Skip to content
Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
Strategic Alliances for a Secure, Connected, and Prosperous Region

A Developing Humanitarian Issue: Israeli Refugees from Hamas Terror

Filed under: Israel, Operation Swords of Iron

A Developing Humanitarian Issue: Israeli Refugees from Hamas Terror
Refugees from Sderot during evacuation on October 15, 2023 (Screenshot)

While the Palestinian refugee issue has been promoted for decades, the recent Hamas massacres in the Israeli south have created a new Israeli forced exodus. Israeli civilian refugees from the war are displaced from their homes, places of work, schools, communities, and social support systems.

Short-term support issues are being addressed by a wide citizen-based volunteer network providing needed material and meals for the refugees. The Israeli government is also providing emergency support, including funding emergency housing around the country.

Many of the refugees are survivors of the deadly attacks on their communities and were under direct threat of death for hours. Many have family members who have been killed or kidnapped by Hamas terrorists. All of the refugees have experienced many years of aggression from Gaza, including thousands of missile attacks which had a significant psychological effect on the population.

No international body is providing humanitarian assistance to Israel or to the refugees created by the Hamas massacre and threatened Hizbullah action. Unlike Hamas in Gaza, which refuses to shelter or evacuate Gazan civilians, Israel has actively moved populations in the north and south away from areas of conflict and danger.

United Hatzalah volunteers
United Hatzalah volunteer organization and donated supplies for distribution. (United Hatzalah/Twitter)

While some of the Israeli refugees may return and rehabilitate their communities after hostilities end, some have no homes or communities to return to due to the widespread destruction of homes and infrastructure.

Israeli civilian communities were directly and intentionally targeted and experienced planned atrocities and kidnapping. The IDF, on the other hand, has provided advance warning for Gaza civilians to leave areas of potential conflict and has a stated policy to minimize civilian casualties.

Hamas failed to use its extensive tunnel network in Gaza for bomb shelters for Gazans. The terrorist organization has impeded the movement of Gazans from areas of conflict in order to preserve their presence as human shields. They cynically and intentionally exploit civilian casualties to create a humanitarian crisis as a psychological warfare tactic against Israel.