In an ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, the United Nations is urgently seeking $1.2 billion in aid to assist the population of Gaza and the West Bank. The conflict, which began following an attack by Hamas on October 7, has resulted in a tragic death toll, with more than 9,200 Palestinians killed, nearly half of whom are children, according to Gaza health authorities.
The situation escalated further when Israel sent thousands of Palestinians back to besieged Gaza, as part of a crackdown on workers and laborers from the territory who had previously been granted permits to work in Israel and the occupied West Bank. These returning workers crossed through the Kerem Shalom crossing, located east of the Rafah crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip.
Israel had been intensively bombing the coastal Palestinian enclave and launched a ground offensive following the October 7 attack by gunmen affiliated with Hamas on southwestern Israel. The conflict has had a devastating impact on the region, displacing more than 1.4 million people out of Gaza’s population of about 2.3 million.
“The cost of meeting the needs of 2.7 million people — that is the entire population of Gaza and 500,000 people in the occupied West Bank — is estimated to be $1.2 billion,” stated the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
The conflict between Israel and Hamas, both of which have a long history of enmity, has brought about immense human suffering, and the UN’s appeal for aid aims to alleviate the dire humanitarian situation faced by those in Gaza and the West Bank.
“Fighting was triggered by Hamas’ bloody raids on October 7, which Israeli officials say killed more than 1,400 people.”