More than 530 Palestinians, mostly civilians, is the provisional death toll of the Israeli offensive on Gaza while Hamas rocket attacks have claimed the lives of 20 Israelis (18 soldiers and 2 civilians). There are already at least 84,000 displaced people in Gaza. The escalating violence is unlikely to yield despite international pressure. Paying the hardest price are as always the civilians trapped in the strip. As much as the Israeli army launched evacuation advisories in some areas that will bomb the crowded Gaza, most of the residents have nowhere to flee.
The United Nations agency assisting Palestinian refugees has issued an emergency appeal for $60 million to respond to the urgent humanitarian needs of the people of Gaza, including tens of thousands who have fled their homes in the wake of the current Israeli military offensive, the UN News services informed.
The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) also noted today the number of displaced people seeking safety in its facilities exceeds 84,000 and may soon reach 100,000.
In response to the growing needs of civilians affected by the latest conflict, aid agencies have mobilized relief supplies from the International Humanitarian City (IHC), in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
A special airlift in support of displaced families in Gaza began on Sunday from Dubai, where a 747 cargo took off carrying 115 metric tons of aid, containing 45,000 mattresses, 10,000 blankets and 220 hygiene kits. The plane landed at Marka International Airport in Amman earlier today, the UN informs.
“We are very grateful for the immediate reaction and most generous response we received from Dubai and all the IHC members to our call for help. The Dubai airlift is one of the best examples of how effective humanitarians can be when working together,” said UNRWA Commissioner General, Pierre Krähenbühl.
In the coming days, more airlifts are scheduled to arrive in Amman, from where UNRWA will truck the aid into Gaza for distribution. UNRWA plans to expand the scope of the donations to include emergency food parcels as stocks of food and other essential goods dwindle.
The main priority for humanitarian agencies continues to be the provision of food, water, mattresses and hygiene items, as well as fuel for essential water, health and sewage facilities.
The World Food Programme (WFP) continues to provide daily food rations, together with UNRWA, and more than 50,000 people have received emergency assistance in the last 24 hours.
WFP is distributing daily food rations to more than 2,000 hospital patients and staff across the Gaza Strip. Also, the World Health Organization (WHO) is coordinating with the Ministry of Health and other partners on the most urgent health needs, said the UN.