“Our mood was solemn, but we decided to celebrate anyway. Birthdays are special, especially for children, and given everything they’ve witnessed and endured, we felt it was only right to affirm life.”

Today, we’re sharing with you some key information about what Israel has wrought on the people of Gaza in just one month.

We also wanted to share the photo above of a child’s birthday party amidst the ongoing genocide to remind you that, no matter what, Palestinians find a way to give their children moments of joy.

On October 7, Israel launched the bloodiest attack on the people of Gaza ever, killing and injuring thousands of people, destroying homes, schools, and emergency shelters, depriving the population of food, water, electricity, and medical care.

Facts and numbers can’t fully convey the grief, terror, exhaustion, hunger, and thirst people in Gaza experience every moment, but they convey the sheer magnitude of the suffering. So here are 7 things you should know on this tragic one-month anniversary:

#1 Mass killing
The relentless bombardments have brought the death toll in the Gaza Strip to more than 10,000 including at least 4,237 children. Thousands of bodies are believed to be trapped under the rubble—the living and the dead.

#2 Food deprivation
Bread is an essential of life in Gaza. Most bakeries have either been bombed or have been forced to shut down due to the lack of fuel or damaged equipment. Families are rationing food so that children get a little more.

# 3 NO clean water
Due to Israel cutting off some of the supply of water and destroying key water infrastructure and storage tanks, people are being forced to drink water from unsafe sources. Dehydration and waterborne diseases are spreading and medicine is running out. There are outbreaks of chicken pox, scabies and diarrhea due to the shortage of water.

#4 Destruction of homes
At least 50% of all housing units in the Gaza Strip have been either destroyed or damaged and not fit to live in. More than two thirds of the population of Gaza is currently displaced.

#5 Schools, hospitals, churches and mosques are being bombed
There is nowhere safe in Gaza. Israel bombs the places people have gone for medical care or shelter.

#6 Israel’s 16-year siege on Gaza continues and worsens
A trickle of aid has come in from Egypt but nowhere near what is needed. Fuel, which is badly needed for running the only power plant, for generators at hospitals, and for powering trucks to deliver aid, is still prohibited from entering Gaza.

#7 Mental health crisis of enormous proportions
Trauma, devastating loss, and panic are practically universal among children and adults alike. It will be a very long and difficult road to recovery. Children have seen death and terrible suffering and injuries all around them. They have lost homes, relatives, and schoolmates. Thousands of children will never see their parents again.

Please share this information with people who may not understand the extent of the devastation in Gaza. Make a contribution of any amount to MECA now and take action from your home or in your community.

In solidarity,

All of us at MECA

Read about MECA’s Emergency Response in Gaza to date:

– Food parcels for 204,000 people

– Hygiene kits for 134,000 people

– 634,012 gallons of safe drinking water distributed to displaced families from MECA’s water purification units, millions more gallons provided to families sheltering at UN schools where we have installed water purification units

– 2,900 blankets to displaced children

& more