On the march for a ceasefire in Gaza in London last year (Picture: Guy Smallman)

The largest humanitarian organisation in Gaza could completely collapse by the end of this month if Israel’s imperialist backers continue to withdraw funding.

Ibitsam is from Deir el-Balah in central Gaza, but has now been forced to flee to Rafah. “The children are dying from cold and hunger,” she told Socialist Worker. “Please tell the whole world Palestinians are dying. We are not pretending.” 

Western states including Britain and the US, jumped at the opportunity to pull funding from the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (Unrwa) last week. Their funding has made up over three-quarters of its total budget.

The West’s move comes after the Israeli state put out claims that Unrwa workers were part of the Palestinian resistance’s offensive on 7 October.

The suffering of Palestinians in Gaza has already reached unimaginable levels. Over 1.5 million people are now penned into Rafah in the south of the Gaza Strip. Many are living in makeshift tents. Mud and flooding caused by heavy rainfall over the last week have made conditions even more perilous and unsanitary. 

Pregnant women are especially vulnerable. According to the World Health Organisation, an estimated 50,000 women are pregnant in Gaza, but there are almost no maternity facilities anymore. 

The Emirati maternity hospital is the one of the only facilities to care for pregnant women left functioning after almost four months of Israeli bombardment. It now cares for three times the number of women it cared for before 7 October. With no access to care, women are being forced to give birth in tents. 

Abu Hameida was displaced from Beit Lahya in North Gaza and is now sleeping in a tent. “I’m staying in a tent,” she said. “Life is hard, especially when it comes to finding food or water and sleeping without proper bedding.”

Emboldened by the Israeli state’s massacre of Palestinians in Gaza, Zionist settlers stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem in the West Bank on Thursday. Israeli police protected them as they toured the mosque’s courtyards and performed prayers.

Meanwhile, Israeli forces disguised themselves as health workers and civilians this week to assassinate three Palestinian men in a hospital in the West Bank city of Jenin. Following the attack, thousands of Palestinians took to the streets of Jenine to mourn the three men.

Responding to the massacres, Hamas said in a statement that Israel’s crimes “will not go unanswered.” It added that this attack was a “continuation of the occupation’s ongoing crimes against our people from Gaza to Jenin”.

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