Islamic Relief is calling on Israel to immediately cease bombing in Gaza and is extremely concerned that any further escalation will have a devastating impact on civilians.

More Israeli bombing has been reported in Gaza today following yesterday’s airstrikes which killed at least 13 people, including four children and other civilians. Palestinian factions have also fired rockets into Israel following this afternoon’s bombings, with no casualties reported so far.

Islamic Relief is preparing to provide lifesaving medical supplies and other support to hospitals in Gaza, as well as food supplies to impoverished families if the situation escalates further.

Muneeb Abu-Ghazaleh, Islamic Relief Country Director in Gaza, says:

“This afternoon the bombing started again, and I heard intense bombing around the city. The streets are otherwise eerily empty as people are terrified of what the next hours and days will bring. Banks, businesses and schools are shut, and the crossings with Israel are closed so no goods or people are coming in or out.

“We’ve already seen children killed and lose their parents over the past 24 hours, and we know from previous escalations that when bombing increases, it is overwhelmingly civilians who are killed, injured and forced to flee their homes. In the last major bombing campaign two years ago, more than a quarter of all casualties were children and thousands of homes, hospitals, schools and health centres were bombed.

“It’s vital that the international community applies pressure to stop the crisis from escalating further. Israeli authorities must ensure that civilians and civilian infrastructure are protected from attack, in accordance with international humanitarian law.” 

Islamic Relief condemns all violence against civilians and calls for an end to the Israeli blockade of Gaza, which cuts the region off from the rest of the world, has fuelled high levels of poverty and unemployment and has crippled essential services such as healthcare, electricity and water. We are urgently calling on the Canadian government to take action before the violence escalates and more lives are taken.