Amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas war, humanitarian organisation Gift of the Givers recently installed solar panels in the Rafah camp which houses displaced families in Gaza to help them power their cellphones and restore communication and connectivity.
The conflict between Israel and Hamas has led to severe impacts on food, water and shelter for the local population.
UN agencies have warned of famine and disease as Gazans, at least 1.7 million of whom are displaced, struggle with shortages of water, medical care and other essentials during daily bombardment.
It’s also disrupted communications. The disruption in communication, exacerbated by Israeli bombardment and the displacement of Gazans, hindered people's ability to connect with loved ones and access essential resources.
Additionally, these communication blackouts were impeding aid organisations, emergency workers, and journalists in their efforts to co-ordinate, provide assistance, and report on the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.
Gift of the Givers said: “This project aims to provide a sustainable energy solution that enables vital communication and connectivity for a community in crisis. “Families will be able to co-ordinate critical services, access information, and connect with loved ones during power outages -- providing a lifeline in the midst of extremely difficult circumstances.”
The organisation has from the start of the conflict been procuring essential medical supplies, life-saving medications, and wheelchairs for those injured, among other interventions.
On the ground on Monday, the Israeli army bombarded Khan Yunis, the latest epicentre of the war in Gaza, after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected what he said were Hamas’ conditions for the release of hostages, even amid mounting pressure from the hostages’ families.
Witnesses reported deadly strikes overnight in Khan Yunis, the largest city in southern Gaza, and fierce fighting between Israeli soldiers and Hamas militants.
The health ministry in Gaza reported on Monday that more than 120 people had been killed in the previous 24 hours.
"Artillery shelling has not stopped since 5am," said Yunis Abdel Razek, 52, who was sheltering with his family at the city's Al-Aqsa University.
"We can't leave the university ... it's dangerous and I fear for the little ones," he said. They said the Al-Mawasi area was safe but they lied," he added.
While fighting is concentrated in the south it has not ended in the north, where authorities reported shelling in the Gaza City area and witnesses heard explosions. To support the humanitarian efforts of Gift of the Givers, donations can be made at https://www.backabuddy.co.za/champion/project/bringing-hope-to-gaza-amid-turmoil