The escalation of violence in the Gaza Strip is having a dramatic humanitarian impact. The European Union calls for the protection of civilians and appeals to all parties to respect International Humanitarian Law.
As of 1 August, more than 1400 people have been killed in Gaza, the majority of them civilians. 63 people have been killed on the Israeli side, including three civilians. In Gaza, the number of displaced Palestinians exceeds 257 000, most of whom are sheltered in UNRWA facilities. The fighting has affected 1.8 million people and the humanitarian needs are enormous.
Hospitals and other critical infrastructure have been severely damaged or destroyed. Medicines, bandages, surgery materials and doctors are needed, but the sick and injured struggle to receive help.
Around 1.2 million people have no or very limited access to water or sanitation due to damage to the electricity system or lack of fuel to run generators.
More than 257 000 people need emergency food assistance.
Shelter and household items are required for the internally displaced and the families who have lost their homes.
Waste collection is also urgently needed to avoid the outbreak of communicable diseases.
The Commission's humanitarian assistance in Gaza responds to the population's most urgent needs, including food, shelter and health and the repair of water and sanitation infrastructure. Our humanitarian partners on the ground include the International Committee of the Red Cross (for emergency health assistance and water provision), UNRWA and the WFP for food aid, and Oxfam for basic sanitation.
Ongoing assistance is being redirected to respond to the worsening crisis. On 25 July, the Commission increased its humanitarian aid in the Gaza Strip by € 5 million, taking it to a total of € 23.5 million since the beginning of this year.
Overall, the European Commission is supporting Palestinians with humanitarian aid worth €31.6 million this year.
The overriding humanitarian concern in Gaza is the protection of civilian lives and the need to respect humanitarian workers and facilities. The EU is deeply concerned at the catastrophic humanitarian situation in Gaza and calls on all sides to meet their obligations and immediately allow safe and full humanitarian access for the urgent distribution of assistance.
The EU has condemned as unacceptable the shelling of hospitals, an UNRWA school and a market in Gaza. It has called for an immediate investigation of the incidents.