravated by the current hostilities. It seeks to provide an alert on the severity of the crisis, highlighting the health and protection impacts and risks that would arise should the hostilities continue to hamper the scaling up of the humanitarian response.

Conflict and violenceWASH
Palestine/Israel: current situation and anticipated impacts of the crisis in the West Bank

24 November 2023

Palestine/Israel: current situation and anticipated impacts of the crisis in the West Bank

DOCUMENT / PDF / 558 KB

The report provides an overview of the West Bank context and an update on the impact of the hostilities between Israel and Hamas since October 7. It highlights key drivers of humanitarian needs that are already affecting the lives of Palestinians and anticipates how they will likely worsen in the coming weeks, shedding light on the situation experienced by specific groups.

Conflict and violence
Palestine/Israel: Spotlight on the situation of Gazan workers

10 November 2023

Palestine/Israel: Spotlight on the situation of Gazan workers

DOCUMENT / PDF / 199 KB

As at 7 October, an estimated 18,000 residents of the Gaza Strip held work permits issued by the Israeli authorities. On 10 October, Israel’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories revoked all work permits. This announcement was followed by mass arrests and detentions of Gazans working in Israel by Israeli authorities.

Conflict and violence
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