Editor's note: The situation in Israel and Palestine is actively evolving, as are the needs of civilians in the region. This article is being regularly updated.
The terrorists also infiltrated 22 Israeli towns, army bases, and a music festival where at least 260 people were killed, taking civilians and soldiers hostage. A Holocaust survivor and wheelchair user was among those abducted and taken into Gaza by Hamas militants, according to US secretary of state Antony Blinken. Over a week later, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said that Hamas is still holding 155 hostages.
On Oct. 8, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared all-out war.
Huge airstrikes on cities in Gaza Strip followed, destroying dozens of buildings, refugee camps, a mosque, and a hospital, sending the enclave’s already crumbling medical infrastructure into total disarray. The death toll in Gaza and the West Bank from the attacks stands at 2,383, with some 10,000 more people wounded.
“I ran away from home at 1 a.m. with my child and my wife,” Gaza resident Shadi al-Hassi told Al Jazeera. “We escaped from being targeted and came to another targeted place. We were surprised by everything, as fire and flames were thrown at us. There is no safe place in the Gaza Strip.”
In addition to the bombing campaign, Israel announced a “total blockade” of the Gaza Strip, cutting off electricity and water to the enclave as well as halting its supply of food, fuel, and other essentials. This blockade and its inevitable consequences is “prohibited under international humanitarian law" and amounts to a war crime, according to UN Human Rights chief, Volker Türk, who also condemned Hamas’ acts of violence.
Indeed, officials in Gaza say the besieged enclave is facing an imminent humanitarian catastrophe after the only operational power plant ran out of fuel.
On Saturday Oct. 14, the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) ordered the entire population of Gaza, north of Wadi Gaza, to relocate to southern Gaza within 24 hours, warning of “significant ground operations.”
The UN stated that such an evacuation order to the residents of Gaza (one of the world’s most densely populated areas with a population of 2.3 million people, about half of which is under 18) would be calamitous and constitutes “a crime against humanity and a blatant violation of international humanitarian law.”
Due to the fact there is no conceivable way for hospitals to evacuate the most serious cases, the World Health Organization (WHO) has called Israel’s evacuation orders “a death sentence for the sick and injured.”
Most of the victims of this conflict — Israeli and Palestinian — are ordinary civilians with many in urgent need of humanitarian aid. Here’s how you can help.
Donate to Global Relief Agencies
1. Doctors Without Borders
Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an independent international organization that provides lifesaving medical humanitarian care across the world. MSF is donating medical supplies to hospitals and health facilities in Gaza to respond to medical needs and treating patients in Palestinian territories.
"The situation is horrific, with massive Israeli & Palestinian casualties."— Doctors w/o Borders (@MSF_USA) October 9, 2023
Our colleagues in Gaza are working day & night to cope with the influx of wounded. Following today’s bombing in Al Jabalia refugee camp, team treated 50+ in Al Awda hospital.
Audio sent to us: pic.twitter.com/fwwJuH3ZkM
The UN Children’s Fund UNICEF works to uphold the rights of children to access services and protection, from early childhood through to adolescence. UNICEF has called for the immediate cessation of hostilities and expressed deep concern for the well-being of children in Israel and Palestine.
3. International Committee of the Red Cross
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) provides assistance during times of crisis, and has called for an end to the violence between Israel and Palestine. “In our role as a neutral intermediary,” they write, “we are ready to visit anyone detained so we can check on their well-being and provide news to their loved ones.”
4. Save the Children
Save the Children provides life-saving resources to affected children. Amid the escalating violence, they have highlighted that children never emerge from conflict unscathed and are calling on all parties to keep children and their families safe.
5. International Rescue Committee
The International Rescue Committee (IRC) responds to the world's worst humanitarian crises and helps people to survive and rebuild their lives.
In a statement, the IRC wrote that they are assessing needs on the ground and the organization’s capacity to ensure critical, life-saving humanitarian relief reaches affected civilian populations.
6. World Food Programme
The World Food Programme (WFP) is distributing fresh bread and canned food to around 73,000 people in shelters and is planning to scale up food and cash assistance to almost one million Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank to ensure their immediate food needs are met.