What is happening in Gaza?

(Last updated: 20 October 2023) 

Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) is upscaling its emergency response amid growing critical health needs in Gaza and the occupied West Bank including East Jerusalem, resulting from the current escalation of violence and Israel’s ongoing bombardment and complete siege on Gaza.


On 7 October, Israel launched an extensive aerial bombardment across all areas of Gaza, hitting homes, hospitals, clinics, schools and essential infrastructure. This has resulted in mass casualties and destruction of civilian infrastructure:

Israel’s military assault follows attacks in cities and towns surrounding Gaza by Palestinian armed groups which killed more than 1,300 Israelis and foreign nationals and injured more than 4,000, as well as the firing of rockets and taking of dozens of hostages into Gaza.

Since 9 October, Israeli authorities have imposed a total siege on Gaza, halting the entry food, fuel, electricity, medical items and water, with the following effects:

On 13 October, Israel ordered 1.1 million people in northern areas of Gaza to evacuate their homes, despite ongoing bombardment across all areas, and lack of adequate safe shelter for them to move to. Given the historic Palestinian experience of displacement, there are credible fears this may become permanent – amounting to the crime of forcible transfer. 

This escalation is spilling over into the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Since 7 October:


MAP’s permanent team in Gaza were the first to respond to the current emergency by releasing more than US$570,000 worth of pre-positioned stocks of drugs, medical disposables, and other humanitarian supplies held in our warehouses to hospitals and shelters.  

Working in the most challenging of circumstances, MAP's team have since sourced and delivered more than $1.8 million of humanitarian supplies from the local market. This includes medicines, disposables and lab reagents for hospitals, and mattresses, blankets and hygiene kits for thousands of people displaced from their homes and sheltering elsewhere. 

Where local stocks are unavailable, we are seeking to procure from outside Gaza to be brought in as soon as crossings open and aid is allowed in safely. We are working with UN and NGO partners to advocate for immediate, unimpeded, and safe access for humanitarian supplies and personnel into Gaza. 


MAP is also calling on the international community to take urgent steps to secure a ceasefire, rescind the evacuation orders, and ensure civilians are safe from attack wherever they are. We are also demanding an end to the siege and the collective punishment of Gaza's population, and unimpeded safe access for humanitarian supplies and medical teams. 

MAP also emphasises the urgent need to address the root causes of violence, including the now 16-year blockade and closure of Gaza and decades-long occupation.