The conflict in Gaza and Israel has left thousands of people dead and others injured. Many families have been forced from their homes and now have little or no access to drinking water or sanitation. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is working around the clock, along with the Palestinian Red Crescent and Magen David Adom (the Israeli National Society), to help people affected by the violence.
We are providing health care, supporting access for ambulances, and working to establish clean water supplies. The Red Cross Movement has also negotiated crucial pauses in the fighting, allowing civilians to evacuate some of the worst hit areas.
Saving lives under deadly conditions
Red Cross' efforts have been relentless and ongoing. This photo essay illustrates some of the International Committee of the Red Cross work with the Palestinian Red Crescent, providing health care, emergency supplies and access to water and electricity. Photo essay »
Your questions answered
A rescue team from the ICRC and Palestinian Red Crescent moves through the streets of Gaza. (Photo: ICRC)
What is Red Cross doing in Gaza and Israel?
Running medical and ambulance services, protecting water supplies, and helping civilians evacuate areas affected by the crisis. In some areas people affected are being given aid such as blankets, mattresses and essential toiletries.
The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is made up of many different parts. Those responding to this conflict include the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Palestinian Red Crescent and the Magen David Adom, which operates in Israel.
The ICRC has launched an appeal for the people of Gaza and Israel. To read more or to make a donation please visit icrc.org.
What is Red Cross' role in the conflict?
Red Cross is entirely neutral and independent, and our only goal is to help people in crisis. We have to negotiate with different forces in order to bring humanitarian help, but we do not take sides in any conflict.
That does not mean we are silent. The International Committee of the Red Cross has condemned attacks on humanitarian workers and reminds all parties of their obligation to respect and protect medical personnel and ambulances as they go about their life-saving work. Under international humanitarian law, the parties to the conflict must ensure that medical personnel are not harmed, and hospitals and ambulances not attacked or damaged.
But can't you tell them to stop the conflict?
We have repeatedly called for both sides to protect and spare civilians. We have also condemned attacks on humanitarian workers, ambulances and hospitals. But we cannot control what they do. So far, we have been able to negotiate some temporary pauses in fighting in certain areas, allowing civilians to leave for safety and the injured to get medical help.
Why aren't you helping everywhere?
We only have limited resources and cannot reach everyone. Hundreds of staff and volunteers are risking their lives every day to help people affected. But, while we negotiate with different parties involved in the conflict to get as much access as possible, at certain times some areas are not safe for our staff and volunteers to enter.
A Palestinian Red Crescent compound in Khan Younis came under attack on 1 August, and five members of a Palestinian Red Crescent worker's family were injured. About 250 people were sheltering in the compound when it was hit. Two Palestinian Red Crescent staff have been killed in Gaza and more than 40 emergency workers injured, while on duty, since early July. At least 26 ambulances have been damaged as well. This happened despite Palestinian Red Crescent workers and ambulances in Gaza, and its hospital and branch offices, being clearly marked with the protective red crescent emblem.