Since 27 October at about 18:00, contact with the Gaza Strip has been cut off, following the shutdown of landlines, cellular and internet services. As a result, this Flash Update contains minimal updated information about the humanitarian situation in Gaza over the past 24 hours. For an overview of the situation prior to the disruption, refer to the previous Flash Update.
The telecommunications shutdown has brought the already challenging delivery of humanitarian assistance to a complete halt and is depriving people of life-saving information. As noted on 28 October by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, “the bombing of the telecommunications infrastructure places the civilian population in grave danger. Ambulances and civil defense teams are no longer able to locate the injured, or the thousands of people estimated to be still under the rubble. Civilians are no longer able to receive updated information on where they can access humanitarian relief and where they may be in less danger.”
Fragmented information available indicates that the past 24 hours (as of 21:00 on 28 October) have witnessed the most intense Israeli airstrikes and artillery shelling since the start of the hostilities. Additionally, Israeli infantry and armored vehicles entered various areas within Gaza and clashed with Palestinian armed groups.
The Ministry of Health (MoH) in Gaza reported that between 27 October, 18:00, and 28 October around noon time, at least 377 Palestinians, including 157 children, had been killed in Gaza. This brings the cumulative reported fatality toll in Gaza since the start of hostilities to 7,703, of whom nearly 66 per cent are reportedly children and women.
As of 27 October, an estimated 1.4 million people in Gaza were internally displaced, with some 657,000 sheltering in 150 UNRWA facilities. The average number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) per shelter was almost three times their intended capacity. Forty-two UNRWA installations, including several shelters, have been damaged during the hostilities resulting in 13 fatalities and 195 injuries among IDPs.
The complete siege of Gaza imposed by Israel continues, as all crossings have remained closed. Since 21 October, 84 trucks carrying water, food, and medical supplies have entered Gaza via the Rafah crossing with Egypt; entry of desperately needed fuel remains banned by the Israeli authorities.
Palestinian armed groups’ indiscriminate rocket firing towards Israeli population intensified over the past 24 hours, with no fatalities reported. Overall, about 1,400 Israelis and foreign nationals have been killed in Israel, according to the Israeli authorities, the vast majority on 7 October.
According to the Israeli authorities, 230 people are held captive in Gaza, including Israelis and foreign nationals. Media reports indicated that about 30 of the hostages are children. 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.
On 27 October, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution calling for an “immediate, durable and sustained humanitarian truce,” the release “of all civilians who are illegally being held captive,” the protection of international institutions, and ensuring the safe passage of humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip.
In the West Bank, since the afternoon of 27 October (as of 21:00 on 2 October), one Palestinian man was killed by an Israeli settler. This brings the total number of Palestinian fatalities by Israeli forces or settlers since 7 October to 109, including 33 children. Of these fatalities, 102 were killed by Israeli forces and seven by Israeli settlers. One member of Israeli forces was killed by Palestinians.
As of 27 October, Member States have pledged nearly US$108 million in support of the inter-agency Flash Appeal launched on 12 October by the oPt Humanitarian Country Team. This represents about 37 per cent of the initial estimated requirement when the Appeal was launched. Private donations to the oPt Humanitarian Fund can be provided online.