OCHA Press conference with Lynn Hastings 13.12.2023
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Press Conferences , Edited News

OCHA Press conference with Lynn Hastings 13.12.2023

STORYLINE

Gaza ceasefire ‘in everybody’s interest’: UN humanitarian coordinator

Amid continuing heavy Israeli bombardments from air, land and sea across Gaza, the UN’s top aid official in the Occupied Palestinian Territory insisted that a ceasefire was “the only way forward” to help secure a peaceful future for all those involved in the conflict.

Speaking from Geneva via Zoom, Lynn Hastings, UN Humanitarian Coordinator in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, told journalists in Geneva that the situation in the enclave was dire.

This included the city of Rafah in the south, while intense sustained fighting has continued between Israeli forces and Palestinian armed groups in Khan Younis.

“We absolutely need a ceasefire, this is the only way forward,” she said. “Right now, what is happening on the ground is not going to bring peace and security to either the Palestinians or Israelis for many, many years, if not generations to come,” Ms. Hastings said. “A ceasefire is in the interest of everybody at the moment.”

According to the latest data from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), which quoted the Ministry of Health in Gaza, between 7 October and 12 December, at least 18,205 Palestinians have been killed in the Strip. About 70 per cent were women and children and about 50,100 have been injured.

Many more people are missing, presumably buried under the rubble, waiting for rescue or recovery, OCHA said.  

The UN office noted that limited aid distributions are taking place in Rafah governorate. In the rest of the Gaza Strip, aid distribution has largely stopped, owing to the intensity of hostilities and restrictions on movement along the main roads, except for limited fuel deliveries to key service providers.

“Israel, as the occupying power, is responsible to protect the Palestinian civilian population,” Ms. Hastings stressed. “This means they have to provide for basic needs, they have to ensure that there is unimpeded humanitarian access to those in need. It's not just for the United Nations to do allowing trucks to get to the border.”

On the issue of Palestinians being arrested and detained, Ms. Hastings said that “as far as we know, that's without any sort of trial. This is of obvious concern to the United Nations.” She also stressed the need to allow international access to hostages taken during Hamas’s 7 October terror attacks in southern Israel that killed around 1,200 people and prompted Israeli Defense Forces retaliation, adding that a ceasefire might be conducive to the release of hostages.

The spread of diseases in Gaza has reportedly intensified, especially due to overcrowded living conditions which has added to the strain on an already overwhelmed health system, increasing the risk of people dying.

On Tuesday, the Ministry of Health in Gaza had documented 360,000 cases of infectious diseases in shelters, noting that the actual number is believed to be higher.  

“The healthcare system has collapsed, we've got a textbook formula for epidemics and a public health disaster,” said Ms. Hastings. “This is in part, of course, because these shelters have long ago exceeded their full capacity with people lining up for hours just to get to a toilet. One toilet available for hundreds of people, you can imagine what the sanitation conditions are like as a result.”

As of 11 December, according to the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA), almost 1.9 million people in Gaza, or nearly 85 per cent of the population, are estimated to be internally displaced, including people who have been displaced multiple times.  

A recent survey by the UN World Food Programme (WFP) showed that almost half of the population in the north and one third in the south are experiencing “severe levels of hunger”. Ms. Hastings said that “97 per cent of households in the north and 83 per cent of households in the south have inadequate food consumption. So that means maybe one meal a day, maybe one meal every couple of day.”

Addressing reports on the potential of flooding of underground tunnels in Gaza with seawater by the Israeli military, Ms. Hastings warned that it would cause “severe damage to the already fragile water and sewage infrastructure…and it could impact generations to come” by tainting the aquifer, a crucial source of drinking water.

Ms. Hastings also highlighted increased violence in the occupied West Bank where 464 Palestinians have already been killed, including 109 children, a record high since 2005. Since 7 October, 271 Palestinians have been killed with 69 children. Some 3,000 Palestinians have been detained and it remained unclear whether they were given a trial, she said.

With respect to incidents of settler violence in the West Bank, a total of 336 have been recorded since 7 October, representing five per day now, compared with two per day in 2022.

-ends-

 

 

STORY: Humanitarian situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory – Lynn  Hastings

TRT: 3:01”
SOURCE: UNTV CH
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH
ASPECT RATIO: 16:9
DATELINE: 13 December 2023 - GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

SHOTLIST

  1. Exterior wide shot: UN Geneva.
  2. SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) – Lynn Hastings, Humanitarian Coordinator for the Occupied Palestinian Territory: “We absolutely need a cease fire, this is the only way forward. Right now, what is happening on the ground is not going to bring peace and security to either the Palestinians or Israelis for many, many years, if not generations to come. So, a cease fire is in the interest of everybody at the moment.”
  3. Cutaway: Wide shot, UN Geneva building exterior with flag alley
  4. SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) – Lynn Hastings, Humanitarian Coordinator for the Occupied Palestinian Territory: “Israel, as the occupying power, is responsible to protect the Palestinian civilian population. This means they have to provide for basic needs, they have to ensure that there is unimpeded humanitarian access to those in need. It's not just for the United Nations to do allowing trucks to get to the border.”
  5. Cutaway: Medium shot, exterior UN building with UN flag
  6. SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) – Lynn Hastings, Humanitarian Coordinator for the Occupied Palestinian Territory: “We are now seeing some Palestinians being, I guess, arrested and detained. And as far as we know, that's without any sort of trial. This is of obvious concern to the United Nations. And then, of course, we're also continuing to be very concerned about the release of hostages, which would be able to happen if there were a cease fire. In the meantime, everybody who is in some sort of detention or a hostage, etc., they need to be given access to to make sure that their conditions are appropriate.”
  7. Cutaway: Close up, UN Geneva building exterior with UN flag
  8. SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) - Lynn Hastings, Humanitarian Coordinator for the Occupied Palestinian Territory: “The health care system has collapsed. We've got a textbook formula for epidemics and a public health disaster. This is in part, of course, because these shelters have long ago exceeded their full capacity with people lining up for hours just to get to a toilet. One toilet available for hundreds of people, you can imagine what the sanitation conditions are like as a result.”
  9. Cutaway: Medium shot, UN Geneva building exterior with flag alley
  10. SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) - Lynn Hastings, Humanitarian Coordinator for the Occupied Palestinian Territory: “97 per cent of households in the north and 83 per cent of households in the south have inadequate food consumption. So that means maybe one meal a day, maybe one meal every couple of days. In the north, it's almost 50 per cent of the households that have experienced severe levels of hunger and in the south, I think it's one third.”
  1. Cutaway: Medium shot, UN Geneva building exterior with flag alley
  2. Lynn Hastings, Humanitarian Coordinator for the Occupied Palestinian Territory: “We are seeing lots of reports on the potential of flooding of tunnels. We don't know if this is confirmed or if in fact it's happening yet. But we want to flag that if this is to take place, it's anticipated that it will cause severe damage to the already fragile water and sewage infrastructure that's in Gaza, and it could impact generations to come, rendering the aquifer, which is a crucial source of drinking water once it's been desalinated for people in Gaza.”
  3. Cutaway: Medium shot, UN Geneva building exterior with flag alley

Virtual Press Conference / Conférence de presse Virtuelle

OCHA

 

Subject:

Humanitarian situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory

 

Speaker:  

  • Lynn Hastings, Humanitarian Coordinator for the Occupied Palestinian Territory

 

Date/time:

Wednesday, 13 December 2023 at 11 a.m. CET

 

NB: AI-generated transcript below - please check against delivery

00:00:00:08 - 00:00:30:04
Unknown
Okay. It is 11 a.m. here in Geneva, so we will start the press briefing, which is fully virtual today. And we are very happy to have with us. And you can see her on your screen. Lynn Hastings, who is the Human Shield coordinator in the occupied Palestinian territories. She's also the resident U.N. resident coordinator. And that deputy special coordinator for the Middle East.

00:00:30:06 - 00:00:52:13
Unknown
Lynn has some introductory remarks for you and then we will go, as usual, two questions, one at a time. I want to tell you right here at the start that she does, of course, have some briefing notes and we will share them with you to support your your reporting. They're not for publication as such, but to support your your reporting with numbers and so on.

00:00:52:17 - 00:01:23:13
Unknown
Just after the briefing, when we get to the questions, as usual, you should just raise your hand and we will get you in that order that you raise your hands. So with that, I had the floor over to commission coordinator Ben Hastings, Poverty?

00:01:23:15 - 00:01:49:10
Unknown
Yes. Can you hear me okay? I don't think they can hear me. Lynn, we can hear you. All right. Okay, great. Thanks. Thanks a lot. And thanks to everybody who's online. I just want to start off with a couple of broader remarks. The first, of course, is we absolutely need a cease fire. This is the only way forward.

00:01:49:12 - 00:02:14:04
Unknown
Right now, what is happening on the ground is not going to bring peace and security to either the Palestinians or Israelis for many, many years, if not generations to come. So then a cease fire is in the interest of everybody at the moment. I also want to highlight the fact that Israel, as the occupying power, is responsible to protect the Palestinian civilian population.

00:02:14:06 - 00:02:44:15
Unknown
This means they have to provide for basic needs. They have to ensure that there is unimpeded humanitarian access to those in need. It's not just for the United Nations to do allowing trucks to get to the border of Rafah. Sorry, the border between Rafah, between Egypt and Gaza is insufficient. They need to ensure that the conditions inside of Gaza are also such that we will be able to provide assistance to everybody who is in need.

00:02:44:17 - 00:03:09:21
Unknown
We are now seeing some Palestinians being, I guess, arrested and detained. And as far as we know, that's without any sort of trial. This is of obvious concern to the United Nations. And then, of course, we're also continuing to be very concerned about the release of hostages, which would be able to happen if there were a cease fire.

00:03:09:23 - 00:03:39:15
Unknown
In the meantime, everybody who is in some sort of detention or a hostage, etc., they need to be given access to to make sure that their conditions are appropriate with respect to the situation on the ground. We're over two months into the crisis, and of course, it doesn't seem like there is going to be a let up. Just over the past couple of days, between the ninth and 10th, 297 Palestinians were killed.

00:03:39:17 - 00:04:19:11
Unknown
The 10th and the 11th, 208 Palestinians killed. And 11th and 12th yesterday, 217 Palestinians killed. So obviously, the number of those Palestinians who are being killed and injured is going up significantly every day. We all know that the health care system is or has collapsed. We've got a textbook formula for epidemics and a public health disaster. This is in part, of course, because these shelters have long ago exceeded their full capacity with people lining up for hours just to get to a toilet.

00:04:19:13 - 00:04:51:12
Unknown
One toilet available for hundreds of people. You can imagine what the sanitation conditions are like as a result, almost half of Gaza's population is now in Rafah, which is the small part of Gaza. In the southeast corner. Again, this is leading to nothing but a health crisis. And only one third of the hospitals are working. And even those that are working, of course, are only partially functioning.

00:04:51:14 - 00:05:31:16
Unknown
We're seeing infectious diseases breaking out. And that in I think W.H.O. is estimating about 360,000. Let me just double check on exactly what those are. Meningitis, jaundice, chickenpox, upper respiratory tract infections. They've all been recorded. And, of course, we have already referred to the outbreak of diarrhea, in particular amongst children, which globally is the number one child or causes of death amongst children under the age of five in situations like this.

00:05:31:18 - 00:06:03:06
Unknown
Now we're seeing the winter it's raining actually in East Jerusalem, so likely in Gaza as well, without appropriate shelter available for people. Just specifically on food insecurity, WFP took the pause as an opportunity to do a survey for people in terms of food insecurity. They've recorded that 97% of households in the north and 83% of households in the south have inadequate food consumption.

00:06:03:08 - 00:06:26:00
Unknown
So that means maybe one meal a day, maybe one meal every a couple of days. In the north, it's almost 50% of the households that have experienced severe levels of hunger. And in the south, I think it's one third in the north. People have access to about 1.8 liters of clean water per day. The global standards are 15 liters per day.

00:06:26:01 - 00:06:48:19
Unknown
Now, that includes to be able to wash. So that's poor sanitation, hygiene, but also to be able to cook and then, of course, clean drinking water. So in the north, it's 1.8 liters of clean water per person per day versus the global standard of 15. And in the south, it's about a third I'm sorry, it's about 1.5 liters of water per person per day.

00:06:48:21 - 00:07:20:00
Unknown
And also in the south, one third of the households have reported severe levels of hunger. I think we all saw the bombing of the UNWRA school in the afternoon. Or maybe it shouldn't actually be bombing. I shouldn't use that word because these were not airstrikes. This was actual just destruction, using explosives on the ground specifically to destroy an UNWRA school civilian infrastructure without any justification for doing that, or at least none that we have seen.

00:07:20:02 - 00:07:58:20
Unknown
We're now up to 1.9 million Palestinians internally displaced. As I say, most from the north initially, then to Han Yunis and now to Rafah. And this is obviously concerning all of us in terms of providing assistance and not just because of the health outbreak that this is causing, but also because the streets are full of people either who have set up temporary shelters on the streets or simply just because people are milling around on the streets, making it very, very difficult for our trucks to be able to get through.

00:07:58:22 - 00:08:29:17
Unknown
Additional specific challenges, of course, the ongoing fighting in one Yunis has been very intense. I've cited the numbers of Palestinians that have been killed in the recent couple of days, and fighting is continuing on in the north as the Israelis circled Gaza City and Jabalya more and more. And one issue that I do need to highlight and again, this is in keeping with the government of Israel's obligations as an occupying power, but also as a warring party to this war.

00:08:29:19 - 00:08:59:22
Unknown
And it's about deconfliction notification. I'm not sure how many of you are aware of this, but warring parties to any type of a conflict are obliged to adhere to what we call deconfliction and notification. So, number one, we tell the warring parties where civilian infrastructure is and in particular where facilities of the United Nations is. And we do that repeatedly to the government of Israel.

00:08:59:22 - 00:09:34:24
Unknown
Even if things haven't changed, we remind them where our premises are. Despite that, we have recorded 130 incidents that have impacted U.N. de-conflict and installations since the 7th of October, and 62 of those incidents have resulted in casualties. 92 of those have resulted in physical damage to the facilities. And even more important, UNWRA is estimating that at least 283 internally displaced persons seeking refuge in their shelters have been killed.

00:09:35:01 - 00:09:56:09
Unknown
Again, I just remind you, these are in deconflict and U.N. premises, which should not be hit or subject to any type of damage during a conflict. And then another 974 people injured. This is not a final number. We expect it to rise.

00:09:56:09 - 00:10:26:03
Unknown
But that is the number that we have currently. And then, of course, there is the issue of notification where we want to be able to move to a certain area and we notify to the government of Israel that we are planning on delivering assistance in a certain area. Let's just say tomorrow from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.. And the again, it's an obligation for the warring parties to ensure that we're able to provide assistance to where we have identified there is a need.

00:10:26:05 - 00:10:51:08
Unknown
So we have asked the government of Israel to work more closely with us on that. So we are able to reach all of the populations who are in need throughout Gaza. I've also repeated a number of times over the past couple of weeks that we need to see the commercial sectors having access to bring things into Gaza. Yes, the United Nations is bringing in the bare minimum.

00:10:51:14 - 00:11:20:23
Unknown
High energy biscuits. Flour is the number one need on the ground at the moment. So canned tuna, those sorts of things. But we need the markets to be open for fresh vegetables so we can avoid a malnutrition crisis. We do welcome the fact that now Kerem Shalom has been identified and operated yesterday to verify United Nations trucks at Karem Shalom so they can reach Rafah crossing more quickly.

00:11:21:00 - 00:11:45:01
Unknown
But again, we need Kerem Shalom to be open so that goods can be offloaded at Kerem Shalom and brought into Gaza so they can be distributed. And as I say, that we can work side by side with the commercial sector, with the public sectors, which we do everywhere in the world. The United Nations cannot support a population of 2.2 million people.

00:11:45:03 - 00:12:15:23
Unknown
With humanitarian assistance, it's a Band-Aid. We don't operate anywhere else in the world without going side by side with other sectors in particular the commercial sector and the public sectors, if you will. It is inching up. I understand that we may start seeing about 180,000 liters coming in. This will enable us to use fuel not just for our own operations, but also some of the NGO community, some of the hospitals, desalination plants.

00:12:15:23 - 00:13:04:09
Unknown
But of course, it's nowhere near what will be needed for any type of a resumption of a normal life. And in particular the operation of basic services at hospitals, wastewater treatment plants, desalination plants, etc.. I just want to comment also briefly on the issue of we are seeing lots of reports on the potential of flooding of tunnels. We don't know if this is confirmed or if in fact it's happening yet, but we want to flag that if this is to take place, this will it's anticipated that it will cause severe damage to the already fragile water and sewage infrastructure that's in Gaza, and it could impact generations to come, rendering the aquifer, which is a

00:13:04:09 - 00:13:39:06
Unknown
crucial source of drinking water. Once it's been desalinated for people in Gaza, it could jeopardize Gaza's already very fragile ecosystem. And then there's even a risk to buildings and roads collapsing because of the increased pressure and infiltration of sea water into Gaza. So, again, we don't have confirmation that this is going to happen, but if it is, it would be considered to be a yet another issue with respect to people in Gaza having access to clean water.

00:13:39:08 - 00:14:13:17
Unknown
And of course, we can't forget the West Bank. Just a few numbers there. 464 Palestinians have been killed. We all know that's a record high since 2005. So that's 464 Palestinians killed, including 109 children. And then since the 7th of October, it's 271 killed with 69 children. So more than half of the Palestinians killed since October seven, sorry, have been killed since October 7th for the entire year 2023.

00:14:13:18 - 00:14:43:09
Unknown
We are estimating that about 3000 Palestinians in the West Bank have been detained and we do not have sight on where those Palestinians are and whether or not they will be given a trial or if they will be held administratively with respect to settler incidences. We've recorded 336 since the 7th of October. That's an average of five per day, whereas last year it was two per day.

00:14:43:11 - 00:15:11:23
Unknown
And lastly, the economic situation, I think most of us on this call have seen that the permits for West Bank workers inside of Israel and in settlements, their permits have been suspended. There is, of course, no trade with Israel and no trade within the West Bank, amongst governance inside of the West Bank due to the many closures that have been implemented since the 7th of October.

00:15:12:01 - 00:15:35:07
Unknown
And the lack of revenue transfers is of grave concern. Palestinians working for the public sector have not received 100% of their salaries for well over a year now. So I'm sure you understand the precariousness that that presents for people in Gaza as sorry people in the West Bank, but also for the Palestinian Authority itself. I will leave it there.

00:15:35:11 - 00:16:08:15
Unknown
Thank you. Thank you very much, Lynn, for these sobering remarks, I might add. We'll go to questions. The first stop is Uri from RIA Novosti. And after that, everyone from Reuters. Over to you. Yes. Thank you, Ms.. Hastings, for these briefing. I have two questions, but they're short. The first one is that Thomas White, former unit, spoke about the looting of humanitarian convoys a few days ago.

00:16:08:15 - 00:16:30:04
Unknown
Is this trend continuing? Did you seen any evidence of that? And my second questions is that you have also spoken about the Palestinians arrested without any trials in recent days. This is also the case of the director of the al-Shifa hospital. Where nobody knows where he is. What is the statues of these people? What is the difference in statues with the hostages were according to the international law.

00:16:30:05 - 00:17:18:21
Unknown
Thank you, Younes. Do you want me to go one by one? One by one, please. Yeah. Okay. Thanks. So given the fact that we're seeing people taking supplies, that is continuing. We prefer not to reference it as looting, because most of these people are very, very hungry, as I have already described. But that does continue. Now, we are trying to work with communities to explain how we're distributing and what the expectations of people should be in the hopes that we will be able to have a more systematic distribution of goods by ourselves and by the partners with respect to the detention.

00:17:18:21 - 00:17:43:11
Unknown
We don't know where the director of al-Shifa hospital is either, but this would I would also encourage that access by the ICRC is given to him to determine his conditions, but also to everybody. And that includes the hostages and anybody who has been detained. Thank you.

00:17:43:13 - 00:18:11:10
Unknown
Thank you very much. Now we'll go to Gabriel from Reuters. And after that, Chloe from AFP. Ms.. Hastings, just a question about your own personal situation, if I can. Given that your visa is not being renewed, are there any talks with the Israeli authorities about this in particular the situation? And will you continue working in the area maybe from another country?

00:18:11:10 - 00:18:40:17
Unknown
Just wondering where the things stand there. Thank you so much. Yeah, thanks so. Any of those discussions would be referred to headquarters, so I'll let you do that. And I think Stephane Dujarric has been very clear on my status. So I'll just refer you to his remarks. Thanks. Thank you very much. And Chloe from AP.

00:18:40:19 - 00:19:01:19
Unknown
Hey, thank you for the brief. I would like to ask you a question about the vaccines in the Gaza Strip. We have a report from this morning from the Ministry of Health announcing that children's vaccinations have been completely sold out. I don't know if you've heard about it, and if you could help us to confirm this. Thank you very much.

00:19:01:21 - 00:19:31:04
Unknown
Thanks. So, yes, in fact, this is something UNICEF is looking at in particular. And we were able to get some vaccines distributed, but it's not nearly enough. So vaccinations are one of the priority key items that we're trying to bring in to ensure that we're able to continue with the vaccine vaccine campaign. Thank you, Lynn. Next up is coming from The New York Times in Geneva.

00:19:31:06 - 00:19:53:23
Unknown
Yeah, thank you for this. A couple of questions, please. In relation to the school that was blown up, I wonder if you could just shed a little bit more light on on whether any particular circumstances around that school that you're aware of, where you give an advance notice of the plans are destroyed. Can you shed any light on on the motivation for doing that?

00:19:54:00 - 00:20:20:01
Unknown
The second question is there have been repeated allegations about the diversion of aid by Hamas to its own kind of military wing. Could you address that and just say, are you can you can you say that there has been a significant diversion of assistance going in or not? And thirdly, if I may, I have one last question. Param, Shalom is supposed to be open.

00:20:20:02 - 00:20:40:20
Unknown
I'm not quite clear whether trucks are actually coming through that. I don't see that in the reporting for yesterday. Thank you. Thanks, Nick. So, yeah, I guess you'd have to ask the Israelis what their motivation is for blowing up a school. And so I'll leave it at that. Diversion of aid. There will always be those sorts of allegations.

00:20:40:20 - 00:21:06:15
Unknown
We haven't had any concerns expressed to us by the Israelis about any diversion of aid from when trucks. There are other trucks that are coming in. And so whether or not there's been any diversion of aid from those trucks or not, I don't really know. So I'm not I wouldn't be able to answer that specifically. Kerem Shalom is only being used for verification.

00:21:06:17 - 00:21:35:13
Unknown
It's not being used as a drop off or an unloading for the U.N. or anyone else to go and pick up goods to distribute. So right now, what's happening and I think yesterday was the first day where somewhere about a hundred, I think 80 trucks were cleared at Kerem Shalom. And then they still have to go around to Ramallah to actually enter into Gaza.

00:21:35:13 - 00:22:09:03
Unknown
So, again, Kerem Shalom is open only for verification, not for entry. Thank you very much. Listen, I got a question whether the recording will be available after this or the answer is yes. Your TV will be able to to give you the recording. If your connectivity is not the best. Let me look at the screen here. I don't see any other hands going up.

00:22:09:05 - 00:22:36:11
Unknown
So if that's not the case, I'll make Congress. New York Times Do you have a follow up? Thank you. Sorry, I thought I'd raise that already. As regards Kerem Shalom, I mean, is are you expecting to see that open to traffic? The understanding from the kind of talk that we've had was that this was going to be a new route for the delivery of of trucks and aid is.

00:22:36:12 - 00:22:57:03
Unknown
But do you have a date for that to happen or is it really only going to be a place for verification for the foreseeable future? Thank you. And so this is something that we've been pushing for ever since really the beginning of the war. We need Kerem Shalom open. I certainly cannot give you a date because that's up to the Israelis.

00:22:57:05 - 00:23:19:10
Unknown
But it is absolutely critical if we are going to be able to provide proper assistance throughout Gaza. And as I said, we can't do it alone. It has to be with partners, including the commercial sector and the public sector. It it just needs to be open. I've said it before, Rafah is a pedestrian crossing. It's not a crossing intended for hundreds of trucks.

00:23:19:12 - 00:23:49:00
Unknown
So without Kerem Shalom, we will never be able to properly deliver humanitarian assistance in Gaza. Thank you again. Next, Isabella Sacco from Spanish speaking over to you is about. Yes, good morning. Thank you very much for this briefing. I would like to ask on the extent of the of the hunger in Gaza. You mentioned that there is you observed already as you build level of hunger.

00:23:49:02 - 00:24:23:00
Unknown
And I saw in the report by Irshad this morning that there hundreds of cases of intestinal diseases reported every day due to food shortages. So if you can elaborate on this, I put that in relation with the limited access of humanitarian aid. Thank you. Thanks, Isabelle. We will send you the link to the WFP survey and I think that will the survey itself will be able to answer your questions more clearly.

00:24:23:02 - 00:24:56:09
Unknown
So we'll put that in the link orients will send it out. You can probably Google WFP, survey Gaza and it'll probably pop up, but we'll send you the link in any event. Indeed, we will. Thank you. Jumps jumpstart across those files for The Lancet on France. Yes. Good morning. I was wondering if you have any provisional estimates on the damage to infrastructure, especially public infrastructure, schools, hospitals.

00:24:56:09 - 00:25:26:06
Unknown
Roads, water treatment works and what it will cost to rehabilitate all these facilities. I gather from your appeal was the flash appeal was for 1.2 billion. If I'm not mistaken, how much of that has been met today? And are you looking for extra funds? Thank you. Thanks, Darren. So we're in the middle of trying to do all of this, obviously.

00:25:26:08 - 00:25:54:09
Unknown
I've we've got an estimate largely from satellites that about 60% of homes have been damaged or absolutely destroyed. But I'm not going to be able to give you any numbers that we could cite with any credibility for the moment. So, you know, during the pause, we did try and get out and take a look, especially at the water connections and do basically some patchwork of repairs.

00:25:54:11 - 00:26:19:05
Unknown
But I'd rather wait until we have something a little bit more reliable. I have no idea how much this is going to cost to reconstruct. Now, direct you to the conference from 2014 where which was held in Cairo, where I think they estimated $5 billion was going to be needed to reconstruct Gaza. I can't even imagine what that number looks like now.

00:26:19:07 - 00:26:47:01
Unknown
The flash appeals only for humanitarian assistance and only four. And that does include some, as I say, patchwork repairs of things like water connections so that pipes start flowing, etc. as soon as possible. But again, I really hesitate to give you a ballpark figure even for the reconstruction of Gaza. We haven't even seen the final extent of what the damage is going to be.

00:26:47:01 - 00:27:25:12
Unknown
So we really unfortunately need to hold off on that. The flash appeal itself or just the humanitarian assistance is now funded at about 39%. So we do look forward, obviously, to more funding coming in. When I say it's it's funded at 39%, that includes commitments. Doesn't mean that the 39% is actually in the accounts and being used, but it is representative of what we would expect to be coming in over the next several weeks.

00:27:25:14 - 00:27:54:00
Unknown
Thank you very much, Lynn. Next up, is Satoko attaching from Japanese press? Hello? Can you hear me? We can. Thank you. I just want to follow up the next question on blowing up Oduba School. I didn't catch up. Your answer. Clearly. So did you receive any warning beforehand and was there any people inside? Or if people had evacuated, evacuated before?

00:27:54:02 - 00:28:30:11
Unknown
Yeah. So we were told that they were going to be Well, I think we were told that people should leave. So we didn't appreciate what the extent of the damage was going to be. I have not received any reports of any casualties. So my understanding is people did leave. So, yes, we did receive advance notice and but again, in terms of the reasons why I would refer you to the Israelis.

00:28:30:13 - 00:28:38:22
Unknown
Thank you very much. Chloe EFP.

00:28:38:24 - 00:29:08:01
Unknown
Sorry, one just one last question. And I don't know if you you have any reports of the 120 children who are in al-Shifa hospital and who had no surviving member of their family there, were they? I mean, they were and they were with medical staff eventually found on leave. You know where they are now. Yeah. So UNICEF has what we call it tracing or tracking mechanism in place.

00:29:08:03 - 00:29:41:12
Unknown
I don't have the actual details on that. We can ask UNICEF how much they've been able to confirm on that. And if we have that information, we can again, send it back through. Yes. Thank you, Isabelle. Again, yes, a thank you very much. And I would like to ask about. How are you trying to deal? Or UN or Palestinians themselves?

00:29:41:14 - 00:30:07:00
Unknown
With the number of people that you mentioned that is now sheltering in Rafah, you mentioned that I don't find exactly your my in my notes. But you mentioned that most of the Palestinian population now is in Rafah in this small area of Rafah. Could you please update the situation there? How many people are in the streets sleeping in the streets?

00:30:07:00 - 00:30:38:09
Unknown
But beyond that, what is the, for example, the situation? A If you have any update of the Nasser Hospital where apparently a destroyed destruction has been very serious in the last days. Thank you. Yeah. So we estimate that there's about a million people in Rafah. So I think, again, you can visualize what that means. It it impacts our own ability to move.

00:30:38:11 - 00:31:19:18
Unknown
It increases a public health crisis. And just trying to get food to people who are in Rafah is extremely difficult. We have said, I think, a number of times, both publicly but also with the Israelis, that moving people into these very small places will be it will jeopardize the humanitarian operations in Gaza. And it may come to a point where we're simply not able to provide the assistance, even if it does get in because of the situation, people need to be able to move.

00:31:19:20 - 00:31:50:05
Unknown
We cannot have people into these small areas and expect that there won't be a public health crisis or that we will be able to distribute. I've said it before, but I'll say it again. The reason why Gaza is not safe is not just because of the airstrikes, but it's also because these conditions that are being created by the massive displacement of the population into smaller and smaller areas of Gaza, which is back to Nasser Hospital.

00:31:50:05 - 00:32:23:13
Unknown
Yes, this is all part of the fact that now there's only one third of the hospitals inside of Gaza, 36 hospitals. Now there's less than a third that are functioning. And when I say functioning, I use that word very, very loosely, because most of the hospitals that are functioning also have they also have. Sorry, I just got distracted there.

00:32:23:15 - 00:32:48:03
Unknown
Most of the hospitals are not functioning to capacity, so it just means people are not being treated for all the various diseases and injuries that they're suffering from. Thank you very much, Lynn. I think we will take a couple of more questions and then wrap it up. First, back to John. Request us and then Nick from The New York Times.

00:32:48:05 - 00:33:30:09
Unknown
Yes, thank you. Coming back to what you were saying about the second crossing that is currently being used just for verification. If I'm not mistaken, and please correct me. That crossing before the October seven crisis had a capacity to deal with about 500 trucks per day, of which the majority were commercial. Is there any indication from the Israeli authorities that they will give the green light for commercial traffic, or is that being restricted because of the limitations of getting into Gaza, because of the ongoing conflict?

00:33:30:11 - 00:33:55:17
Unknown
Okay. So about 500 trucks were going into Gaza before October 7th, but not all of them were coming through. Kerem along. Some of them were coming through an informal crossing between Egypt and Gaza, which is called Saladin. We have eliminated about 30% of goods going into Gaza. We're going in from this other crossing. So Kerem Shalom is total capacity.

00:33:55:17 - 00:34:20:00
Unknown
I don't know exactly what it is, but it certainly in the hundreds, the high hundreds. So even though it wouldn't have been 500 a day that we're going in, we could probably estimate that it could be as many as 500 or even more that could go through Kerem Shalom. Now, the reason why goods are not going through Kerem Shalom is not because of any type of logistical reason.

00:34:20:00 - 00:34:56:04
Unknown
It's because the government of Israel announced that no humanitarian assistance would go from Israel into Gaza after October 7th. So that's the reason why it's not because there is some sort of technical restrictions. Thank you very much, Lynn. And we'll wrap it up with a last question from Nick from The New York Times. Yeah. Thank you. I just wanted to ask, what is the status of Kamal Adwan Hospital as of now and whether you have an update on the people who were detained from there.

00:34:56:05 - 00:35:23:24
Unknown
Thank you. Sorry. Which hospital? Kind of like one. So we don't actually have the information on people who are being detained, neither from any hospitals nor from any of the UNWRA shelters. We've all seen the pictures. I have asked the ICRC or any appropriate body have access to people who are detained to determine what their conditions are.

00:35:24:01 - 00:35:42:21
Unknown
Unfortunately, I think this is going to be a long term issue where we're not going to have a lot of the details. So, yeah, so unfortunately, I'm not going to be able to provide you with those details. And that is one of the reasons why this is very, very concerning, because we don't have the information on people who are being detained.

00:35:42:23 - 00:36:01:14
Unknown
Thank you very much, Lynn. I don't see any more questions, so we will wrap it up with that. Thank you very much. To all of you journalists who joined us online and those who may have been following us on TV. And first and foremost, thank you very, very much to you and for taking time this morning to brief us.

00:36:01:19 - 00:36:06:22
Unknown
Thank you. Thanks. Thanks, everybody.


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