Christmas donations to Trócaire will be used to help fund medical aid for Palestinians in Gaza, particularly children, the organisation said at the launch of an annual appeal.
Funds raised following the appeal, focusing more broadly on 'Children in Conflict', will help partner organisations operating in Gaza, Trócaire chief executive Caoimhe de Barra said.
The "horrendous situation in Gaza has already resulted in the deaths of thousands of innocent women, men and children and the unacceptable death toll continues to rise", the charity said.
Medical Aid for Palestinians helps "ensure that those injured, many of them children, receive urgent medical care to give them the best chance of survival", " Ms De Barra said.
The medical centre in Gaza City of a second partner, Caritas Jerusalem, was damaged in the Israeli bombardment of the region, but staff are continuing to work to provide medical support.
“Many of Trócaire’s local partner organisations in the Gaza Strip have been unable to operate in recent weeks, and they have suffered their own horrendous ordeals through displacement and loss of friends and families," Ms De Barra said at the launch of the appeal, helped by one of its ambassadors, former Armagh footballer Oisin McConville.
“Gaza is quite rightly in the headlines at the moment but it’s not just there where children are bearing the brunt of violence and conflict.
"From Gaza to Ukraine, from Ethiopia to Sudan, today we are highlighting the fact that over 450 million children in the world - one out of every six young lives - are living in a conflict zone.”
Mr McConville added: "When I visited Gaza in December 2019 the hardship people were facing was plain to see. I can't imagine what people are going through there now - no safe shelters, little food or water and limited healthcare facilities.
"As a father with young children it is hard to get my head around the anguish parents are having to deal with in Gaza right now."