High Impact Philanthropist International Relief

Understanding the Complexities of Palestine and Gaza

Gaza War

The conflict between Israel and Palestine, particularly the situation in Gaza, is one of the most protracted and contentious in the world. This essay aims to present a neutral overview of the historical context, the current situation, and the humanitarian impact, with a focus on providing aid to Gaza. Additionally, we will highlight five charities actively working to deliver aid to Gaza and the broader Palestinian territories.

Historical Context

The Origins of the Conflict

The roots of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict date back to the late 19th and early 20th centuries, with both Jewish and Arab nationalist movements emerging in the region. The land, historically known as Palestine, was under Ottoman rule until the end of World War I, after which it came under British control through the League of Nations mandate system.

The Creation of Israel

In 1947, the United Nations proposed a partition plan to create separate Jewish and Arab states, with Jerusalem as an international city. The Jewish community accepted the plan, but the Arab states rejected it. In 1948, Israel declared independence, leading to a war with neighboring Arab countries. The war resulted in significant territorial changes and the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians, an event Palestinians refer to as the Nakba, or “catastrophe.”

Subsequent Conflicts and Occupation

The 1967 Six-Day War was another pivotal moment, during which Israel captured the West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza Strip, Sinai Peninsula, and Golan Heights. The Gaza Strip and West Bank have been central to the ongoing conflict, with Israel maintaining control over these territories, although it withdrew its military and settlements from Gaza in 2005.

The Gaza Strip

Geography and Demographics

Gaza is a small strip of land along the Mediterranean Sea, bordered by Israel and Egypt. It is one of the most densely populated areas in the world, with over two million residents. The population is predominantly Palestinian, with a significant portion being refugees from the 1948 and 1967 conflicts.

Governance and Blockade

Since 2007, Gaza has been governed by Hamas, a Palestinian Islamist political organization. Hamas’ control over Gaza has led to a blockade imposed by Israel and Egypt, significantly restricting the movement of people and goods. The blockade has had severe economic and humanitarian impacts, contributing to high levels of poverty and unemployment.

Periodic Violence

Gaza has experienced periodic escalations of violence, most notably in 2008-2009, 2012, 2014, and 2021. These conflicts have resulted in significant casualties and destruction, exacerbating the humanitarian crisis. Both sides have faced accusations of war crimes, with international bodies calling for investigations and accountability.

Humanitarian Situation

Living Conditions

The humanitarian situation in Gaza is dire. The blockade has led to shortages of essential goods, including food, medical supplies, and building materials. Infrastructure, including water, sanitation, and electricity, is severely compromised. The United Nations has repeatedly warned that Gaza could become uninhabitable due to the deteriorating conditions.


Healthcare in Gaza is under immense strain. Hospitals and clinics often lack necessary supplies and equipment. Medical professionals face challenges in accessing training and resources. The COVID-19 pandemic further strained the already fragile healthcare system, highlighting the urgent need for international support.


Education is another area heavily impacted by the conflict and blockade. Schools often operate in shifts to accommodate all students, and many suffer from overcrowding and lack of resources. Despite these challenges, there is a strong emphasis on education within the community, with many children and young adults pursuing their studies amidst adversity.

Mental Health

The psychological impact of the ongoing conflict is profound. Many residents, especially children, suffer from trauma and mental health issues due to the constant threat of violence and instability. Access to mental health services is limited, making it difficult for individuals to receive the support they need.

Charities Providing Aid to Gaza

Given the urgent needs in Gaza, several organizations are working tirelessly to provide humanitarian aid. Here are five notable charities that focus on delivering aid to Gaza and the Palestinian territories:

1. United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA)

Website: UNRWA

UNRWA provides critical services to Palestinian refugees, including education, healthcare, and emergency relief. In Gaza, UNRWA operates schools, health centers, and food distribution programs, playing a vital role in supporting the population.

2. Islamic Relief

Website: Islamic Relief

Islamic Relief works to provide emergency aid, healthcare, education, and economic development programs in Gaza. Their efforts include delivering food and medical supplies, supporting orphaned children, and helping rebuild homes and infrastructure.

3. Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP)

Website: MAP

MAP focuses on providing medical assistance to Palestinians in Gaza, the West Bank, and Lebanon. Their programs include emergency response, healthcare provision, and mental health support. MAP is committed to ensuring Palestinians have access to essential medical services.

4. Palestine Children’s Relief Fund (PCRF)

Website: PCRF

PCRF provides medical and humanitarian relief to Palestinian children in need. Their initiatives include organizing medical missions, providing treatment for injured and sick children, and supporting healthcare infrastructure in Gaza and the West Bank.

5. Oxfam

Website: Oxfam

Oxfam works to alleviate poverty and suffering in Gaza through various programs, including emergency relief, water and sanitation projects, and economic development initiatives. They aim to support the most vulnerable communities and promote sustainable development.

The Complexity of the Conflict

Political and Territorial Disputes

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is deeply rooted in political and territorial disputes. Both Israelis and Palestinians claim historical and religious ties to the land. The core issues include the borders of Israel and a future Palestinian state, the status of Jerusalem, the right of return for Palestinian refugees, and security concerns.

International Involvement

The conflict has drawn significant international attention and involvement. Various countries and international organizations have attempted to mediate peace negotiations, with varying degrees of success. The United States, European Union, United Nations, and Russia (collectively known as the Quartet on the Middle East) have been particularly active in peace efforts.

Human Rights and International Law

Both sides have been accused of violating international law and human rights. Israeli settlement expansion in the West Bank, the blockade of Gaza, and military actions have been criticized by numerous international bodies. Conversely, Hamas’ rocket attacks on Israeli civilians and the use of human shields have also been condemned.

Emotions and Identity

The conflict is not just a political issue; it is deeply personal for many involved. Emotions run high, and identity plays a significant role in shaping perspectives. For Israelis, the conflict is often framed in terms of security and survival. For Palestinians, it is about resistance and the right to self-determination. These deeply held beliefs and experiences make the conflict extraordinarily complex and challenging to resolve.

The Path to Peace and Support

Seeking Solutions

Finding a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict requires addressing the core issues and acknowledging the legitimate rights and concerns of both parties. Various proposals have been put forward, including the two-state solution, which envisions an independent State of Palestine alongside the State of Israel. However, significant obstacles remain, including mutual distrust, political fragmentation, and external influences.

Humanitarian Efforts

While political solutions are pursued, the immediate needs of those affected by the conflict must be addressed. Humanitarian aid organizations play a crucial role in providing relief and support to the populations in Gaza and the broader Palestinian territories. Their work helps alleviate suffering and improve living conditions, offering a glimmer of hope amidst the turmoil.

How You Can Help

Supporting humanitarian efforts in Gaza and the Palestinian territories is a tangible way to make a difference. Here are some steps you can take:

  • Donate to Charities: Contributions to organizations like UNRWA, Islamic Relief, MAP, PCRF, and Oxfam provide essential resources for their programs.
  • Raise Awareness: Educate yourself and others about the situation in Gaza and the importance of humanitarian aid.
  • Advocate for Change: Support policies and initiatives that promote peace, human rights, and humanitarian assistance in the region.
  • Volunteer: If possible, volunteer your time and skills to organizations working on the ground or in advocacy roles.


The situation in Palestine and Gaza is complex, multifaceted, and deeply emotional. The historical context, ongoing conflict, and humanitarian crisis present significant challenges for those living in the region and for those seeking to help. Despite these challenges, numerous organizations are dedicated to providing aid and support, working tirelessly to improve the lives of Palestinians in Gaza and beyond. By understanding the complexities and contributing to these efforts, individuals can play a role in alleviating suffering and supporting the pursuit of peace and stability in the region.

Charities focused on disaster relief

Gaza War

About the author

Circle Acts Team

United by a shared passion to make a difference, we're on a joyful mission: to spotlight the wonderful world of nonprofits, charities, and the incredible causes they champion.

Every article we craft is a labor of love, bursting with positivity and hope. We're firm believers in the magic of service and are constantly inspired by the countless unsung heroes working tirelessly for change. By donating our time and energy, we aspire to create ripples of awareness and inspire action. So, every time you read one of our articles, know it's penned with heaps of passion, a dash of joy, and a sprinkle of hope.

Cheers to making the world a brighter place, one story at a time!