International Relief Teams' Relief Efforts in the Heart of the Israel-Gaza War

February 16, 2024

The war that began on October 7, 2023, after Hamas attacked Israel, has brought immense, unfathomable suffering to the people of Israel and Gaza, and drastically increased the need for humanitarian aid in the region.

In Israel, over 1,400 people were murdered, thousands more wounded and 242 taken hostage. Entire communities were devastated. Many of the communities most directly impacted by the massacres are also home to Israel’s most vulnerable people, such as the elderly, and at-risk children and youth. The loss of breadwinners, the closure of businesses, and mass recruitment of soldiers impacted Israeli’s lives, especially those in the South who struggled financially before the war.

In Gaza, 85 percent of the population has been displaced from their homes. Essential services like sanitation, power and water are destroyed or inoperable. Sources of food and water are depleted, and humanitarian aid is increasing, but nowhere near meeting the demand. 

The lack of food, water, electricity, and fuel supplies to Gaza has left displaced communities with limited food and water access. Higher levels of acute food insecurity are reported north of Rafah, where internally displaced people are difficult to reach due to the ongoing fighting and security concerns.

The onset of winter rain and cold weather has heightened the misery of displaced individuals, increasing their susceptibility to health issues and diseases. 

International Relief Teams’ Response

As a humanitarian organization, our mission is to serve as many people affected by disasters as we possibly can, by providing the most essential resources such as food, water, and sanitation. Our work is rooted in the belief that all humans are equal. We deliver services to all regardless of race, religion, or national origin. Partnering with local organizations that we trust and have a long history of servicing their communities, we are able to provide rapid and effective relief both in Israel and Gaza.


In partnership with Anera, our work has focused on providing critical food and sanitation to thousands of families in Gaza. 

As the number of people living in confined spaces with little access to sanitation grew, so did the health risks they faced. Daily cleaning services in UN Schools being used as makeshift shelters for thousands of families was essential and our first priority.

Now, as the risk of famine increases, we are helping bolster food interventions, providing fresh produce baskets daily to support internally displaced people (IDP). Food distribution efforts are focused  in critical areas like Rafah, where over 1.3 million Palestinian are sheltering in inhumane conditions, bracing for continued assaults on the city. 


Partnering with JDC, a centennial organization with deep roots in Israel, International Relief Teams has provided food vouchers and cash assistance to both meet basic needs (food, clothing, and emergency supplies) and to help offset potential downward spirals among already vulnerable young adults and families.

A quarter of a million Israelis were evacuated because their homes are close to the Gaza or Lebanon border, and are no longer safe for them to live in. Our work targeted key cities in the South – places which suffered tremendously, have high percentages of vulnerable and poor citizens, and desperately needed assistance to best help their residents. 

As of February 15, 2024, around 130 captives remain in Gaza, a fourth of whom are believed to be dead. 

Our Work Continues

The needs created by the war continue to be enormous. But, together with our partners and thanks to the support of our donors, International Relief Teams will continue working to serve as many people as we can as long as the war continues. 

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