During this period, three medical teams were mobilised to work in Khan Younis, Deir Al Balah and Rafah, rapidly clearing debris from destruction and assembling ad-hoc primary clinics to start receiving patients. They successfully provided the public with basic medical services such as screening, blood tests and other medical assistance as needed.
Across the Gaza Strip, bombing has destroyed more than 46,000 homes and damaged over 234,000 housing units. This constitutes more than 60 per cent of the housing stock, as reported by the Shelter Cluster. A Caritas partner agency health centre in Gaza City has been exposed to partial destruction due to the shelling that took place in the surrounding area and the extent of damage is currently under assessment.
Caritas Internationalis has expressed its “heartfelt admiration and gratitude to its team”, stating that all are “deeply saddened by the end of the truce and joining our partners in hopes and prayers for a complete and immediate ceasefire”.
Caritas Australia is continuing to advocate for a lasting ceasefire that enables a full humanitarian response and has welcomed the Australian government’s call for a ceasefire.
“The departure from human dignity and human rights in Gaza has now escalated to such a degree that a lasting ceasefire is the only way to stem the tide of suffering,” said Sally Thomas, Humanitarian Emergencies lead for Caritas Australia.
“The reality is, very few of the life-threatening issues people face in the region can be addressed in a few hours or days. Re-establishing proper healthcare to support a population as injured and sick as those in Gaza is a gargantuan task, as is addressing the catastrophe of trauma in the region.
“In times of conflict there are usually some escape routes, however undesirable those options might be, but over the past two months civilians have been trapped and forced to bear witness to the suffering of innocent people.
“The population is now in dire need of an unconditional end to the violence so they can receive the full breadth of humanitarian support. We are pleased to see the Australian government joining with New Zealand and Canada to push for political actions that will enable this humanitarian response.”
To support Caritas Australia’s Gaza Appeal, visit caritas.org.au/gaza or call 1800 024 413 toll free.