A humanitarian nightmare unfolds in Gaza


In Gaza, the already dire humanitarian situation worsens, as already struggling civilians once more face the horror of major airstrikes.

The nightmare began on early Saturday morning, 7th October 2023, when major airstrikes commenced, sending shockwaves across Gaza.

Since the wake of the bombing, the number of dead and critically injured has been rising across the region, marking an unprecedented escalation of violence and a deteriorating humanitarian situation in Gaza.

Thousands of Palestinians in Need of Support

Islamic Relief staff in Gaza have described the situation as being unlike anything they’ve ever seen.

The latest death toll, as of October 10th 2023, stands at 500 Palestinians and over 8,000 injured. But the number is expected to be more, as airstrikes have targeted residential blocks without any prior notice of strikes.

Hostilities have also led to internal displacement.  More than 17,500 families, comprising over 123,538 people, have been internally displaced in Gaza, mostly due to fear, protection concerns and the destruction of their homes.

Out of the internally displaced persons (IDPs), a report from the United Nations estimates that 73,538 people are sheltering in 64 schools, some of which are designated emergency shelters.

Gaza Targeted by Occupying State

Israeli airstrikes and shelling have targeted houses and apartment buildings in Gaza.

In some cases, residential buildings were reportedly struck without warning for residents to evacuate. Notably, four large residential towers with multiple floors of residential units (Palestine, Al-Hashim, Wattan, and Al Aklouk) in Gaza City were completely destroyed. 

According to the Gaza Ministry of Public Works and Housing, 159 housing units have been destroyed, while 1,210 have suffered severe damage.

Civilians Also Deprived of Health Support

6 healthcare workers were killed and four injured by Israeli airstrikes that also damaged seven healthcare facilities and nine ambulances. 

Israeli airstrikes have also caused damage to WASH-related facilities, undermining the provision of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services to over 400,000 people.

In Gaza, more than 90% of available water was unsafe to drink before this most recent escalation and food supplies were not enough for most families. Without support from WASH-related services, much of the population will struggle to access the clean water needed to survive.

Gaza also suffers from a chronic lack of electricity supply, which has a knock-on effect on health, water and sanitation services’ ability to operate. Gaza’s current electricity generation is less than 60 MW. This falls significantly short of the necessary power to sustain WASH services across the entire Gaza Strip.

A desperate situation made worse

On Monday, October 9th 2023, Israel announced a ‘total’ blockade of Gaza, including a ban on food and fuel, and the water supply to Gaza was cut. The impacts of this are likely to make the desperate humanitarian situation in Gaza even worse.

Decades of occupation, blockade, and recurring conflict have created a humanitarian nightmare in Gaza. Most people do not have enough food, 90% of available water is unfit for public consumption and trauma is taking its toll on ordinary families.

Gaza’s healthcare system is also particularly fragile, with overstretched and poorly-equipped health facilities struggling to meet rising needs.

Much of the population relies on humanitarian aid from charities like Islamic Relief just to survive and this number may well rise as internal displacement spikes due to the ongoing hostilities.

Islamic Relief Provides Ongoing Support for Gaza

Islamic Relief remains steadfast in our determination to assist Palestinian families. Working closely with our local partners, we are preparing our humanitarian response, which is likely to initially focus on distributing medical supplies and urgently needed essentials.

With your support, Islamic Relief will remain a lifeline for Palestinian families. Help support our brothers and sisters in Gaza during their time of need.

Urgent: We’re preparing an urgent response

Help us provide urgent medical supplies, food and other crucial, life-saving aid now to families in need in Gaza.