The King invited senior leaders from four UK-based humanitarian agencies to Buckingham Palace on Thursday to discuss the humanitarian crisis in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory. According to a palace spokesperson, King Charles requested the briefing to talk about the "acute humanitarian situation".
Charity leaders from Medical Aid for Palestinians, the British Red Cross, Unicef UK and Christian Aid met with the monarch and shared their concerns about the growing crisis. Christian Aid's CEO, Patrick Watt, who was one of those invited to the royal residence, said he felt it was an important opportunity.
He said: "With a quarter of a million pounds already committed to programme funds from our Middle East crisis appeal, our partners are doing extraordinary work in the most extreme conditions. They are providing mobile medical and psychological care, cash transfers to people displaced in Khan Younis, and supporting the small Christian community sheltering in Saint Porphyrius church."
"However, to respond at scale we need unfettered humanitarian access with water and electricity reconnected. Only a full ceasefire will enable our partners and other humanitarian actors to deliver aid safely and effectively," he continued.
Latest UN figures from Gaza suggest the recent conflict has cost over 7,000 Palestinians lives and left thousands more injured. Following a massive coordinated attack against Israel by members of the Palestinian militant group Hamas on 7th October, airstrikes by the Israeli military have caused widespread destruction of homes, schools, healthcare facilities and telecommunication installations in Gaza. With fuel for generators all but depleted, Christian Aid is warning hospitals are ceasing to function and virtually all water and sanitation services have collapsed.
Christian Aid has joined senior church leaders and other Christian charities in a call for a complete ceasefire to allow much-needed humanitarian aid to be delivered safely and effectively to residents and aid workers in Gaza.
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