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CAFOD

Israeli-Palestinian crisis update: How you can help the people of Gaza today

4 April 2024

Since the escalation of conflict, 1.7 million people in Gaza have been displaced from their homes, and two million are facing catastrophic levels of hunger.

On Monday 1 April, an Israeli air strike led to the horrific killing of seven humanitarian aid workers from World Central Kitchen. We condemn the assault and demand compliance with international humanitarian law.

This incident shows that there are no safe areas in Gaza, and that we need an immediate and permanent ceasefire to make sure humanitarian aid can reach people safely and to work towards long-term peace.

Pope Francis expressed his "deep sorrow" at the attack on the seven World Central Kitchen workers.

During his weekly audience at the Vatican, he renewed his appeal for access to aid for the "exhausted and suffering civilian population" of Gaza, and for hostages taken by Hamas to be released.

I reiterate my firm call for an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip. I express my deep sorrow for the volunteers who were killed while distributing humanitarian aid in Gaza. I pray for them and their families.

Pope Francis

CAFOD’s local partners in Gaza are clear that with your support, they can continue to provide practical help to families caught up in the conflict.

Israeli-Palestinian Crisis news story image 1

Our local partners have been providing urgent humanitarian aid to those sheltering in overcrowded temporary settlements near Rafah in the south of Gaza.

Gaza is on the brink of famine

Experts are warning that Gaza is on the brink of famine, in northern Gaza 1 in 3 children below the age of 2 are now acutely malnourished.

Restrictions on the entry of humanitarian aid and the intensity of ongoing hostilities are preventing access to essential food, water, and healthcare and have made the situation increasingly desperate for vulnerable civilians caught up in this crisis.

More than 32,000 Palestinians have been killed, among them 13,000 children. Thousands more are missing, presumably under the rubble. Over 74,000 are reportedly injured. The UN reports that over 60% of housing units in Gaza are destroyed or damaged. There are no safe spaces in Gaza.

CAFOD has been working in Gaza, the West Bank and Israel for decades. Together with partners, we have been actively responding to the crisis since the terrible attacks by Hamas on 7th October 2023 and the subsequent military response from Israel.

Thanks to your prayers, campaigning and donations we continue to stand in solidarity with trusted local partners in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and Israel who are working tirelessly to delivery vital humanitarian aid to those suffering.

People in Gaza are starving. Our partners tell us that the daily struggle to secure bread is exhausting. However, they are continuing to respond urgently and they have been clear that with more funds, they can do more to meet the desperate needs and provide essential items to their communities.

Elizabeth Funnell, CAFOD’s Country Programme Representative Middle East

Three ways you can help today

Our partners are clear that with your support, they can continue to provide practical help to families in Gaza right now. Here are three ways that you can help us make this happen:

1. Donate to our appeal

Despite the huge challenges, CAFOD’s trusted partners continue to respond to the urgent needs around them with remarkable strength and courage.

They are scaling up their response, providing the essentials needed to address the catastrophic levels of hunger now faced by families in Gaza. They continue to provide food, emergency shelter, cash for food, blankets, healthcare and medications, and psychological assistance to both children and adults, as well as offering legal support in Israel to families of missing and kidnapped migrants and refugees.

We are in regular contact with our partners. They have been clear that with more funds, they can do more to protect and provide essential items to communities.

Elizabeth Funnell, CAFOD’s Country Programme Representative Middle East

If you are able to, please donate to the Israeli-Palestinian Crisis Appeal to support our partners, who are already responding to tens of thousands of people in urgent need despite the challenging circumstances.

Your gift is supporting vulnerable people with the urgent provision of food, water and emergency shelter.

2. Campaign for a lasting ceasefire

Thanks to the efforts of people all across the world who have come together to raise their voices and demand governments take action, the United Nations has finally passed a resolution calling for a ceasefire. As we slowly progress towards bringing about the conditions for a lasting peace in the region, it is vital that we keep up the pressure more than ever so the UK government is in no doubt as to how much its citizens desperately want to see this life-saving ceasefire.

CAFOD believes that only a permanent ceasefire will allow a full humanitarian response and bring lasting peace to the region.

Will you join us in writing to the Foreign Secretary demanding peace in the Holy Land?

Take action today

3. Join us in prayer

During this holy time, we are united in prayer with Pope Francis and all those who pray that peace may prevail all hearts. Every person is a child of God, and we must do all we can to be alongside our brothers and sisters of all faiths living through violence, fear and destruction.

Please join us in prayer by adding your name as a sign of your prayers, which we will share in solidarity with our partners who are responding to this humanitarian crisis.

Add your name to our prayer message

Together, we pray for the people of Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory who have been affected by this devastating conflict, for an immediate end to the violence, for our trusted partners who are working tirelessly to respond, and for aid access where it is needed most.

CAFOD has worked for many years in both Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) with partners who are Christian, Jewish, Muslim and secular, and we join Pope Francis’ urgent call for peace and an end to the violence.

Pray with us for peace

Join us in prayer by adding your name as a sign of your prayers, which we will share in solidarity with our partners who are responding to this humanitarian crisis.

How CAFOD is responding

It's been six months since the escalation of conflict in the Holy Land. While it is increasingly difficult to provide assistance, CAFOD’s trusted partners in Gaza, the West Bank and Israel are still managing to respond to the needs around them.

They are providing essentials to those caught up in the fighting but have been clear that with more funding, they can do more to protect and to provide for their communities. They continue to need our support.

We are supporting multiple trusted partners with their response:

Catholic Relief Services (CRS) have been scaling up their response and establishing new warehouses for distributing aid and continues to bring much needed supplies via Egypt which are essential to address the catastrophic levels of hunger now face by families in Gaza. They are also providing emergency shelter, cash and blankets, as well as offering psychological assistance to over 100,000 families across Gaza and the West Bank. CRS are also supporting four churches which are serving as temporary shelters for displaced people and are providing food and cash.  

Our local Israeli partner Hotline for Refugees and Migrants has been supporting families of missing and kidnapped migrants and offering legal support to ensure all victims of the 7th October atrocities have access to their rights and benefits.  

Caritas Jerusalem has opened a new heath centre in Gaza city after its clinic was damaged by shelling and is now providing healthcare and medications to the local community.   When conditions allow, they send out mobile medical teams to support vulnerable communities.  

Our partner Sadaka Reut has mobilised its young participants to act in solidarity with marginalised Bedouin communities in the South of Israel who have been impacted by the conflict to build emotional resilience. 

Our partner from Khan Younis (cannot be named due to security reasons), opened their centres as shelters for people fleeing northern Gaza in the early days of the crisis. As the fighting intensified, they were forced to move further south to Rafah where they are supporting thousands of families with shelter and basic food, water and medical supplies.  They are also providing a space for children’s activities to give them some respite from the conflict that surrounds them and to respond to the trauma that they are experiencing. The children have painted pictures which reflect their desire for a better future, free from violence.  

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CAFOD’s partner in southern Gaza is providing a space for children’s activities to give them some respite from the conflict that surrounds them. The children have painted pictures which reflect their desire for a better future, free from violence.