Women & ChildrenWorld

UN Seeks $1.2 Billion in Aid for Gaza and West Bank Residents

The United Nations (UN) has recently launched an emergency aid appeal, seeking a staggering $1.2 billion to assist approximately 2.7 million people residing in Gaza and the West Bank. This initiative was announced by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

The OCHA stated that the cost of addressing the needs of 2.7 million individuals, which includes the entire population of Gaza and an additional 500,000 people in the occupied West Bank, is estimated to be around $1.2 billion. This appeal is a significant increase from the original appeal launched on October 12, which requested $294 million to support nearly 1.3 million people. The situation has become increasingly desperate since then, necessitating this urgent call for aid.

The conflict in Gaza has been ongoing for 28 days, following the attacks on October 7 when Hamas militants stormed the border. These attacks resulted in the death of 1,400 people and the kidnapping of more than 240 individuals, according to Israeli officials. In response, Israel has been relentlessly bombarding the Palestinian territory and deploying ground troops. The health ministry in Hamas-run Gaza reports that the conflict has resulted in 9,061 deaths, including 3,760 children.

In the past 24 hours, there have been several key developments:

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in Israel on Friday, commencing a new regional tour. He expressed his intention to seek "concrete steps" from Israel to minimize harm to Palestinian civilians in the bombarded Gaza Strip. A group of UN-mandated human rights experts warned on Thursday that "time is running out to prevent genocide and humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza", a statement that Israel dismissed as Hamas "propaganda".

Fresh Israeli strikes hit northern Gaza on Friday, resulting in at least 15 deaths in Gaza City's Zeitun neighborhood and seven in the Jabalia refugee camp. Late on Thursday, the Israeli army announced that its troops had encircled Gaza City. This prompted a warning from Hamas' military wing, which stated that Gaza would be a "curse" for Israel and predicted that Israeli soldiers would be returning home "in black bags". On Friday morning, the militants reported engaging in close combat with Israeli troops northwest of Beit Lahia and firing missiles at Israeli military vehicles.

Israel began deporting thousands of Gazan workers back to Gaza on Friday. These workers had been employed in Israel when the war broke out, and their return follows a decision by the Israeli security cabinet. Hisham Adwan, head of Gaza's crossings authority, confirmed the return of the workers, with footage showing them arriving through the Karem Abu Salem crossing in southern Gaza.

The UN launched an urgent appeal on Friday, seeking $1.2 billion to assist some 2.7 million people in both Gaza and the occupied West Bank. This appeal is an increase from the original appeal launched just five days after the start of the war, which sought to raise $294 million to support nearly 1.3 million people. The OCHA stated that the scale of need necessitated an increase in the appeal.

Hassan Nasrallah, the head of Lebanon's Hezbollah, is scheduled to give his first speech since the start of the Israel-Hamas war on Friday. This address is highly anticipated and could have significant implications for the region. There have been escalating exchanges along the Israel-Lebanon border, with Israel reporting late Thursday that its troops had responded with a "broad assault" after the Iran-backed militia claimed to have attacked 19 Israeli positions simultaneously. Hezbollah reported that four fighters died in the strikes.

This situation is a stark reminder of the devastating impact of conflict on civilian populations and the urgent need for international cooperation and aid. The UN's appeal underscores the dire circumstances faced by the residents of Gaza and the West Bank and highlights the importance of immediate and substantial assistance to alleviate their suffering.

Back to top button