The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (UN OCHA oPt) just published a 35-page initial rapid assessment of Israel’s latest invasion of Gaza which officially spanned eight days starting on November 14, 2012. The investigation more formally known as the Multi-Agency Initial Rapid Assessment of Gaza was conducted just days after a ceasefire brought relative calm to the territory.
The publishing of the report caps Phase 2 of a four-phase emergency assessment and action plan that UN agencies and Gaza-based NGOs have implemented. The report can be found in full here (PDF).
Here is a summary of the investigation’s findings (emphasis is my own):
- The 8-day assault began following Israel’s assassination of Ahmed Al-Jabari, acting chief of Hamas’ armed wing. Israel followed with repeated air strikes, naval shelling, and tank fire. Palestinians responded with rocket fire.
- According to the UN’s latest casualty counts, 103 Palestinian civilians were killed and 1,399 injured. There is no confirmed count for Palestinian resistance fighters. Four Israeli civilians were killed and 224 injured. Two Israeli soldiers were also confirmed dead.
- Israel destroyed or severely damaged 450 homes in the Gaza Strip. This statistic does not concern non-residential buildings. 8,000 homes suffered lesser damage.
- 14,920 Palestinians in Gaza became Internally Displaced Persons, including 12,000 who fled to UN-operated buildings or government-run schools. (Ironically, Israel targeted these very same institutions in its previous full-scale invasion in 2008-2009). Entire small communities (towns and refugee camps) claimed 100% displacement rates, meaning every family was forced to flee. [Read more...]