Israel-Gaza Conflict: How To Help
Violence in Israel and Gaza has left thousands dead and is developing into a wide-scale humanitarian emergency. Learn how Project HOPE is responding and how you can help.
Humanitarian needs are rapidly intensifying after weeks of violence in Israel and Gaza that has left thousands dead and tens of thousands of people injured.
More than 1 million people in Gaza have been displaced after Israel declared war on the Hamas militant group in retaliation for the deadly attacks that occurred in Israel on October 7. A severe lack of food, fuel, water, and gasoline in Gaza has led to what the United Nations has described as a “humanitarian tragedy” that has left Gazans in a desperate situation.
As the conflict escalates and the scale of humanitarian needs increases, Project HOPE staff in the region are working with local authorities, UN agencies, and civil society to coordinate the delivery of urgent aid for both Israel and Gaza.
- What is happening in Israel and Gaza?
- What are the greatest needs?
- What are health workers facing in Gaza?
- What is Project HOPE doing to help?
- How To Help
- See our latest situation report on the Israel-Gaza conflict
What is happening in Israel and Gaza?
On October 7, Hamas militants from Gaza fired a deadly barrage of rockets and sent gunmen into Israeli territory, leaving more than 1,400 people dead and escalating the long-running conflict. Israel has since declared war on Hamas and launched air strikes into Gaza that have killed thousands and left 1 million people displaced, according to Gaza health officials.
On October 13, Israel called for more than 1 million residents in northern Gaza to evacuate south of the town of Wadi Gaza in advance of additional conflict in and around Gaza City. The order has led to a large migration of people that the UN has warned could have “devastating humanitarian consequences” for citizens in Gaza.
As additional conflict has broken out around Gaza City, conditions in north Gaza have deteriorated as much of the relief that has been able to enter Gaza has remained in the south. Hospitals across Gaza face a desperate situation as they receive large numbers of trauma patients and sheltering civilians with a severe lack of medicines, medical equipment, and electricity.
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) reports that, among the more than 10,000 who have died in the past month, over 4,000 are children, 2,500 are women, and 500 are elderly adults.
What are the greatest needs?
Project HOPE staff in Jerusalem have reported that evacuated communities, and those affected by the October 7 Hamas ground offensive, need mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS), hygiene supplies, and other services for displaced families. Project HOPE staff have been working with several hospitals in southern Israel, including Barzilai Medical Center and Shamir Medical Center, which have expressed an urgent need for critical medical supplies and equipment. Barzilai Medical Center sustained significant damage from the Hamas attacks, including the destruction of the OB/GYN wing and an operating room.
In Gaza, airstrikes have continued without pause. Israel has cut off Gaza’s supply of electricity, food, water, and gas, creating a humanitarian crisis that has turned into a catastrophe for civilians in Gaza. United Nations shelters are running out of water and civilians are reporting that the only water flowing from pumps is contaminated, causing families to ration clean drinking water or rely on brackish water from dirty wells or the sea, increasing the threat of dehydration and water-borne diseases.
Without water, electricity, and fuel, the majority of Gaza’s hospitals are no longer functional. Without power, the remaining functional hospitals are unable to provide many forms of care, including cancer treatments and neonatal intensive care. Hospitals are filled with displaced families sheltering in corridors, further increasing the risk of infectious disease outbreaks. Despite evacuation orders, many health workers in northern Gaza have chosen to stay and treat the injured and sick.
Though some relief has begun to enter the Rafah Crossing between Egypt and Gaza, the amount of aid to date is far from sufficient to address the widespread and urgent needs. Fuel has not been allowed to enter as Israeli officials fear it may be used for the Hamas offensive against Israel. The distribution of the aid that has been allowed to enter has been limited due to the ongoing violence and the lack of fuel, both of which prevent access to much of northern Gaza.
“Health workers in and near the conflict are in desperate need of medicines, medical equipment, fuel, and other lifesaving supplies,” said Arlan Fuller, Project HOPE’s Director of Emergency Preparedness and Response. “We must ensure that even in the chaos of war, civilians have access to essential health care and basic needs like shelter, food, and water.”
What are health workers facing in Gaza?
Health workers in Gaza are working in horrific conditions, and more than 100 have died since October 7. The remaining functional hospitals in Gaza face scarce resources, fuel shortages, and a lack of medical supplies. There are reports of surgeries being performed without anesthesia, health workers working around the clock, and patients lining the hallways.
Dr. Monther Abo Sharek, an emergency doctor at El-Najar Hospital in Rafah, told us on October 31 that the majority of their staff had not left the hospital since the war started 25 days before. The doctor told us that his hospital had 80 beds to meet the needs of 500,000 people, faced severe shortages of medicines and medical equipment, and was unable to refer trauma cases to larger hospitals. They had no imaging equipment to assess serious internal injuries, and regular electricity blackouts rendered their existing equipment unusable.
“Most of these cases are critical,” Dr. Sharek said. “Most of them will die soon because we don’t have enough medical supplements or medical staff to deal with them.”
Further, Dr. Sharek reported that his staff were facing severe mental health issues due to exhaustion and trauma brought on by the severity of civilian injuries they were treating. “Our team is very exhausted,” he said. “Our team is very tired, emotionally, inside them. Nobody in this world can imagine the number of cases and the type of victims that have come to us.”
“The scene is very hard to imagine. Most of us now need psychological therapy, because we’re just carrying more than we can carry,” he said.
“The scene is very hard to imagine. Most of us now need psychological therapy, because we’re just carrying more than we can carry.”
What is Project HOPE doing to help?
As the Israel-Gaza conflict enters its second month and the number of civilian deaths continues to climb at an alarming rate, Project HOPE has deployed staff to the region to address urgent needs and has emergency response personnel in Israel and Egypt working with local authorities, UN agencies, and civil society to coordinate the delivery of aid into both Israel and Gaza.
Project HOPE’s team in Israel has delivered hygiene supplies to displaced people now located in and around Jerusalem and has procured additional essentials for several hundred more. Project HOPE is also looking to provide mental health and psychosocial support services to displaced families through local partners such as the Yuri Shtern Center and Natal Israel.
Project HOPE is working to support hospitals near Israel’s southern border by providing urgently needed medical equipment and supplies and repairing damaged medical structures. The team has delivered a mobile ultrasound machine to Shamir Hospital in Be’er Ya’akov, which will be used to treat patients more effectively. For Barzilai Medical Center, which sustained damage in the October 7 attacks, Project HOPE has procured five clinical defibrillator monitors and is working to support the rehabilitation of the Children’s Developmental Institute, which was destroyed in October. Additionally, Project HOPE is working with Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem to support the equipment needs of the Gandel Rehabilitation Center, which will serve those injured in the conflict.
In Cairo, Project HOPE staff have been working closely with United Nations agencies, the Egyptian Red Crescent, and several partners operating in Gaza to provide both medical and humanitarian relief supplies to those enduring the unimaginable scale of violence in Gaza.
As hopes for a steady humanitarian access through the Rafah Crossing continue, Project HOPE has one Interagency Emergency Health Kit (IEHK), as well as sanitation and hygiene kits, in Cairo ready for onward movement into Gaza. Our team has also prepositioned six more IEHKs, five Trauma and Emergency Surgery Kits (TESKs), and additional hygiene kits for movement into Cairo.
Project HOPE’s partner in Jordan, the Jordanian Health Aid Society (JHASi), and our long-time partner SAMU, a Spain-based NGO with an affiliate in Morocco, are both on standby to deploy Mobile Medical Units (MMUs) into Gaza and/or to support surge staffing for injured Gazans in Egypt, as needed and if access permits.
Project HOPE’s staff continues to work with local health facilities to determine the highest-priority needs, including medical supplies, equipment, and rehabilitation needs. Our team is coordinating with local NGOs to identify gaps and prioritize needs in primary and mental health across affected areas, including for communities displaced by the ongoing violence. Project HOPE is also coordinating with local government officials to identify further needs across the health and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) sectors.
“As a humanitarian organization, we are very concerned about the increasing humanitarian needs and the fact that health facilities are running out of power and supplies,” said Rabih Torbay, Project HOPE’s President and CEO. “Project HOPE joins the call for immediate humanitarian access for Gaza. Without humanitarian access, we will be mourning unimaginable Palestinian civilian casualties. We urge the Egyptian and Israeli governments to work together to open the Rafah border crossings to allow safe passage for vulnerable Palestinian civilians including urgent medical cases that cannot be treated in Gaza, without prejudice to their right to return to Gaza.”
Does Project HOPE work in Israel and Gaza?
Project HOPE previously provided medical humanitarian assistance to Israel multiple times between 1987-2008 and supported relief efforts in Gaza through local partners in 2009 and 2021. The support in Gaza included distributing hygiene kits, emergency medicines, medical supplies, and equipment.
While Project HOPE did not have active operations in Israel or Gaza prior to the current war, we have emergency response personnel on the ground in both Israel and Egypt to preposition medical and relief supplies and to work with local authorities, UN agencies, and civil society to plan and coordinate the delivery of aid. Additionally, we are in close contact with partners across the region and are actively participating in the World Health Organization (WHO)’s Global Health Cluster to better coordinate our response.
How you can help
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