Casualties and Victim Assistance

Last updated: 30 January 2017

Casualties Overview

All known casualties by end 2015


Casualties in 2015

74 (2014: 69)

2015 casualties by outcome

6 killed; 68 injured (2014:13 killed; 56 injured)

2015 casualties by device type

72 explosive remnants of war (ERW); 2 unknown devices


In 2015, 74 mine/ERW casualties were recorded for the State of Palestine; of which almost half were children (36). Of the 74 casualties that occurred in Palestine in 2015, 67 were recorded in Gaza and seven in the West Bank.[1]

The Palestinian Mine Action Center (PMAC), which was reestablished in 2012 and collected information on incidents in the West Bank, managed casualty data updates during 2013.[2] The UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS) Palestine collected and managed casualty data updates for the Gaza Strip.

The 2015 data represented an increase from the 69 ERW casualties identified in 2014 and a continued spike in casualties following the destruction in Gaza caused by 50 days of conflict in mid-2014, also referred to as Operation Protective Edge; with 49 casualties reported in 2013,[3] 35 in 2012,[4] 24 in 2010, and 46 casualties reported for 2009, following Operation Cast Lead.[5]

The total number of mine/ERW casualties in Palestine is not known; at least 3,475 casualties had been reported by the end of 2013. Defense for Children International Palestine (DCI/PS) recorded more than 2,500 mine/ERW casualties occurring between 1967 and 1998.[6] Between 2000 and the end of 2012, the Monitor identified 975 casualties (153 killed; 809 injured; and 13 unknown).[7]

Victim Assistance

There were at least 1,253 mine/ERW survivors in Palestine.[8]

Palestine reported that there was no specific strategic framework for victim assistance in place in the country. Mine/ERW survivors received the same support as other persons with disabilities. This support is under the responsibility of the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Social Affairs,[9] in partnership with the various ministries and institutions of civil society and with relevant authorities, guided by the National Strategy of Disability Rights 2013–2016.[10]

The Ministry of Health continued to be responsible for the rehabilitation sector in the Gaza Strip. The International Coordination Department (ICD) coordinates cooperation between the ministry and international organizations working in the field of physical rehabilitation in the Gaza Strip.[11]

Persons with disabilities in Palestine were often overlooked and underrepresented in development and relief efforts. Since the 2014 conflict, the situation in Palestine has continued to deteriorate. Vulnerable Palestinians faced increasing difficulty in accessing electricity, education, and healthcare, and struggled to meet basic needs. Key infrastructure was destroyed and many hospitals were not equipped. Unemployment increased as did restrictions on the movement of goods and people.[12]

The Artificial Limb and Polio Center (ALPC), managed by the Municipality of Gaza, is the only center of its kind in Gaza that provides prosthetic and orthotic services. Services are provided free of charge. The ICRC, with the support of the Norwegian Red Cross, continued to support the ALPC.[13] In 2015, 3,070 people received rehabilitation services, including prosthetics, at the ALPC, which continued improving its operations with technical/material support from the Norwegian Red Cross/ICRC. Staff in direct contact with patients were trained in providing basic psychosocial care and referrals to other providers. Some 120 persons with disabilities, including ALPC patients, were coached in wheelchair basketball at sessions co-organized by the Palestinian Paralympic Committee.[14]

Handicap International (HI) provided post-emergency operations to improve access to essential services for persons with disabilities in Gaza. HI also promoted the inclusion of isolated persons with disabilities, improved access to essential services, and gave support for disabled peoples’ organizations and multidisciplinary rehabilitation services, including rehabilitation and psychosocial support services.[15]

In 2016, existing rehabilitation services in Gaza did not meet the needs of amputees. The Palestinian Medical Relief Society estimated that all providers of rehabilitation services in the Gaza Strip combined were only able to address some 15% of the rehabilitation requirements of the population. Many organizations, registered as rehabilitation services providers, were not active in the sector. Al-Wafa hospital, the main rehabilitation hospital in Gaza, was bombed in 2014. The rehabilitation system was already weak and unstable before the war and since its destruction, there has been no central body in charge of coordination between the Palestinian healthcare system and other NGOs and centers providing services. This lack of coordination results in some services being duplicated at times, while others were not provided. Other factors contributing to the deterioration in rehabilitation services were the lack of adequate funding on the part of the Palestinian Authority. Medical treatment available to amputees in the Gaza Strip was of poor quality. Hastily performed amputations often resulted in a stump that cannot fit a prosthesis.[16]

Assistance for persons with physical disabilities was supported by the efforts of UN agencies and NGOs.[17]

In 2016, ITF Enhancing Human Security (ITF) continued a school-based psychosocial program and a project promoting community-based rehabilitation in Gaza. ITF delivered rehabilitation materials, including prosthetic components, to three centers in Gaza: ALPC, Palestinian Forum for Promoting Community Development Palestine Avenir for Childhood Foundation (PACF), and Democratic Empowerment (PALFD).[18]

The Palestine Trauma Centre in Gaza offered support from psychologists, psychiatrists, and specialist trauma counselors.[19]

The Palestinian Disability Law was ratified in 1999.

[1] Emails from Planning Department, Palestinian Mine Action Center (PMAC), 15 March 2016; and from Jean-Guy Lavoie, Chief of Operations, UNMAS Palestine, 22 March 2016.

[2] Emails from Celine Francois, Programme Officer, UNMAS, Jerusalem, 5 September 2013; and from Sonia Pezier, UNMAS Palestine, 24 June 2014.

[3] Emails from Planning Department, PMAC, 2 April 2015; and from Sonia Pezier, UNMAS Palestine, 7 April 2015.

[4] Email from Imab Mohareb, PMAC, 4 October 2012.

[5] Emails from Celine Francois, UNMAS, 22 July 2011; from Ayed Abu Eqtaish, Program Manager, Defense for Children International Palestine (DCI/PS), 26 July 2011; and from Brig. Omran Sulaiman, PMAC, 25 September 2012. In addition to the 16 casualties reported by the Monitor for 2010, another eight mine/ERW casualties (one killed; seven injured) in the West Bank for 2010 were added to the previous 2010 total based on the PMAC casualty data updates provided in 2012. The rise in casualties in Gaza in 2009 was attributed to contamination by explosive remnants during and following Operation Cast Lead, which ended on 18 January 2009.

[6] DCI/PS, “The Problem of Landmines, Unexploded Ordnance and Munitions Remnants in the Palestinian Territories: A Seminar Report,” 25–26 March 1998, p. 14.

[7] See previous editions of the Monitor at on the Monitor website. Information for 1999 was not available.

[8] Including 320 people injured before 2000 identified through a random sample survey and 809 people injured since 2000. See Landmine Monitor Report 2000, and previous country reports and profiles on Palestine.

[11] ICRC Physical Rehabilitation Programme (PRP), “Annual Report 2014,” Geneva, 2015, pp. 80–81.

[12] HI, “Palestine 2016,” August 2016.

[13] ICRC PRP, “Annual Report 2014,” Geneva, 2015, pp. 80–81.

[14] ICRC, “Annual Report 2015,” Geneva, May 2016, p. 497

[15] HI, “Palestine 2016,” August 2016.

[17] See for example, “Caring for and Working with People with Disabilities,” This Week in Palestine, Issue 221, September 2016.

[18] ITF, “Annual Report 2015,” Ljubljana, 2016, pp. 105–106; and ITF, “Activities: Gaza strip,” undated.

[19] The Palestine Trauma Centre, “Palestine Trauma Centre (UK): Annual Report 2016,” undated; and “Palestine Trauma Centre (PTC-Gaza): Muslim Aid Project,” undated.