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Gaza Crisis Restarts
  • 3 min read
  • Published: 1st December 2023

Hostilities in Gaza renew

Reacting to news today that the humanitarian pause agreed between the Government of Israel and Hamas has ended, with renewed hostilities, Oxfam Humanitarian Director Marta Valdes Garcia said:

“While Oxfam welcomes the release of Israeli and foreign national hostages back to their families during the pause, and the reuniting of Palestinian prisoners and detainees in return, more still remain in captivity.

The humanitarian pause brought a short respite from airstrikes, bombs and terror but it was never going to be enough to give trapped Palestinians sufficient amounts of food, water, basic services, safety and hope that they desperately needed. Now it has ended, Oxfam fears for the lives and futures of more than 2 million Gazans who again face death from renewed missiles and bombs, and from starvation and thirst and disease, and also for Israeli civilians, as the cycle of violence continues.

More than 1,000 aid trucks were reported to have entered Gaza during the pause – less than a third of normal weekly humanitarian and commercial trade into Gaza pre-siege. While food, water, blankets, and cooking gas were able to be delivered to some people during the all too brief pause, this was never going to be enough considering that 1.8 million people – or 80% of Gaza’s entire population – has already been displaced

The Band-aid has indeed been ripped away from Gaza’s bleeding wound and, in so doing, further denting hopes that humanity might have gained some foothold in the fragile silence of the past seven days. The spectre of further massed forced displacement of people from Khan Younis would, if effected, sharply deepen the unfolding humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza.

Oxfam is also deeply concerned about plans to create “safe zones” in southern Gaza for aid delivery. These are not logistically feasible and contradict Israel's obligation to allow unfettered humanitarian access, especially given prior indications of attacks on the south as early as this morning, which undermines the safety and effectiveness of such zones. They do not provide protection, nor guarantee safety, when they are declared unilaterally or enforced by the presence of armed forces.

The international community must use all diplomatic efforts to press for a lasting a ceasefire, ensure access to humanitarian aid via Israel and Egypt to all those that need it and secure the release of remaining hostages”.

Notes to the Editor: 

  • Over 50,000 women in Gaza are currently pregnant. Of those, 5,500 are expected to give birth sometime in the next month – around 180 births every day, according to the Ministry of Health in Gaza. It is estimated that 30 per cent of women are likely to experience pregnancy or birth-related complications and will need additional medical care. Source: Juzour Maternal health report - 11 November, 2023.
  • Oxfam partner Juzoor has interviewed Dr. Nabil AlBarqouni, Chair of Gaza Neonatal Network who stated that there has been a 25-30 per cent overall increase in premature births this past month in Gaza.
  • Oxfam partner Juzoor has also interviewed Dr. Adnan Radi from Al-Awda Hospital who stated that hospitals particularly those in the North, have seen an increase in cases of placenta abruption among pregnant women, especially those that were subjected to direct bombings—approximately two to three times higher than the usual rate.
  • According to UNICEF, the first 28 days of a baby’s life – the neonatal period – is the most vulnerable time for a child’s survival. In 2021, the average global mortality rate was 18 deaths per 1,000 live births. Source: UNICEF Neonatal Mortality Data
  • According to WHO : In 2016, newborn deaths in the Gaza strip represented 68% of infant deaths. 


For more information and interviews, please contact:

Clare Cronin | clare.cronin@oxfam.org | +353 (0) 87 195 2551