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Escalation in the occupied Palestinian territory since the start of Ramadan 2021 has resulted in a substantial number of fatalities and casualties, placing considerable strain on an already overwhelmed health system responding to the global health emergency of COVID-19.

In the Gaza Strip, the significant escalation started on May 10th, 2021, when in response to the unrest in E. Jerusalem, Hamas began launching rockets into Israel on May 9, to which the Israeli Army Force has responded with airstrikes. The ceasefire came to effect on May 21st, 2021, at 2 AM.

The functioning of health care in Gaza and the public health of the population has been affected by damage and destruction to buildings, including health facilities, and essential infrastructure. Extensive damage to roads is obstructing ambulance access while lack of electricity and the cost of fuel for generators has meant the closure of a hospital providing essential care to cancer patients. Destruction of water and sanitation structures, along with the displacement of 72,000 Palestinians including 58,000 seeking shelter in UNRWA schools across the Gaza Strip as of 19 May. Since the announcement of the ceasefire, all population returned home from the temporary shelters.

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