Since 7 October 2023, the escalating crisis in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory has caused large numbers of civilian deaths and injuries.
In the Gaza Strip, airstrikes and a lack of medical supplies, food, water and fuel have virtually depleted an already under-resourced health system. Hospitals have been operating far beyond capacity due to rising numbers of patients as well as displaced civilians seeking shelter. The provision of essential health services – from maternal and newborn care to treatment for chronic conditions – has been severely compromised.
The recent escalation of hostilities in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) is taking a heavy toll on civilians. Thousands have been killed or injured, and over 1.4 million people have been displaced. There have been 171 attacks on health care in oPt leading to 493 deaths and 387 injuries, with 56 attacks impacting health facilities and 130 impacting health personnel, as of 24 October 2023. The health system is on the verge of collapse and dwindling access to health services, clean water, food and fuel on top of an already weakened healthcare system risks further loss of civilian life. Massive displacement to shelters with inadequate resources will result in disease outbreaks. The escalation of hostilities has already spread to the West Bank, East Jerusalem, the Lebanon Israel border and Syrian Arab Republic, with a risk of spilling over to other countries in the region, including Jordan, the Islamic Republic of Iran, and Iraq.
WHO urgently needs an estimated US$80 million to respond to the humanitarian needs in oPt, particularly in Gaza, and to undertake contingency planning for Egypt, Lebanon, Syrian Arab Republic and Jordan through the end of 2023. WHO will scale-up trauma and emergency care services, maintain access to essential health services and treatment of chronic conditions, establish disease surveillance and outbreak control measures (especially in displacement sites), and ensure coordination including through the work of the Health Cluster.