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Palestine Emergency Appeal

7 October 2023 Palestine Responding

Simmering tensions in the Middle East have tipped into an unprecedented escalation. The already dire humanitarian situation in Gaza is worsening, as already struggling civilians once more face the horror of major airstrikes.

At least 24,100 Palestinians have been killed and more than 59,834 injured amid the recent violenceNearly 50% of deaths are children.

In the Westbank, at least 226 have been killed and at least 2,750 injured.

In the Gaza Strip, the strikes are thought to have destroyed tens of thousands of homes, and 4 in 5 people have had to flee their homes. As many are forced to seek shelter in dozens of schools and hospitals, they urgently need food and other basic survival items.

There are also serious health concerns due to poor sanitation and overcrowding. Outbreaks of Hepatitis A have been reported, which is highly contagious and is just one of the growing risks of diseases that civilians in Gaza are exposed to.

As conditions rapidly deteriorate amid this latest escalation in hostilities, Islamic Relief remains steadfast in our determination to assist Palestinian families. Working closely with our local partners, we are distributing essential items to affected families. Find out more about our response here.

Ongoing struggles for Palestinian families

Even before the recent conflict, life in Gaza was extremely difficult. Economic development has been stifled by political instability, constant conflict, the erection of the West Bank barrier and the continuation of blockades in Gaza.

Amongst a population of around 4.7 million people, hundreds of thousands of families struggled with economic hardship. Within the Gaza Strip, in particular, a shocking 70% of people under the age of 30 are unemployed.

Water and electricity shortages across Gaza put livelihoods, as well as the health of local communities, at risk- even before the recent conflict. A lack of safe water can be especially deadly for children. In Gaza, due to power shortages, inadequate sewage systems and high levels of salt in the water, over 90% of the water is unfit for human consumption, posing a huge health risk.

Young boy with a balloon
Image: A young boy receives a balloon as part of his Eid gift provided by Islamic Relief

Write to your MP and call on the UK to protect civilians in Gaza

As the world witnesses the appalling violence against civilians, we are calling on each and every one of you to contact your local MP to urge the UK government to call for an immediate ceasefire and demand that international law is upheld and civilians are protected.

The situation in Palestine

The protracted crisis has meant that life is incredibly challenging for people across the Palestinian Territories.


the population across the Palestinian Territories are in need of humanitarian aid (UNICEF, 2021)


of people in the Palestinian Territories are unemployed (WFP, 2019)


of people in the Gaza Strip do not have a regular source of food (WFP, 2021)

2.2 million

registered refugees live in Gaza and the West Bank (UNRWA, 2021)


of the population of the Gaza Strip alone relying on humanitarian aid to survive

2.2 million

people across Palestine are in need of humanitarian aid

Islamic Relief in the Occupied Palestinian Territory 

Since 1997 we have been providing humanitarian relief in the Occupied Palestinian Territory as the communities we serve struggle with the devastating effects of occupation and recurring conflict. We set up education centres in our first year, and have also supported care programmes for traumatised children and a school for deaf people.

Our projects include food distribution, medical relief, orphan sponsorship and qurbani.

In 2023, when an unprecedented escalation occurs, Islamic Relief Palestine is once more a lifeline to families struggling for survival in Gaza. As the enclave suffers amid bombs and siege, our aid workers and their families are among those suffering, but still they do all they can to assist others. Working with local partners, they distribute lifesaving aid including food, water, medical supplies, blankets and hygiene items to families fearing for their lives.

Islamic Relief in action

Islamic Relief has been instrumental in supporting medical projects in Palestine, including bolstering emergency responses by supporting key healthcare institutions. During 2021- 2022 Islamic Relief enhanced the capacity for emergency response by providing essential drugs, medical disposables, disaster response bags, and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) kits. 

Find out more about our work across the Occupied Palestinian Territory. Download a copy of our latest report.

Islamic Relief staff member giving blankets to young children
Image: An Islamic Relief aid worker distributes blankets to young children.

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