In the midst of the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, the organization Medical Aid for Palestinians reported a cyber attack on their website, disrupting relief efforts for Gaza. On X (formerly Twitter), they posted, “Our website has been under cyber attack since this afternoon, in an apparent attempt to prevent people donating towards our medical relief efforts for #Gaza. As a result, we are experiencing disruptions, and the website may go offline.” The organization provided an alternative donation link on JustGiving and encouraged support through Facebook and Instagram.
Simultaneously, Hamas urgently appealed to international relief organizations to provide essential medical and humanitarian supplies to Gaza, citing the region’s risk of starvation and the imminent depletion of fuel resources. Israel’s withholding of critical supplies in response to recent acts of violence by Hamas has exacerbated the situation. Additionally, Israeli authorities ordered a “complete siege” and an “immediate” cut to water supply to the Gaza Strip on a previous Monday.
In an issued statement, Hamas called for urgent assistance from “all relief, health, and charitable institutions in the Arab, Islamic, and international communities to swiftly provide necessary medical and humanitarian aid, as well as fuel, to save the lives of over two million Palestinian residents,” as reported by CNN. Tensions between Israel and the Palestinians heightened following Hamas firing over 5,000 rockets from the Gaza Strip towards Israel. In response, Israel conducted airstrikes on Gaza and imposed a “complete siege” along with an “immediate” cut to water supply.
Human Rights Watch accused Israel of using white phosphorus munitions in its military operations in Gaza and Lebanon, claiming that such weapons put civilians at risk of serious and long-term injuries. Israel acknowledged the use of weapons containing white phosphorus in Gaza, as reported by Reuters. As a result of the Israeli bombardments, the United Nations reported that over 423,000 people in the Gaza Strip had been displaced from their homes. According to the UN humanitarian agency OCHA, the number of displaced individuals in Gaza rose by 84,444 people to reach 423,378 as of Thursday.
OCHA detailed that more than 270,000 people, or two-thirds of the displaced population, sought shelter in schools run by the UN agency supporting Palestinian refugees (UNRWA). Nearly 27,000 people sought refuge in schools run by the Palestinian Authority, while over 153,000 individuals found shelter with relatives, neighbors, and in other public facilities. The agency further reported that the bombing campaign led to the destruction of 752 residential and non-residential buildings, including 2,835 housing units, based on information from the Gaza Ministry of Public Works and Housing. Additionally, nearly 1,800 housing units were damaged beyond repair and rendered uninhabitable. At least 90 educational facilities, including 20 UNRWA schools and 70 schools run by the Palestinian Authority, were struck and damaged, with one school completely destroyed.