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What does 2024 have in store for Gaza?

19 January 2024

A church in Gaza

I urge believers to take just one side in this conflict: that of peace." 

Pope Francis 

It may be a new year, but world conflicts continue and like any wars, it’s the most vulnerable that suffer the most. 

The conflict in the Holy Land has just entered its fourth month and the death toll in Gaza has reached more than 24,000, 70% of whom are thought to be women and children.  

By the end of 2023, according to UNRWA*, 1.9 million people, or nearly 85% of the total population of Gaza, were estimated to be internally displaced.  

They have nowhere to go. Families are crowded into schools, churches, hospitals, homes and shelters for safety. 

Here at SCIAF: 

  • We call for an immediate ceasefire – an end to all violence by all parties. If you have not already, please sign our petition. 
  • We call for all hostages to be released immediately 
  • We demand that the Geneva Conventions and International Humanitarian law be respected and adhered to 
  • We urgently support unimpeded safe humanitarian access to and across all of Gaza 
  • We recognise that the roots of this crisis lie in the past and for all parties to look to and work for a future grounded in a just and lasting peace. 
  • We pray for politicians to pursue a path to durable peace for all people in the Holy Land to live harmoniously together 

SCIAF Chief Executive Lorraine Currie said:

“SCIAF condemns the horrendous and unjustifiable acts carried out by Hamas on October 7, which resulted in the deaths of around 1,400 people and the kidnapping of over 100 more. 

“SCIAF also condemns the disproportionate response this caused – the use of force and collective punishment of the Palestinians living in Gaza. 

“Israel’s subsequent military actions in Gaza, as well as the limiting of food, water, electricity and other services to Gaza, have resulted in the deaths of around 24,000 people, and injuries to an additional 60,582. A very large proportion of those killed and injured are reported to be women and children. 

“Humanitarian workers haven’t been spared either. Over 100 UN staff have been killed, and more than 300 health workers. Two staff of Caritas Jerusalem have been killed, along with 10 family members.  

“Around 1.9 million people, almost 85% of the population, are reportedly displaced within the Gaza strip.  That’s nearly two million people leaving behind everything they know to face an uncertain future in the middle of a war zone, never knowing if they will return. 

“The situation is dire. Humanitarian needs are intense. Health, and emergency services are degraded to the point of nothing. Designated ‘safe’ areas have been attacked. This must stop; we cannot stand by and allow this to continue. 

“Please join us in praying for the immense suffering to come to an end.”