Gaza: Latest Updates

Updated: 5/14/2024

We are entering the 7th month of war in Gaza and the humanitarian conditions there are tragically worsening. As of this writing, the World Food Program reports that the 200,000+ citizens of northern Gaza are in “full-blown famine” – with 20% of all households starving and nearly 30% of all children suffering severe malnutrition or wasting. Thousands of wounded civilians cannot access adequate medical care as facilities are destroyed, supplies are scare and trained personnel are increasingly rare.

These conditions are by design.

Humanitarian aid – the necessary food, water, medicine and supplies – remains restricted. The internationally mandated safe passage for iNGO staff – the so-called humanitarian corridor – has not been granted by either side of the war (the killing of the World Central Kitchen personnel being just the highest profile tragedy). For these reasons, OpUSA has been careful about our humanitarian support, seeking partners we know and trust can offer the necessary relief in a transparent, effective and safe manner.

We have found such a partner in HEAL Palestine. HEAL is a nonpolitical, nonprofit humanitarian organization that focuses on the health, education, humanitarian aid and leadership to youth in Gaza. Based in the US but whose leadership has decades of experience in Palestine, HEAL has been able to build and operate temporary classrooms in Gaza, establish a kitchen and feeding program, send medical missions into Rafah, and support the transportation and treatment of critically injured Gazan children to US and European hospitals. We are proud to be their partner and encourage to you to read more about them at

Updated: 5/12/2023

The numbers to date are catastrophic – upwards of 1.7 million people have been forcibly displaced; over 34,000 killed – a majority of whom are women, children and the elderly. These numbers are so large as to become abstract. Lost in their cumulative magnitude are the horrible truths that innocent mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, sons and daughters are being killed – “collateral damage” – in the ongoing violence between Hamas and Israel. As a humanitarian agency, we are profoundly disappointed in the world leaders’ inability to acknowledge the rights these civilians have to the basic necessities of food, water, shelter and health. With so much energy focused on the periphery – campus protests, government hearings, financial investments – we remain aghast at how little is focused on the death and destruction of the innocent. Regardless of the factional politics, the continuing carnage is nothing short of amoral and inhumane. We can do better and we should be better.

Updated: 3/19/2023

On Monday the UN warned that upwards of 70 percent of Gaza’s 2.3 million people are facing catastrophic hunger. This is, according to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, “the highest number of people facing catastrophic hunger ever recorded…anywhere, anytime.” Wide spread famine now imminently looms. The Secretary-General stated that this calamitous situation is an “appalling indictment” of a “manmade disaster”.

Furthermore, UNICEF reports that the number of acutely malnourished children – as young as newborns – has doubled in just the past month. This horrific scenario resulting from the lack of adequate food and nutrients is directly caused by military and combatant decisions and not an unavoidable shortage in resources.

“This is an entirely man-made disaster…and we must act now to prevent the unthinkable, the unacceptable and the unjustifiable.”

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres

To be clear, we believe that political decisions – no matter how they are justified – should never directly lead to the death of innocent children and civilians. Political considerations – no matter how deeply felt – should never preclude the moral imperative of responding to this humanitarian man-made crisis.

The full story can be found here.


The war in Gaza has now raged for nearly 5 months and the toll on civilians has been horrific. Estimates from international sources place the devastation at:

  • More than half of civilian homes and two-thirds of medical facilities destroyed
  • Nearly 30,000 deaths, over 20,000 of which are women and children
  • Upwards of 70,000 injured
  • 85 percent of the population has been displaced
  • And more than 2 million people face catastrophic levels of food insecurity and starvation

The statistics – as bleak as they are – do not begin to convey the horror of the situation for the millions of civilians trapped in the territory. With infrastructure destroyed, sanitation decimated, diseases rampant, the conditions for civilians in Gaza is nothing short of “inhumane,” according to the World Health Organization.

Photo by Hosny Salah

Operation USA is a humanitarian aid agency and, like our colleagues, we call for an end to the attacks on medical facilities and civilian targets, to the establishment of a legitimate humanitarian corridor, and for a ceasefire and path towards peace.

The protection and provision of care to civilians is more than just a requirement under the Geneva Conventions – it is a moral imperative.

And as a humanitarian aid agency, Operation USA whole-hearted agrees with and fully supports the recent statement from from the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (the highest level humanitarian coordination forum) regarding the need to allow humanitarian agencies do their job safely. The full post can be found here.

An excerpt follows: