On 07 October 2023, Israel suffered an attack in which an estimated 1,147 people were killed, 5,400 injured, and 239 taken hostage. Many of those hostages have now been returned, but many innocent families have been suffering not knowing the fate of their loved ones and 128 hostages remain.
Since then, Israel has responded with heavy bombardment of the Gaza Strip. Around 1.93 million innocent Palestinians, 85% of the population, have been forcibly displaced multiple times. Around 25,500 people have been killed, 8,000 are missing presumed dead, 67,000 have been injured and many families are homeless as a result of over 360,000 housing units being badly damaged or destroyed.
Civilians in Gaza are suffering in many ways. All of the schools are out of operation, leaving 625,000 children out of education, and 378 of the schools have been damaged. Over 140 health facilities have been damaged and there are shortages of medication and clinical supplies. With limited access to water and food, there are growing cases of disease including over 423,000 cases of infectious diseases such as Diarrhea, Chicken Pox, Meningitis, Hepatitis A, Jaundice, Scabies and Acute Respiratory Infection. Flooding in the ad hoc camps in Khan Younis and Rafah are adding to the health issues.
Humanity First is working with partners on the ground in Gaza and the West Bank to provide emergency aid including medication, blankets, warm clothing, food, and water for displaced Palestinian refugees. HF has been part of a team getting emergency medication into the Gaza Strip and has sponsored free medical care for an estimated 13,000 patients in 10 shelter locations in Khan Younis. This is enabling care covering maternity, chronic condition management, and critical care.
An assessment team of 3 from the UK visited affected displaced communities in Rafah in mid-January. Our local volunteers continue to serve bravely through the ongoing bombardment.
HF has been serving in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) for over a decade with partners such as the United Nations, Red Crescent, Anera, MAP, Save The Children and Oxfam.
In recent years, HF has been working on the following projects in Gaza and the West Bank:
> Repair of damaged schools
> Mobile library
> IT training centre for youth with visual impairment and blindness
> Water treatment installations
> Hydroponic gardens to grow fruit and vegetables
> Scholarships for college and university students