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Published on 11 October 2023

Escalation of violence

Christian Aid is devastated by the escalation of violence in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory.

Thousands of Israelis have been killed and many more injured, making it the deadliest attack in Israel in decades. Israeli civilians, including women and children, have been forcibly taken.

In Gaza, thousands have been killed and many are injured. Air strikes have caused widespread destruction of homes, schools, healthcare facilities and telecommunication installations. Already under-equipped hospitals are overwhelmed by casualties while hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced. Electricity and fuel cuts are affecting hospitals, closing food supply to shops and access to water and sanitation services. All schools are closed.

We urge all parties to abide by international law to protect innocent civilians and agree to an immediate de-escalation of this unprecedented violence. The cycle of violence will not end, and innocent people will continue to pay the price, until Palestinians and Israelis as treated as equals and the occupation of Gaza and the West Bank is ended.

We didn’t sleep last night. We are so scared. Many people have been killed. Some of our staff are evacuating and some of them have lost their houses already. We’ve not had any electricity for more than 24 hours. There are thousands and thousands of families who are seeking shelter at schools but there are also many families that are now living on the streets.

- Christian Aid partner in Gaza.

Our local partners

Christian Aid has been working with the poorest and most vulnerable people in the Middle East since the early 1950s, when we provided humanitarian relief to Palestinian refugees. 

Our established partners in Gaza are ready to respond with medical relief and community-led initiatives such as food, shelter, sanitation and protection.

The needs are massive. People are asking for food, water containers and medicine for chronic conditions. People need mattresses and blankets and gas cylinders for cooking. They also need mosquito repellant, soap and shampoo as well as milk and diapers for babies.

- Christian Aid partner in Gaza.
Our work in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory

We are monitoring the worsening situation through our partners in Gaza, who are ready to respond with medical relief and community-led initiatives.

A prayer for peace in the Middle East written by The Very Revd Canon Richard Sewell, Dean of St George's College Jerusalem.

O God of all justice and peace we cry out to you in the midst of the pain and trauma of violence and fear which prevails in the Holy Land. 

Be with those who need you in these days of suffering; we pray for people of all faiths - Jews, Muslims and Christians and for all people of the land. 

While we pray to you, O Lord, for an end to violence and the establishment of peace, we also call for you to bring justice and equity to the peoples. 

Guide us into your kingdom where all people are treated with dignity and honour as your children for to all of us you are our Heavenly Father. 

In Jesus’ name we pray. 


Every war is a defeat. We urge both sides to abide by international law, to protect innocent civilians, and agree to an immediate de-escalation. The people in Gaza were already on their knees. Half of the population are children and have known nothing but blockade and conflict.

- William Bell, Christian Aid’s Head of Middle East Policy & Advocacy.

How it got this way

Even before this latest escalation of violence, the humanitarian need in Gaza has been acute for many years due to the 16-year-old blockade enforced by Israel and Egypt and a lack of effective government in Gaza.  

Across the occupied Palestinian territories, there is a sense of lawlessness and Palestinians feel hopeless. Gaza’s residents are living in incredibly harsh conditions, with soaring unemployment and poverty rates and a reliance on food aid. 

Despite this, the international community has failed to step in, hold all sides to account and work to ensure a peace that secures justice, dignity and prosperity for all.

Christian Aid in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory

Find out more about our partners in the Middle East.

Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory (IoPt)

Christian Aid has been working with the poorest people in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory (IoPt) since the early 1950s.