Gaza Strip Situation Report No. 6

The humanitarian situation continues to deteriorate in the Gaza Strip due to shortages of electricity and water, caused by the 28 June bombing by the Israel Air Force (IAF) of the Gazan power plant, and the continued sporadic opening of only some of Gaza’s crossing points. Electricity supply to households and institutions remains severely depleted. Gazans are receiving on average 6 - 8 hours of electricity per day and for most families living in urban areas 2 - 3 hours of water per day.

Palestinian Authority national and municipal services which have been financially struggling since the withholding of VAT transfers by the Government of Israel and the cutting of assistance by western donors, are unable to provide essential services to the population. Gaza’s high poverty (79% of households are living under the poverty line [1]) and unemployment (40% [2]) levels have sharply limited households’ ability to buy supplies, fuel and water.

Almost half the population in the Gaza Strip are children, who are living in an environment of violence, fear and insecurity. Since 28 June, 71 Palestinians have been killed and 197 injured during Israel Defense Forces (IDF) incursions and artillery shelling, IAF air strikes or in disputed circumstances. In the same period one IDF was killed and 4 others injured. Since 28 June, Palestinians have fired 127 homemade rockets towards Israel and the IAF have conducted over 120 air strikes. IDF artillery shelling continues along the north and eastern borders of the Gaza Strip with Israel.

Key developments in the last six days [3]:

  • An increasing number of children have been killed in recent days including seven children from one family this morning, Wednesday, aged 4, 7, 9, 12, 13, 15 and 16 years. Their mother and their father were also killed in the same IAF air strike on their home in Sheikh Radwan area of Gaza City.
  • The IDF conducted an incursion into the middle areas of the Gaza Strip in the early hours of 12 July and are holding positions westwards up to Salah ed Din street.
  • The IDF has withdrawn from At Tatra (west of Beit Lahia, northern Gaza Strip), Karni Industrial Estate (Karni crossing) and around Gaza International Airport and Rafah and Sufa crossings (south east Gaza Strip).
  • Karni has been closed for six days (since 7 July). Kerem Shalom, Sufa and Rafah crossings remain closed since 25 June. UNRWA estimates that approximately 578 people are currently trapped on the Egyptian side of Rafah terminal waiting to enter the Gaza Strip.
  • Nahal Oz energy pipelines remain open for the fourth consecutive day for the import of fuel.
  • The Gaza Municipality has run out of fuel for its fleet of vehicles and no garbage has been collected since 9 July. Piles of rotting debris can be seen on streets throughout Gaza City and there are concerns about a public health crisis if the garbage is not collected.

    IDF military incursions

  • In the early hours of 12 July, large numbers of IDF forces entered the middle area of the Gaza Strip through Kissufim road. The IDF are now deployed westwards up to Salah ed Din street.
  • This morning, the IDF withdrew from the Karni Industrial Estate where they had been positioned since 8 July searching for alleged tunnels dug by Palestinian militants.
  • In the early hours of 12 July, the IDF withdrew from the south east corner of the Gaza Strip around the Gaza International Airport. The IDF had remained in this area since 28 June leading to the internal displacement of over 1,000 Palestinians in the Al Shoka area who are now returning to their homes. Palestinian security forces have now returned to the airport and Rafah crossing.
  • On 8 July, the IDF withdrew from At Tatra area, west of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip following a two-day incursion that resulted in a large number of Palestinian casualties.


    [1] IUED Palestinian Public Perceptions Poll No. 10. The poverty line for the reference household (two adults and four children) is $2.70/day.

    [2] PCBS Labour Force Survey, Q1 2006.

    [3] This is the sixth Situation Report issued by OCHA in the June/July 2006 period. The previous reports were published on 21, 27, 30 of June and 4 and 6 July and are available on

    Related Links

  • United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA oPt)
  • BY TOPIC: Israel invades Gaza (27 June 2006