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Monday 15 January marks 100 days since the 7 October attack on Israel and Israel’s response with intensive bombardment of Gaza. More than 25,000 people have now lost their lives, the majority women and children.
As Israeli military strikes in the south intensify, CAFOD’s local partner has had to shut its centres in Khan Younis that were providing much-needed relief and shelter for thousands of children and their families.
Over 1.9 million people have been displaced in Gaza, with many families having to move multiple times. Civilian areas including schools, homes, hospitals and churches have been attacked: there are no safe places for people to seek safety.
Elizabeth Funnell, CAFOD’s Country Representative for the Middle East, said:
“For almost 100 days, civilians - women, men and children - have paid the ultimate price in this terrible conflict that urgently demands a ceasefire. Nowhere in Gaza is safe. Families have been displaced multiple times and are trapped within the tiny Gaza Strip.
“In Khan Younis, our local partner has been helping around 9,000 people by providing places to sleep in their three shelters, hot meals, and carrying out activities to distract children from the disruption and trauma caused by the conflict all around them. The increasingly heavy bombardment in Khan Younis means it’s now too dangerous for them to stay put. Having already left their homes, families are being uprooted once again and moved to new, hastily built shelters.
“We stand in awe of the unwavering strength and courage of our local partners, who persevere in their mission despite losing their own homes and facing constant threats of aerial bombardments.
“100 days of death and destruction is 100 too many. How many more days will lives continue to be destroyed, people trapped and living in fear, before Palestinians and Israelis are allowed to live in peace?”
CAFOD’s local partners in Gaza are continuing to respond to the urgent humanitarian needs of Palestinians who have been displaced from their homes, lost loved ones, and seen their daily lives uprooted. CAFOD has joined calls for an immediate ceasefire. Civilians must be protected and full humanitarian access must be provided.
Notes to Editors
CAFOD has spokespeople available for interviews.
For more information and interviews contact Laura Ouseley on firstname.lastname@example.org, +44 (0)7909 875 956 or CAFOD's out-of-hours media hotline: +44 (0)7919 301 429.
CAFOD is the official aid agency of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, and part of Caritas International. Working with communities across Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America to fight poverty and injustice. The agency works with people in need, regardless of race, gender, religion or nationality.