208 dead, at least 1,500 injured in week of Israeli-Palestinian hostilities: UN

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Palestinian firefighters extinguish a fire after an Israeli airstrike in Gaza City, on May 17, 2021. (Photo by Rizek Abdeljawad/Xinhua)

Gaza reported 198 people died – including 58 children – and 1,300 injured in seven days of bombardments by Israel. Israel reported 10 people killed and hundreds more injured by Palestinian rocket attacks.

UNITED NATIONS, (Xinhua) — UN humanitarians said Monday that 208 people were killed and at least 1,500 injured in a week of Israeli-Palestinian hostilities.

The Gaza Ministry of Health reported that 198 people died – including 58 children – and 1,300 injured in seven days of bombardments by Israel, ending at noon local time. Israel reported 10 people killed and hundreds more injured by Palestinian rocket attacks launched from Gaza, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said.

Concentrating its report on the toll to Palestinians, the humanitarians said more than 42,000 displaced people are seeking protection in 50 schools across Gaza operated by the UN agency for Palestinian refugees known as UNRWA.

Citing the Gaza Ministry of Public Works and Housing, OCHA reported 94 buildings destroyed and 285 housing units severely damaged and rendered uninhabitable. The humanitarian partner Shelter Cluster reported more than 2,500 people homeless.

Damaged structures include 41 education facilities, including schools, two kindergartens, a UNRWA vocational training center, the Ministry of Education directorate and a higher education facility, the world organization said. Additionally, four Ministry of Health hospitals, two non-governmental hospitals, two clinics, a health center and a Palestine Red Crescent Society also were damaged.

Electricity across Gaza is down to six to eight hours a day, on average, with some feeder lines not functioning, disrupting the provision of health care and other essential services, including water, hygiene and sanitation, OCHA said. Food and cash support needs are increasing.

The United Nations and humanitarian partners provide food and non-food items to displaced families in Gaza and immediate cash assistance to more than 52,000 people.

They also provide remote psychosocial counseling sessions for the traumatized, increase awareness about the heightened risk of explosive remnants of war and assess property damage.

The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights said that some recent Israeli airstrikes, particularly on high-rise buildings, are raising concerns of indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks under international humanitarian law. Likewise, the launching of rockets and mortars from highly populated civilian neighborhoods in Gaza into civilian population centers in Israel also may be unlawful.

In the West Bank, including in East Jerusalem, widespread demonstrations and clashes between Palestinians and Israeli forces broke out in multiple locations in commemoration of Nakba Day on Saturday, OCHA said. Two Palestinians were shot and killed by Israeli forces. Another boy died after having been shot four days previously in Hebron by Israeli forces.

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