Tens of thousands of individuals have been injured and interruptions to communication continue to leave people unsure of whether their loved ones are safe. In Israel, some 1,400 people have been killed and more than 4,500 injured.
A ‘total blockade’ of Gaza imposed on 9 October intensified the already 16-year-old blockade of the enclave by cutting off access to any fresh supplies of water, food, medicines and fuel from outside Gaza for nearly 2 weeks Limited truck convoys of aid resumed on 21 October but are a small fraction of what is needed, and still exclude any fuel.
Despite the enormous loss of life, calls for a ceasefire have so far gone unheeded and there is no apparent end in sight to the violence.
This is the situation in Gaza 1 month on.
For families, the situation is desperate, and each week requires unending patience and increased ingenuity to find ways to get food and make it last as long as possible. The lack of electricity means frozen and refrigerated items have spoiled, while the lack of fuel greatly reduces cooking options.
With supplies of water extremely limited and tightly rationed, families must carefully consider what they can safely prepare and how much dishwashing it might involve. Each trip out to buy more food brings danger and many are skipping meals to make what food they have last longer.
Gaza has endured a water crisis for years but the current escalation has made the situation all the more desperate.
Most of Gaza’s water is contaminated with untreated sewage and salt water and without fuel, the enclave’s sole desalination plant cannot operate.
Gaza does not have a water grid that all buildings are connected to, rather buildings have water tanks which are filled regularly. Without electricity or fuel, water cannot be transported to these tanks, nor can it flow from the tanks into taps, showers and hoses for use.
In a number of shelters, we’ve provided respite for more than 4,500 children by staging games and fun events to distract them from their extremely stressful situation. We have also transferred money for the orphaned children who we support through our existing programmes in Gaza, to help them buy supplies or find shelter at this critical time.
We’ve supported healthcare facilities by providing almost 2.3 million medical items to treat the growing number of injured patients.
As well as helping vulnerable people on the ground, Islamic Relief is calling for international law to be upheld, and an immediate ceasefire which is required to end Israel’s practice of collective punishment against the entire population, which cannot be allowed to continue. We are also calling for a sustained, significant and unimpeded flow of aid across the border from Egypt, and for the ban on fuel deliveries to be lifted without delay.
We want international governments to:
Please help Islamic Relief to support and stand up for people in desperate need in Gaza. Donate to our Palestine Emergency Appeal now.