Charities including British Red Cross, Oxfam and Islamic Relief have begun fundraising campaigns this week in response to the humanitarian crisis in Israel and Palestine.
Since 7 October, more than 2,000 people have been killed in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, with thousands more injured.
The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) has not opened its own fundraising campaign but is “closely monitoring the rapidly deteriorating humanitarian situation and assessing it against our criteria for launching a DEC appeal”.
It ran a Gaza Crisis Appeal in 2014, which raised £19m including £2m of match funding from the British government.
Three DEC members – British Red Cross, Oxfam and Islamic Relief – have opened campaigns in response to the escalating conflict.
Oxfam – Gaza Crisis Appeal
Oxfam, which has been working in the OPT and Israel since the 1950s and established a country office there in the 1980s, announced its fundraising appeal yesterday.
Aleema Shivji, Oxfam’s chief impact officer, said: “The violence perpetrated on Israeli civilians by Hamas was appalling and Oxfam condemns those attacks in the strongest possible terms.
“Yet innocent communities are trapped in Gaza, one of the most densely populated places on earth, with no safe place to escape the Israeli airstrikes.
“Over 250,000 people have had to leave their homes, more than two-thirds are now crammed into UN schools with little access to drinking water, food or toilets. We urgently need to raise money so that our team can deliver life-saving essentials”.
British Red Cross – Israel and Occupied Palestinian Territory Appeal
British Red Cross opened its fundraising appeal on Monday to support people affected people affected by the conflict.
“Staff and volunteers from Magen David Adom, Palestine Red Crescent Society and the International Committee of the Red Cross have been working round the clock to respond to urgent needs, including treating casualties,” its appeal says.
“The ICRC are ready to provide further humanitarian assistance as required on both sides.”
Islamic Relief – Gaza Appeal
Islamic Relief said it has invested £109m in humanitarian and development programmes to support the Palestinian people since 1997.
Its new appeal says: “Our focus is now on priority health needs; such as the provision of medical supplies and equipment including medicines, disposable items, medical kits and food for patients and medical staff.
“Should the conflict get worse and people become displaced, we will be supporting affected households and internally displaced people.
“We’ll provide food, hygiene kits and other essential non-food items.”
It adds: “By supporting both medical staff and households across Gaza, we’re working to support as many people in crisis as possible.”