How to Help Victims of the Israel-Hamas War

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Updated: | Originally published:

The Israel-Hamas war, which began after Hamas militants on Oct. 7 launched a surprise, unprecedented attack by storming into Israeli towns from the blockaded Gaza Strip, has so far claimed at least 3,200 lives on both sides.

Scores of Israeli soldiers and civilians, including foreign nationals, are being held hostage by Hamas. The group has threatened to execute a captive each time Israeli airstrikes hit a home in Gaza without prior warning.

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Israeli airstrikes have razed whole districts and put Gaza, home to more than 2 million people, under siege. On Saturday, Gaza's health ministry said Israeli airstrikes had killed at least 2,000 people. According to the United Nations, more than one million people have been displaced in the Gaza Strip so far, with many taking refuge in shelters and schools or huddling in the streets.

Israel has cut power and water to the coastal enclave until hostages are released. Clean water was running out on Saturday, leading to a “life and death” situation, the U.N. said. Fuel for hospital generators is also dwindling and internet and phone service cutting out, aid groups have reported. Israel ordered people in northern Gaza to evacuate south as it prepares for military operations, but the U.N. pushed back that the order would lead to devastating humanitarian consequences.

Humanitarian aid groups operating in Gaza and neighboring Israeli towns say they are scrambling to assist civilians caught in the war from both sides. U.N. agencies have also appealed for a humanitarian corridor into Gaza, which had already been subject to a 16-year land, air, and sea blockade that left two-thirds of families depending on humanitarian aid.

While showing support from afar can come in many different forms, below is a list of humanitarian aid organizations currently helping victims of war that are seeking donations.

Kibbutz Nir Oz

Residents of the Kibbutz in Nir Oz in the Gaza Strip were attacked on Oct. 7, hiding in shelters as their houses and vehicles were burned down by Hamas militants with a standby squad standing in front of them until the army arrived at noon. They are accepting donations here.

Magen David Adom

Israel’s national emergency medical service is on the frontlines of saving lives in Israel. With emergency ambulances, boats, helicopters, and motorcycles, MDA aims to provide the best of care in critical situations. It is a national branch of the International Red Cross/Red Crescent organization. More information on how to donate here.

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An Israel-based humanitarian aid organization, IsraAID's Emergency Fund aims to meet the immediate and long-term humanitarian needs of affected communities by partnering with local organizations and civil society initiatives. More information on how to donate here.

Jewish Agency’s Fund for Victims of Terror

An American charity, JAFINA’s Fund for Victims of Terror, is a first responder when terror strikes, providing immediate assistance to terror victims within 24-48 hours of an attack and following up with long-term rehabilitative support. More information on how to donate here.

Alliance for Middle East Peace

ALLMEP is a coalition of over 170 non-governmental organizations, including tens of thousands of Palestinians and Israelis, for Palestinian and Israeli peacebuilding. It is currently assisting in emergency response. More information on how to donate here.

Medical Aid for Palestinians

MAP’s Emergency Appeal is responding to the current emergency in Gaza, where MAP’s team is releasing essential drugs, disposables, and essential healthcare supplies to hospitals struggling to cope with an influx of serious injuries. More information on how to donate here.

Palestine Children's Relief Fund

PCRF is a humanitarian organization in Palestine delivering medical relief and humanitarian aid to conflict victims in Gaza. It is serving immediate medical attention and basic necessities to children affected by the newest round of airstrikes. More information on how to donate here.

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency

UNRWA estimates that more than half of the 123,000 people internally displaced in Gaza from the latest round of fighting are sheltering in dozens of schools. It has designated emergency shelters to host them and provide critical aid. More information on how to donate here.

The International Committee of the Red Cross

ICRC is an impartial, neutral, and independent organization with a humanitarian mission to help victims of armed conflict and violence. It has called for an end to the violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The ICRC is also working with the Palestinian Red Crescent Society, a medical relief organization running a hospital in Gaza City that has not evacuated after Israel’s order, stressing the danger to patients if it did so and its responsibility to protect the vulnerable. Four of the group’s paramedics were killed in Gaza this week. More information on how to donate to the ICRC here.

Doctors Without Borders

MSF is an independent charity providing medical care and supplies to victims of conflict, disease outbreaks, and disasters. It has called on all parties to ensure the safety of civilians. It is donating medical supplies to hospitals in Gaza. More information on how to donate here.

Save the Children

The global charity has called on all parties to show restraint and keep children and families safe. It is providing assistance, notably for mental health impact, to children affected by the attacks. More information on how to donate here.

Correction, Oct. 13

The original version of this story misstated the date which Hamas launched an attack against Israel. It was Oct. 7, not Oct. 8.

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Write to Astha Rajvanshi at