Situation Report: Gaza Conflict

October 26, 2023


Updated February 12, 2024 

Since October 7th, when Israel began its bombardment of Gaza in response to horrific attacks by Hamas, more than 28,000 Gazan Palestinians—mostly women and children—have been killed. Nearly 68,000 Gazan Palestinians have been injured and, of the 2.3 million residents of Gaza, more than 1.7 million, or 75% of its population, have become internally displaced. 2.2 million Gazans are at imminent risk of famine.

“The humanitarian situation in Gaza is beyond words. Nowhere and no one is safe,” said UN Secretary General António Guterres in a recent statement. “We cannot allow what has been happening in Gaza to continue.”

Over 60% of Gaza’s housing units have been destroyed or damaged, more than 625,000 students are unable to access education and the lack of food and access to clean water is catastrophic.

CWS Response:

CWS is partnering with ACT Alliance and other partners to provide immediate, life-saving emergency support and to restore access to basic services for the people affected by the conflict in Gaza, Jerusalem and the West Bank. The humanitarian crisis continues to escalate, and there is profound need for humanitarian supplies, medicine, fuel and clean water. 

Take action with the CWS Action Alert: Urge U.S. Officials to Call for an Immediate Ceasefire in Gaza, Support Humanitarian Aid, and Protect Civilian Life

On February 13, 2024, CWS joined heads of churches, denominations, and church-based organizations in the United States in a letter to President Biden urging the U.S. to immediately call for a comprehensive permanent ceasefire, an end to the occupation and lasting peace and to restore funding to UNRWA. On February 8, 2024, CWS joined over 48 non-governmental organizations in a letter urging President Biden to restore funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). On February 4, 2024, CWS joined other organizations in endorsing the Welch Gaza Humanitarian Aid Resolution that calls for the urgent delivery of sufficient humanitarian aid to address the needs of civilians in Gaza. On January 11, 2024, CWS signed an organizational letter in support of Senate Resolution 504 that would require a report on Israel’s human rights practices and U.S. military aid to Israel.

On December 19, 2023, CWS issued an action alert urging U.S. officials to call upon Israel to enact an immediate ceasefire, enable humanitarian aid to enter Gaza and allow Gazans to access safe spaces such as schools, hospitals and houses of worship. On December 13, 2023, CWS decried the U.S. Veto of the Resolution calling for a ceasefire in Gaza and stressed the need for immediate action to protect civilians. On November 28, 2023, CWS joined 68 global bishops and Christian leaders to call for a ceasefire, and on November 6, 2023, CWS participated in InterAction’s sign-on letter to renew our plea for the parties to respect all their obligations under international humanitarian and human rights law and our call for the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages. On October 12, 2023, CWS condemned all attacks on civilians by Hamas and the State of Israel and called for the safe release of all hostages taken by Hamas and an end to all violence. On October 18, 2023, CWS called for an immediate ceasefire and the end of the blockade on Gaza to ensure urgent access to humanitarian supplies including food, medicine and fuel in Gaza as violence continued to escalate during the conflict between Hamas and the State of Israel. CWS was among 26 Church-based denominations and organizations to address a letter to Congress calling for a ceasefire, protection of civilians and release of hostages. 

CWS administers the Ecumenical Accompaniment Program in Palestine and Israel U.S. program (EAPPI), which for 20 years has sent people to be human rights observers in Palestine and Israel. Through protective presence and advocacy, EAPPI is committed to an end to the occupation and encourages a peaceful and just resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in accordance with international law and U.N. resolutions. Invite an Ecumenical Accompanier to speak with your congregation or community, and support EAPPI here.

How to Help

Donations can be made online or sent to Church World Service (P.O. Box 968, Elkhart, IN 46515) 

CWS is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of churches and agencies engaged in development, humanitarian assistance and advocacy.