Update 30th October: We are relieved to share that since this post was published, we have been able to connect with our team and confirm they are all accounted for.
Hiba Tibi, CARE West Bank and Gaza Country Director, says:
"Since last night, we have lost contact with our CARE colleagues, family members and loved ones in Gaza, following a complete communications blackout, and reportedly the most intense round of shelling and airstrikes at any time during these last three weeks.
Before the blackout, our team in Gaza described the situation as something out of a horror film, adding that they have to hug their children to try and help them sleep.
The 2.3 million people in the Gaza Strip, half of whom are children, are facing an unprecedented catastrophe.
Bread is now rationed; families are going hungry; clean water has been extremely scarce since October 9; many are drinking contaminated water; healthcare is collapsing with hospitals closing for lack of fuel and medicines and doctors are operating without disinfectant or even anesthesia. Equally worrying are the skin diseases and diarrhea spreading in overcrowded shelters.
We urge an immediate ceasefire before this acute crisis reaches catastrophic levels. We must ensure safe, unimpeded access for humanitarian workers so they can help people in need of assistance, which includes being able to contact our teams inside Gaza.
There are clear and simple rules of international humanitarian law that all parties must abide by: civilians, including humanitarian workers, must be protected, and the medical mission must be respected at all times; civilians trapped in areas where evacuation orders were issued are still protected under international law.
I am extremely worried for what the next few days hold in store and for the safety of my team."
Please contact David Moore, Press Officer, on firstname.lastname@example.org.