The extension of the temporary pause in Gaza must become a permanent ceasefire

The extension of the temporary truce agreement is welcome, Islamic Relief points out, but this must now be another step towards agreeing a permanent ceasefire.  

The truce has ensured a pause of the bombing of civilians in Gaza for the first time in 7 weeks, and the safe release of some of the hostages and detained children.  

But the aid allowed into Gaza over the last few days has been woefully insufficient to address this humanitarian catastrophe and many civilians are at risk of dying from hunger and disease. The humanitarian needs are enormous and a couple of extra days is not enough to make a big difference. People displaced to southern Gaza have still not been allowed to go to return north over the past few days, and have reportedly been shot at if they try. People continue to live in fear of what will happen after this latest extension runs out.

We desperately need a permanent ceasefire and an end to Israel’s siege on Gaza, so that humanitarian aid can enter at the scale needed to address this crisis.  

Gaza is in ruins, with almost half of all homes now damaged or destroyed and stocks of food, medicine and water still critically low. Three quarters of hospitals are no longer functioning, and some people are on the verge of starvation because so little food has been allowed in over the last 7 weeks.

More than 1.7 million people have been forced from their homes, with many of them seeking protection in severely overcrowded shelters where diseases are rapidly spreading as children sleep out in the rain and hundreds of people share a single toilet.

Please help Islamic Relief to support and stand up for people in desperate need in Gaza. Donate to our Palestine Appeal now.