The United Nations reported that more aid workers have been killed in Gaza than in any single conflict in the organization’s history. The staff fatalities occurred amid Israel’s heavy bombardment and blockade of the besieged territory. Among the deceased were UNRWA staff members who had dedicated their lives to providing education, healthcare, and relief to the people of Gaza. The conflict began following a terror attack by Hamas that prompted airstrikes by the Israeli military, exacerbating the dire humanitarian crisis in Gaza.
The war claimed the lives of over 11,000 Palestinians, including more than 4,500 children, according to reports from the Palestinian Ministry of Health. The UN revealed that the Israeli and Egyptian blockade has strangled humanitarian aid supplies entering Gaza, leading to the collapse of the healthcare system and widespread destruction. UNRWA Director Thomas White said the agency is at risk of halting essential services like desalination and waste removal due to lack of fuel. Despite the danger and daily struggle, UNRWA staff members in Gaza remain committed to supporting the population and facilitating aid deliveries, despite facing the same hardships as the people they serve.
The conflict has led to widespread damage, with over 60 UNRWA facilities and dozens of media workers being killed. Both Israeli and Hamas forces have been accused of committing war crimes by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. The intense violence has created a terrifying daily reality for civilians living in Gaza, endangering vital infrastructure, including UN facilities and hospitals. The Israeli military faced condemnation for launching an attack near a UN building, causing significant damage to yet another humanitarian organization’s premises. The conflict continues to escalate, causing widespread suffering among the people of Gaza and UNRWA’s aid workers struggling to deliver support amidst the relentless bombardment and blockade.