The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has stated that 200 homes and 21 educational institutions have been destroyed by Israeli missiles in the Gaza strip.
Jens Laerke from OCHA in a statement said: “We are alarmed by the escalating conflict between the Occupied Palestinian Territories and Israel. The number of casualties continues to rise on both sides and the civilian population is suffering,”
Israeli violence has also gravely exposed two million Palestinians living in Gaza to COVID-19. There is less access to water, sanitation, and health services. OCHA has also highlighted how the number of diagnostic tests has been reduced.
People are also not able to reach medical centers to be treated and receive vaccinations and medicines. Additionally UN run schools have become common shelters. The concentration of many people increases risk of infection to the virus.
In addition, electricity cuts lasting for longer than 12 hours a day due to fuel shortage, has put strain on COVID-19 management.
Timeline of Recent Attacks
From 6 May 2021, violence has escalated in Palestine regarding the planned evictions of people from their homes in the town of Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem. Protests began in Sheikh Jarrah, but spread to other parts of the West Bank, leading to clashes with Israeli forces, where reports have come in regarding crowds throwing rocks at Israeli forces.
On 9 May, Israeli police attacked the Al Aqsa Mosque, one of the holy sites for Muslims, where Muhammad was said to have ascended to heaven.
On 10 May, Hamas demanded immediate withdrawal of Israeli forces from Al Aqsa mosque, following which, they began firing over 150 rockets into Israel, leading to 5 deaths, and 70 injuries. Most of the rockets were intercepted and fell within Palestinian territory.
Following the rocket attacks, Israel responded with airstrikes in Gaza, leading to 65 deaths amongst the Palestinians, including 16 children, and over 300 injured. The clashes had led to a postponement of the eviction orders. The conflict has invited international condemnation against Israel.