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Christian Aid Middle East Crisis Appeal

On 7 October 2023, in the early morning hours, Palestinian armed groups in Gaza launched thousands of rockets toward Israel. Members of armed groups entered Israeli towns, communities, and military facilities near the Gaza Strip, killing and capturing Israeli forces and civilians. The Israeli military declared “a state of war alert,” and begun bombardments from air, sea, and land in the Gaza Strip.

The United Reformed Church General Assembly moderator Revd Dr Tessa Henry-Robinson has co-signed the Christian Aid Call for a Just Peace Now, that emphasises the need to protect civilians, putting an end to all violence, securing the immediate release of all hostages, and an unconditional ceasefire so that aid can reach Gazans now.

The following is from the Christian Aid Appeal and includes supporting key facts and information, together with the opportunity to make donations direct to Christians Aid.

Middle East Crisis

Many United Reformed Churches contribute to the work of Christian Aid’s partners in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory through the global justice programme Commitment for Life Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory – United Reformed Church.

  • All sides must unconditionally commit to protect civilians and key services, starting with mutually agreed safe humanitarian access as set out by the United Nations.
  • International humanitarian law must be always upheld and all those who violate it must be held to account.
  • The international community must hold all sides to account and work to ensure a peace that secures justice, dignity and prosperity for all.
  • With the civilian population of Gaza already on their knees, the UK Government must not cut aid to the Palestinian people. Without support Palestinian civilians will be left to die.


  • Psychosocial support (PSS) for affected families.
  • Cash assistance for the host community and protection cases, women, and families in Designated Emergency
  • Shelters.
  • Emergency referral pathways for GBV.
  • Enhance the infrastructure for GBV remote services through solving the electricity shortages and internet disruptions (by providing power banks, phones, tablets, etc.).


  • Urgent need to provide services and basic needs for the IDPs in the designated emergency shelters and provision of shelter support for the people in urban displacement.
  • There are hundreds of Palestinian workers from Gaza unable to return who are stranded in the West Bank. Christian Aid’s partner EJ-YMCA is ready to support workers in Bethlehem and Hebron through toothbrushes, clothing, mattresses, underwear, food etc.
  • Provision of shelter cash assistance for IDPs (reintegration package and belongings loss compensation).


  • The electricity cuts are affecting hospitals.
  • Due to attacks on medical personnel, there is difficulty in accessing essential health care services.
  • Movement restrictions across the West Bank and potential risk of settler attacks at junctions has disrupted some MoH health facilities.

Food Security

  • Access to agriculture: Strawberry and tomato farmers are at risk of losing their entire seasonal production due to access restrictions.
  • Inaccessibility to olive trees could lead to losing olives and oil.
  • Closure of Kerem Shalom crossing means that no fodder enters Gaza. This endangers the livestock and poultry sectors affecting the livelihoods of over 10,000 producers and the provision of animal protein to Gaza.
  • Electricity and fuel cuts are affecting refrigeration, irrigation, incubation, and other machinery that will affect agriculture, poultry, cattle, fish, and other products.
  • Closure of the sea puts at risk more than 4,000 fisheries. OCHA estimates approx 180,000 people reliant on fishing for their livelihoods.


  • All solid waste collection and transfer to landfills remains on hold.
  • Two WASH facilities in the Gaza strip were affected. These facilities served over 400,000 people with water and sanitation services.
  • There is an urgent need for an alternative power supply source. In the meantime, providing fuel (Emergency fuel of 20,000 liters/day) is of paramount importance to support WASH facilities in their continued operation.
  • The chlorine supply for the water treatment plants, currently using the emergency supply, must be replenished. Spare parts for the water and sanitation facilities and infrastructure to be used as part of the emergency repair need to be replenished.


  • All education facilities in the West Bank and Gaza are closed, affecting more than 1,400,000 children.
  • Over 50 UNRWA schools (DES and non-DES) are being used for shelter and reports indicate that displaced families are taking shelter in at least 6 PA schools (Not official DES).
  • The mental wellbeing of students and school staff is negatively affected by the current situation.



Christian Aid’s established partners in Gaza are ready to respond with medical relief and community-led initiatives such as food, shelter, sanitation and protection, as soon as it is safe to do so.

As background:

Christian Aid has been working with the poorest and most vulnerable people in the Middle East since the early 1950s, when we provided humanitarian relief to Palestinian refugees.

Today, as Palestinians continue to experience exile, blockade, relentless spikes in violence and huge increases in land dispossession, they work with Palestinian and Israeli partners to protect human rights and promote resilience for Palestinian communities and civil society. They are actively exploring ways in which they might also support Israeli civilians who've been directly affected by the violence. Although Israelis do not face a shortage of humanitarian resources, there are psycho-social needs to which they may be able to respond.

All their work aims to support the foundations for a just, lasting peace for all.

  • Protect, promote and defend human rights for the protection of Palestinians in the Middle East.
  • Strengthen the resilience of individuals, communities and institutions, so they can respond when faced with threats to their lives, land and livelihoods.
  • Deliver humanitarian responses that are accountable, impartial and strengthen local capacity.

Palestinian Medical Relief Societies (PMRS): emergency first aid response; community outreach and follow-up for those injured who cannot get to hospitals – which are overwhelmed.

Culture and Free Thought Association (CFTA) have previously provided emergency food, medical and other essential supplies from their centres in Khan Younis, not least for the many 1000’s who are homeless and sleeping on the streets.

PARC Gaza coordinate emergency food from local suppliers/farmers in Gaza to those who cannot purchase food - critical now that food lifelines have been cut off. They work with local community protection groups. Water rehabilitation.

PARC West Bank in the West Bank have also reported an increase in settler threats and we know that Israeli civilians across Israel and the West Bank are being armed, settler violence has been growing for some time and is likely to escalate.

Adalah are monitoring the situation in the West Bank and taking advocacy action where possible. They are also preparing to bolster their work on combatting violent speech and incitement online and preventing inter-communal violence in mixed cities (where people are also being armed).

Dated 10 October:

Christian Aid partner in Gaza

We didn’t sleep last night. We are so scared. Many people have been killed. Some of our staff are evacuating and some of them have lost their houses already. We’ve not had any electricity for more than 24 hours.

There are thousands and thousands of families who are seeking shelter at schools but there are also many families that are now living on the streets.

The needs are massive. People are asking for food, water containers and medicine for chronic conditions. People need mattresses and blankets and gas cylinders for cooking.

They also need mosquito repellant, soap and shampoo as well as milk and diapers for babies.

Christian Aid partner in Gaza

The situation is deteriorating very badly in Gaza. It is not easy to move even to your neighbour’s house. We are trying to make do with the food we have like other families.

We struggle to keep our hope, but we are taking hope from and the eyes of our children and your solidarity during very hard times, these difficult and critical times that we are living in Gaza right now.

We need nothing but peace, love and justice. I feel this very strongly.

Dated 11 October:

CA partner in Gaza

We are facing an unbearable situation. We are struggling to keep our strength and hope. We are waiting now to see what the world is going to do for people in Gaza. We feel frustrated and we feel alone.

There are continuous airstrikes and destruction everywhere. There are so many displaced people - hundreds of thousands. There are shortages of water and electricity which is making life unbearable. We have lost access to water in my home, like many others, so we only use the water we have for drinking water. We are keeping close to our children and prioritising them for water and food. We are around 15 people in my house and we are trying to cope.

We are still able to communicate at the moment but the internet comes and goes. We do not have a generator, we have batteries but we are worried we will not be able to charge them. We have about 2-4 hours of electricity every 24 hours but in many areas people have lost everything, electricity, water, even their homes. The hospitals have generators but they are running out of fuel, and we hear that they only have one day left of fuel. Solar panels and solar energy supplies have been destroyed by the attacks.


A prayer for peace in the Middle East written by The Very Revd Canon Richard Swell, Dean of St George’s College Jerusalem.

O God of all justice and peace we cry out to you in the midst of the pain and trauma of violence and fear which prevails in the Holy Land.

Be with those who need you in these days of suffering; we pray for people of all faiths – Jews, Muslims and Christians and for all people of the land.

While we pray to you, O Lord, for an end to violence and the establishment of peace, we also call for you to bring justice and equity to the peoples.

Guide us into your kingdom where all people are treated with dignity and honour as your children for to all of us you are our Heavenly Father. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.


God, hear our prayers for peace in the Middle East.

May all people in the region be protected, safe from harm.

We pray that this crisis will end now, with no further loss of life.

God, may the injured and distressed know your healing presence.

May the powerful and the decision-makers follow the paths of justice, mercy and peace.

We pray for recognition of the dignity and value of every life.

May the clamour of violence cease,

Replaced by the beating of swords into ploughshares.

God, in your name, Amen.

Further Reading

The Revd Lindsey Sanderson, Moderator-elect for the National Synod of Scotland, attended a Christian Aid webinar concerning the Middle East crisis and heard firsthand testimonies about how communities are frightened, angry and hurting. Read Lindsey’s reflection in full.

More Ways You Can Support

Donate Now

You can donate directly to Christian Aid’s Middle East Crisis Appeal at this link and share hope with people in need.

Call for Peace

You can download and share these messages to bring an immediate end to violence in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory. They have been created by Christian Aid and other Christian organisations.

United Reformed Church