At a glance: State of Palestine

Children at risk in the Gaza conflict

In Gaza, children are deeply affected by violence

UNICEF Image: Girl stands in front of class holding a drawing
© UNICEF SoP/Eyad El Baba
Qamar, 12, wishes every student in her overcrowded classroom could have her own desk.

UNICEF is on the ground working with children and their families and reporting on their situation.

One year after the ceasefire on August 26, 2014, recovery in Gaza is slow.

Basic needs such as food, water and education are substantial and more than 300,000 children still need emotional and psychological support. The 51-day conflict left 258 schools and kindergartens damaged, including 26 schools that are beyond repair.

UNICEF is on the ground in Gaza providing education, nutrition, health and child protection programs, and is playing vital role in restoring access to water, sanitation and hygiene.

Read more about UNICEF’s work and the State of Palestine’s needs

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Perspectives, actions and accounts of UNICEF's team and partners in the region working on behalf of children


EU Commissioner announces additional funding for seawater desalination plant in Gaza
GAZA, State of Palestine, 14 June 2016 – European Union Commissioner Johannes Hahn visited the EU-funded desalination plant in southern Gaza, which is currently in the final stage of its construction. Once fully operational, it will provide safe drinking water for over 75,000 Palestinians in Khan Younis and Rafah.


Mobile Family Center in Juhor Ad Dik provides children with psychosocial support and other services
JUHOR AD DIK, State of Palestine, 8 June 2016 – Children and families in Juhor Ad Dik, a very poor community in the Gaza Strip, are benefitting from one of 28 UNICEF-supported Family Centers, which provide psychosocial support and other services, such as awareness-raising about positive discipline.


What do children want for their school?
GAZA, State of Palestine, 4 May 2016 – As of 2014, Gaza has a shortage of 200 schools, and 80 per cent of schools must run double shifts to accommodate students. As UNICEF helps rebuild and rehabilitate damaged schools, it is soliciting input from students.


New school washrooms bring better hygiene practices
QABATIA, State of Palestine, 21 April 2016 – Before the Khawla bint Al Azwar School for Girls in Qabatia, West Bank, received new water and sanitation facilities in 2015, more than 700 students from grades 1-8 had to wait in line to use the school’s nine restrooms – out-dated facilities that were always filthy and unhygienic due to overuse.


Water crisis threatens 35,000 Palestinians, half of them children
RAMALLAH, State of Palestine, 14 April 2016 – A project providing extremely vulnerable communities in the West Bank with water at affordable prices is at risk of being discontinued, as funding has been exhausted. The suspension of water assistance may lead to displacement, especially given this year’s below-average rainfall.


Beautifying schools
GAZA, State of Palestine, 16 April 2016 – In Gaza, students are transforming and beautifying their damaged schools through creative and uplifting art.


Overcoming distance: Gaza-Qatar
State of Palestine, 13 April 2016 – Students in Gaza and Qatar are having regular online meetups as part of UNICEF’s ‘Virtual Majilis’ programme, which helps them challenge preconceptions and stereotypes, develop a deeper understanding of their different cultures, and engage in creative and critical thinking.


Japan supports UNICEF interventions for Palestinian children and women
State of Palestine, 12 April 2016 – With Gaza still in ruins and tensions running high in the West Bank, Palestinian children rebuild resilience with education, play, psychosocial support and adolescent-led initiatives, as part of a cross-sectoral programme funded by Japan.


A Palestinian student uses water faucets installed at her school by UNICEF with funding from Australia
State of Palestine, 11 April 2016 – Many schools in the State of Palestine suffer from water shortages and have inadequate water and sanitation facilities. Thanks to a US$2 million donation from Australia, UNICEF and partners are rehabilitating water and sanitation infrastructure in schools across the West Bank and Gaza, while promoting handwashing and hygiene practices among students.



School beautification
JABAILA, State of Palestine, 8 April 2016 – Sarah, 17, from Jabaila, Gaza, is one of 1,450 Palestinian students who were selected to attend an advanced training on mural painting techniques. “I enjoyed the activities and learnt a lot from it. I think that my school is more beautiful now,” she says.


“When I jump, I feel as if I were flying!” Reham, 14, a Palestinian student who participated in a long jump competition in Gaza
7 April 2016 – UNICEF and the Ministry of Education and Higher Education in Gaza organized two days of athletic activities for students to help raise awareness on the danger of explosive remnants of war (ERWs).

Rights awareness offers path to change for children in East Jerusalem
EAST JERUSALEM, State of Palestine, 29 March 2016 – When violence and fear take hold in a community, the voices of children - including their hopes and aspirations - should be heard to help them focus on what is possible, instead of dispair.

Turning Palestinian girls into youth entrepreneurs
AWARTA, State of Palestine, 24 March 2016 – While adolescents can be impacted by a range of social issues, they can also be taught to take action on them.

Protective accompaniment helps children reach school safely in Hebron’s troubled Old City
HEBRON, State of Palestine, 23 March 2016 – For six-year-old Rana•, going to school every morning is stressful. The little girl, who lives next to a checkpoint, has to walk past several settlements to access her school in Hebron's troubled Old City.

With Gaza still in ruins, children rebuild resilience with education and play
GAZA, State of Palestine, 22 March 2016 – Gaza's youngest have experienced three major military confrontations in six years, each bringing with it a wave of destruction and fear before receding and leaving behind the scars of trauma.

Safeguarding family health
20 February 2016 – What do we pack in our hygiene kits? Soap, towels, diapers, shampoo, toothpaste, tooth brushes, combs, laundry detergent, toilet paper, plastic garbage bags, disinfectant... in short: all of the essential supplies that the poorest families need to maintain their health and that of their children.

Extracurriculars for children in Gaza
“The 2014 school year was the most difficult one for me because it started right after the war. I could not focus on my lessons anymore and found it hard to study. Last year I took remedial classes in Arabic and Math, so I was able to catch up on the lessons I had missed. I had missed many because I was so shocked by what happened during the war in 2014 -- there were airstrikes close to my home and I was really afraid."

Postnatal home visits for the newborn child help improve survival in Gaza
GAZA, State of Palestine, 2 February 2016 - For Jamila, trying to rebuild her life after the 2014 conflict in Gaza has been challenging.

Powerful photos of Gaza’s children
State of Palestine, 3 January 2016 – Three photos from Gaza made it to the list of the 25 most powerful photos of the year of UNICEF Australia.

Midwives and mothers
State of Palestine, 17 December 2015 – 24-year-old Houda and her one-week-old baby daughter Farah receive the visit of midwives at their one-room home in Beit Lahia, Gaza. This is the first of three postnatal home visits which are part of a programme run by UNICEF with funds from Iceland.

Theater to help heal trauma
State of Palestine, 10 November 2015 – Palestinian children participate in a psychodrama activity in a Family Center of Shejaiya, a poor neighborhood which was partly destroyed during the summer 2014 conflict.

Accessing safe drinking water in Gaza
State of Palestine, 20 September 2015 – Accessing safe, drinking water will soon be a reality for families living in the south of Gaza. A seawater desalination plant funded by the European Union and built by UNICEF will serve 75,000 people living in Khan Younis and Rafah.

Care and support, confidence, and self-expression transform Gaza children’s outlook
GAZA, State of Palestine, 31 August 2015 – Salma, a 15-year old adolescent girl, lives in the Gaza Strip, where poverty is rampant and the threat of violence and political turmoil is a daily hazard. For the past 12 months, she has insisted on sleeping in her mother’s bed as she was too frightened to go to sleep alone after the 2014 escalation of conflict.

#51days51children: Children of Gaza
GAZA, State of Palestine, 26 August 2015 – One year on, Palestinian children in Gaza are still trying to recover from the devastating effects of 51 days of hostilities in 2014, compounded by the slow pace of reconstruction.

© UNICEF/NYHQ2015-1830/d'Aki
Practising parkour helps Fares, 15, and Fahed, 18, cope with life in Gaza.

Jumping into parkour: Two adolescents cope with life in Gaza
GAZA, State of Palestine, 6 August 2015 – Gazans continue to recover from the 51 days of conflict that killed 1,462 Palestinian civilians, a third of them children, between July and August 2014. For two adolescent boys, 15-year-old Fares and 18-year-old Fahed, practising parkour helps them cope with life in Gaza.

The children living in Gaza’s rubble
GAZA, State of Palestine, 8 July 2015 – A young girl and her family remain in their home, a year after it was destroyed in conflict, as reconstruction has barely begun in Gaza, and rebuilding shattered lives will likely take far longer.

Adolescents make positive changes in their community
KHAN YOUNIS, Gaza, 15 April 2015 – The Adolescents Make Difference’ initiative reached 1,000 adolescents across the Gaza Strip, with trainings on life skills, including critical thinking, innovation, cooperation and communication. It equipped them with emotional and physical wellbeing skills, and encouraged their positive engagement with the community around them.

Japanese grants help turn Palestinian schools into child-friendly environments
AL-KHADER, State of Palestine, 18 March 2015 – With funding from Japan, UNICEF rehabilitated 10 schools in some of the most vulnerable areas of the West Bank, in partnership with the Palestinian Ministry of Education and Higher Education. One of these schools was Muna’s Al-Khader Basic School for Girls, located in a village home to some 12,000 Palestinians, close to Bethlehem.

Gaza’s children: Six months after the ceasefire
GAZA, State of Palestine, 25 Feb 2015 – 11-year-old Samar Barakat and 6-year-old Rosol lost their home in a blast during last year’s hostilities. The sisters, their mother and three other siblings now live with their grandfather. The girls still struggle to cope with the loss of their father who was killed during a blast that hit a United Nations-run school where their family was sheltering.

An adolescent boy rides a donkey-drawn cart of hay through a storm
Violent sandstorm blowing across Gaza as temperatures drop.

Reality of Gaza destruction haunts families and children amid ceasefire
GAZA, State of Palestine, 28 July 2014 – More than one fourth of Gaza's residents were displaced during the latest conflict. The three-day ceasefire allowed families to visit their homes, but many had to return to collective shelters when the full extent of the damage to their houses became apparent. 

No safe place for children in Gaza
GAZA, State of Palestine, 28 July 2014 – As the hostilities enter their twenty-first day, the number of children dying is growing. More than 1,000 Palestinians have been reported killed so far, of whom around 230 were children – more than 10 a day. The youngest child killed was only 3 months old.

For further statements, visit the press centre.

Gaza information in French

À Gaza, les enfants vivant dans les décombres
GAZA, État de Palestine, le 8 juillet 2015 – Une jeune fille et sa famille vivent toujours dans leur immeuble, un an après sa destruction lors du conflit. À Gaza, le travail de reconstruction commence à peine, et il faudra bien plus de temps pour reconstruire les vies brisées.

Six mois après le cessez-le-feu, les enfants de Gaza restent profondément traumatisés
GAZA, État de Palestine, 26 février 2015 – Six mois se sont écoulés depuis qu’une trêve précaire a mis fin à un nouvel épisode de violence qui a dévasté Gaza.

L'UNICEF fournit une aide d'urgence pour que les enfants de Gaza retournent à l’école
GENÈVE/AMMAN/GAZA, 9 septembre 2014 – L’UNICEF joue un rôle capital dans les préparatifs d'urgence menés pour la nouvelle année scolaire à Gaza. La rentrée a lieu ce dimanche.

De plus

Gaza information in Spanish

Los niños de Gaza viven entre los escombros
GAZA, Estado de Palestina, 8 de julio de 2015 – Un año después de que su hogar fuera destruido como consecuencia del conflicto armado, una niña y toda su familia aún siguen viviendo en el mismo lugar, ya que en Gaza las labores de reconstrucción apenas han comenzado. Y probablemente pase mucho tiempo más antes de que los afectados puedan volver a la vida normal.

Seis meses después del alto el fuego, las niñas y los niños de Gaza están atrapados por el trauma
GAZA, Estado de Palestina, 26 de febrero de 2015 – Tras haber perdido a su padre y su casa durante el último conflicto, dos niñas en Gaza luchan por asimilar el pasado y mirar hacia un futuro más brillante.

Superar la pérdida en los escombros de Gaza
GAZA, Estado de Palestina, 29 de septiembre de 2014 – Para una niña que perdió a su padre y a su hermana en el reciente conflicto de Gaza, regresar a la escuela es sólo un primer paso en un largo proceso de recuperación.



Gaza information in Arabic


For more about UNICEF's work, choose any of the following:

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UNICEF Connect blog

UNICEF Image: Palestinian children and adults in a UN refugee shelter in Gaza
© UNICEF/NYHQ2014-0973/El Baba
In the State of Palestine, women, men and children find refuge in a school shelter run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in the town of Rafah in southern Gaza.



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