Gaza Crisis Appeal: One year on
Between 7 July and 27 August 2014, Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory experienced escalated levels of violence. Aerial, naval and land bombardments hit the Gaza Strip and rockets were fired from Gaza into Israel.
This violence compounded an already dire humanitarian situation in Gaza as fragile communities and essential infrastructure came under fire.
Some 1,492 Palestinian civilians and four Israeli civilians were killed, and at the height of the violence, at least 500,000 Palestinians were displaced from their homes – almost a quarter of the population of the Gaza strip.
Thanks to your generosity, our Gaza Crisis Appeal raised more than £1.1 million. In addition, the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) Gaza Crisis Appeal raised more than £17 million.
These funds allowed our partners to respond quickly, and continue to support the communities they work with on the long road to recovery.
What we’ve done
Our partners worked tirelessly throughout the violence to respond to immediate needs. The Palestinian Medical Relief Society provided treatment to more than 30,000 people, with care teams often risking their own lives by entering heavily shelled neighbourhoods to treat the injured.
We also supported thousands of those whose homes had been damaged, with the distribution of cooking packs, sleeping mats, plastic sheeting for shelter and blankets.
But one year on from what was the third major conflict in seven years, many thousands of Palestinians remain homeless and the widespread damage to agricultural land has had lasting impacts on people’s abilities to feed and support their families.
Health services suffered enormous strain and damage, so we’re working to improve health provision for those who need longer term rehabilitation as well as the most vulnerable children and their families.
Our partner PARC, having long supported agricultural work in Gaza, worked immediately to restore clean water to 100,000 people who had been displaced. Once the ceasefire was in place they employed labourers to help farmers restore their damaged lands and livelihoods, so that food could be grown again.
And as well as the physical repercussions of the war, it’s estimated that at least 350,000 of Gaza’s children have been left in need of psychosocial support to cope with the things they have witnessed and experienced.
Our partner, the Cultural and Free Thought Association (CFTA) is working to give children and young people a safe place where they can begin to deal with their trauma.
Working for a peaceful and just resolution
Continuing to meet the widespread humanitarian need, as well as strengthen our partners’ long-term work remains essential. But last summer’s increased violence was the result of decades of political failure, international impotence and indifference to Palestinian displacement.
That’s why we’re also advocating for a just resolution to the conflict which holds all sides accountable for any breaches of international law. The targeting of civilian areas by both Israel and Hamas, as alleged in the recent United Nations Human Rights Council report, demonstrates a deep malaise and requires robust systems that hold all those to account who breach international law.
Above everything however, Israelis and Palestinians must know that the world will not allow this pattern to continue. The seven-year Israeli blockade of Gaza which has helped to create some of the highest unemployment and aid dependency levels in the world must end.
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Listen: More on the situation in the Middle East
Every day there are dreadful reports of suffering from across the Middle East. In Yarmouk and across Syria, people are besieged. In Iraq, communities of all faiths and ethnicities are being targeted, and in the occupied Palestinian territory the daily pain of Palestinians living under occupation goes on - largely ignored and unseen by the world.
So what can organisations like Christian Aid do when it all seems so overwhelming? Frances Guy, Head of Middle East at Christian Aid, explains.
Find out more