The 25-mile long, 6-mile wide Gaza Strip traces its origins to an international agreement that ended the first Arab-Israeli war in 1948. The northern boundary represents the line of separation between Israeli and Egyptian military forces at the end of the conflict, while the southern border with Egypt marks the historical divide between the old British and Ottoman empires. About three-quarters of the population consist of Palestinian refugees. Long part of Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories, Israeli forces unilaterally withdrew from Gaza in 2005 in a move many hoped at the time would be the beginning of a final Arab-Israeli peace settlement. However, the subsequent election of Hamas escalated political tensions and violence with Israel.
Amid the current humanitarian emergency in Gaza, International Medical Corps' team is assessing immediate needs and providing psychosocial support to children and families. Teams have focused efforts in the "Access Restricted Areas" in Gaza - areas located directly across the border from Israel.
International Medical Corps has been working in Gaza since 2008, where we have provided emergency medical, mental health and psychosocial care, and early childhood development while also strengthening the capacity of local service providers, caregivers and service users.