Israel and the occupied territories: People caught in rising violence need help
At this crucial turning point, we have urged all parties to the conflict to take every possible step to prevent civilians and civilian objects from further harm.
It is estimated that more than 180,000 people have been displaced within the Gaza Strip due to the military strikes.
We've seen what's happening in Gaza and what's still happening in Israel. At the end of the day who pays the price? Civilians. My thoughts are with the Israeli people who have lost their friends and family. And my thoughts are with the Gazan families stuck in Gaza who can do absolutely nothing, just hope that they won't be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
The decision by the Israeli authorities to halt all food and energy supplies entering Gaza will have a massive impact on essential services and deepen an already degraded humanitarian situation. The latest violence comes on top of 16 years of restrictions on the movement of people and goods, which have taken a huge toll on the economy and lives of residents of Gaza.
During the darkest hours of our presence in #Gaza we never envisaged a scenario where 2 million civilians could possibly live through heavy bombing, deprived of water, food, electricity & medicines.— Fabrizio Carboni (@FCarboniICRC) October 9, 2023
All measures to avoid such a situation should be taken immediately. pic.twitter.com/hZK7SMPl17
Thanks to decades of presence in Gaza, our teams are ready to support essential infrastructure providing health care, water and electricity.
- On Saturday 7 October, we dispatched a truck of medical supplies (stretchers, beds, body bags) to a hospital in Gaza. We have also donated 280 body bags and 12 stretchers to the Ministry of Health in Gaza. We are ready to provide further humanitarian assistance as required on both sides.
- A first assessment of the damage to sewage and water treatment and distribution systems is ongoing. Two vital desalination plants that ensure clean water, as well as three wastewater plants are out of order or lie dormant due to electricity shortages. In addition, Gaza's major hospitals risk shutting down due to low fuel supplies.
- The reports of people being captured or detained are deeply distressing. Our colleagues in Gaza, in Israel, but also beyond, are doing all they can to contact the relevant authorities who are arbitrarily holding Israeli and other nationals. Our ask is very clear: we need to have access to them, assess their needs, and reestablish contact with their families. People who have been taken hostage need to be released. People detained must be treated humanely.
- Our offices on both sides are overwhelmed with phone calls from people enquiring about the possible whereabouts of their missing loved ones. We are doing our best to accompany them in these moments of distress. With our Movement partners, we will try to locate the missing and provide answers as soon as the situation will permit.
- As our ability to bring lifesaving help heavily depends on the security guarantees our staff may obtain from parties waging military operations, we remind them that ambulances, health workers and facilities are to be protected at all times.