Given the frequently gloomy headlines regarding the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, many may not be surprised to hear of the latest violence in the region. But NPR reports the current conflict is the heaviest fighting the Gaza Strip has seen since the 1967 Six Day War — and some of the hardest hit seem to be Palestinian civilians.
Following the start of an Israeli ground invasion, the latest reports from the Washington Post indicate that 550 Palestinians have been killed and 2,500 injured — and according to Palestinian health officials, between 24 and 30 percent of those are women and children. Currently the Israeli government has closed Gaza's borders to everything except a small trickle of humanitarian aid, insufficient to meet the needs on the ground.
Mercy Corps is calling for immediate humanitarian access to Gaza to deliver food and other essential supplies. You can sign the petition by clicking here. This petition urges the U.S. government to push for aid to be allowed in now.
You can also help get critical humanitarian items needed once the border is open by donating to Mercy Corps' Gaza Crisis Fund. Mercy Corps has a four-ton shipment of food that's scheduled to enter Gaza tomorrow, and they're deploying additional aid workers to Jerusalem and Egypt to prepare to do more. Check out how Gazan youth involved with Mercy Corps are handling the crisis and keep up-to-date on Mercy Corps' response to the crisis.