UN has called for a $294 million flash appeal for over one million people in Gaza and the occupied West Bank.
“The OPT (Occupied Palestinian Territory) Flash Appeal calls for approximately $294 million for 77 humanitarian partners to address the most urgent needs of 1,260,000 people in Gaza and the occupied West Bank,” said the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) on Thursday.
The appeal brings together the work and funding requirements of the humanitarian community in the region, including 13 UN agencies, 29 international non-governmental organisations (INGOs), 35 national NGOs, and the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS).
“UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East) plays a unique role in OPT, serving as the main direct provider of basic services – education, health, relief and social services, protection, camp infrastructure and improvement and emergency assistance – to 1.5 million registered Palestine refugees in Gaza,” OCHA added.
“In the West Bank, UNRWA serves 1.1 million Palestine refugees and other registered persons, of whom 890,000 are refugees,” it said.
On Friday, the OCHA said the number of Palestinians displaced in Gaza has risen to more than 423,000 amid intensified fighting.
In a dramatic escalation of Middle East tensions, Israeli forces launched a sustained and forceful military campaign against Gaza, a response to a military offensive by the Palestinian group Hamas in Israeli territories.
The conflict began last Saturday when Hamas initiated Operation Al Aqsa Flood against Israel, a multi-pronged surprise attack including a barrage of rocket launches and infiltrations into Israel via land, sea, and air.
Hamas said the operation was in retaliation for the storming of the Al Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem and Israeli settlers’ growing violence against Palestinians.
The Israeli military then launched Operation Swords of Iron against Hamas targets within Gaza.
Israel's response has extended into cutting water and electricity supplies to Gaza, further worsening the living conditions in an area that has reeled under a crippling siege since 2007.