Israel and Gaza:

The fighting must stop immediately

“These unprecedented hostilities – and rapidly mounting death toll – underscore the urgency for all parties to stop the violence and ensure civilians are protected,”  says Ana Povrzenic, the Norwegian Refugee Council’s country director in Palestine.

The humanitarian situation in Gaza continues to deteriorate. Israel has laid a “complete siege” on Gaza, cutting food, water, electricity and fuel supplies to the 2.3 million people living in Gaza. This is a grave breach of international humanitarian law.

Situation update:
  • More than 1,300 Israelis and 3,200 Palestinians have been killed and thousands have been injured since 7 October.

  • Within Gaza, as many as one million people have been displaced, with no safe space to seek shelter.

  • Around 06.30 on 7 October, Palestinian armed groups fired a barrage of rockets toward Israeli communities around the occupied Gaza Strip. The rockets reached as far as Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Israel retaliated with a barrage of airstrikes on Gaza.
  • Members of armed groups from Gaza entered Israeli communities, killing civilians and taking hostages. A number of hostages, both civilians and members of the Israeli armed forces, have been taken back to Gaza. Some hostages were confirmed among those killed in Israeli airstrikes.
  • In response, Israel has launched the bloodiest offensive against Gaza for years, destroying buildings and public facilities, and displacing hundreds of thousands of people.
Updated 18 October 2023
We are ready to support:
  • The Norwegian Refugee Council has 54 staff members who live and work in Gaza.

  • We are monitoring the humanitarian impact and preparing to scale up our support as soon as it is safe enough to do so.

  • In Gaza, we will provide water, hygiene and sanitation items, and essential non-food items. We will provide cash assistance when feasible and will assist communities in preparing shelters for the approaching winter.

  • Across Gaza, we will provide basic psychological first aid as well as recreational activities for children, through teachers already trained by NRC.

  • We appeal to all parties for an immediate ceasefire or pause in hostilities so that we can reach those in need and spare more civilians.

Updated 18 October 2023


A family who has fled their home arrive at this school in search of safety. Photo: Yousef Hammash/NRC


No place to go

In Gaza, Palestinians have no place to flee to. They live in a besieged, densely populated area.

This escalation in violence comes on top of an existing dire humanitarian situation for the 2.3 million people who live in Gaza, a densely populated strip of land just 365 km2 in size.

A health disaster is looming, as hospitals run out of beds, fuel and medical equipment.  

There are not enough shelters to house everyone, especially in southern Gaza, where people in the north were ordered to move. 

There is a complete power blackout. Water supplies have been cut and fuel is a few hours away from running out.

The fighting must stop immediately. This escalation is going to have long-term humanitarian consequences for Palestinians in Gaza.

“The only path towards stability and peace,” says Ana Povrzenic, “is for the international community to finally address the root causes of the conflict, including ending the occupation of Palestinian territory.”