Photos: On the Ground in Israel, HIAS Assists the Displaced
By Sharon Samber
Nov 3, 2023
The October 7 terrorist incursion into Israel, which left more than 1,400 dead and a reported 240 or more held hostage in Gaza, has prompted an extraordinary emergency response by HIAS in Israel. Our existing team in the country, supplemented by deployed Emergency Response personnel, are working with more than 20 national partners to provide urgent humanitarian assistance and support to many of the estimated 200,000 people currently displaced within Israel, including asylum seekers HIAS has worked with in the past.
In the days immediately following the attacks, HIAS provided emergency protection services and assisted displaced people to access shelter. The response has expanded to include cash assistance, provision of food and household items, and mental health support services. HIAS Israel is also a part of the massive social mobilization across the country to collect food and needed equipment for the families who were forced to leave their homes in the southern towns and kibbutzim.
As HIAS Israel’s country director Sivan Carmel wrote in the aftermath of the attacks, the team has been packaging donated equipment, buying and distributing diapers and baby food, cooking and baking for evacuated families, and raising funds to support the communities whose towns were destroyed. Asylum seekers in Israel have also come together in solidarity with the Israeli community, preparing aid packages and assisting the evacuees.
Whether it’s distributing emergency food and cleaning supplies to a community of displaced families or discussing coordination of support for Eritrean asylum seekers, HIAS Israel is on the ground and helping as many displaced people as they can. These photos document some of HIAS Israel’s work, under daunting circumstances, to support and bring hope to survivors and those displaced by these harrowing attacks.