3,195 children killed in Gaza surpasses annual number of children killed in conflicts globally since 2019

3,195 children killed in Gaza surpasses annual number of children killed in conflicts globally since 2019

Save the Children:

The number of children reported killed in Gaza in just three weeks has surpassed the annual number of children killed across the world’s conflict zones since 2019, Save the Children said.

Since October 7, more than 3,257 children have been reported killed, including at least 3,195 in Gaza, 33 in the West Bank, and 29 in Israel, according to the Ministries of Health in Gaza and Israel respectively. The number of children reported killed in just three weeks in Gaza is more than the number killed in armed conflict globally—across more than 20 countries—over the course of a whole year, for the last three years.

Children make up more than 40% of the 7,703 people killed in Gaza, and more than a third of all fatalities across the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel. With a further 1,000 children reported missing in Gaza assumed buried under the rubble, the death toll is likely much higher.

On Friday, Israeli forces announced “expanded ground operations” in the Gaza Strip, with Save the Children warning it will bring more deaths, injuries, and distress while calling for an immediate ceasefire. [Continue reading…]

Catherine Russell, the executive director of UNICEF, writes:

The true cost of the violence in Gaza and Israel will be measured in children’s lives—those lost to the violence and those forever changed by it.

Less than three weeks on from the horrific attack inside Israel and the start of daily bombings of the Gaza Strip, the devastating tally in Israel and Gaza is quickly adding up. More than 2,700 Palestinian children have been killed and nearly 6,000 injured, according to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, for a shocking average of more than 480 child casualties per day.

More than 30 Israeli children have reportedly been killed, while at least 20 remain hostage in the Gaza Strip, their fates unknown.

Sadly, more suffering and death is on the horizon.

Gaza is one of the most densely populated places on Earth—home to more than 2 million people, nearly half of whom are children. More than 1 million people in the north have been warned to move south, ahead of what is expected to be a wide-scale military operation. But with near-constant shelling, closed borders, and little room for movement, they have nowhere truly safe to go.

Meanwhile, what clean water remains is quickly running out, leaving many Gazans with little choice but to rely on polluted wells. This dramatically increases the risk of waterborne-disease outbreaks. Unless access to safe drinking water is restored, people will die from severe dehydration and illness, with children the most vulnerable.

An initial limited shipment of lifesaving humanitarian supplies has entered Gaza through the Rafah crossing from Egypt. But this is not enough to meet the region’s skyrocketing needs, as supplies of food, water, medicine, and fuel continue to dwindle.

UNICEF has pre-positioned additional emergency supplies for up to 250,000 people at the Rafah crossing that can be brought into Gaza in a matter of hours, with more en route. Our staff have also continued to respond to the crucial needs of children across the Gaza Strip.

But without an end to the violence and full humanitarian access, the cost in children’s lives could grow exponentially.

And even when the fighting stops, the cost to children and their communities will be borne for generations to come. War not only kills people; it kills possibility, slamming the door shut on what might have been. Children who have lost their lives will not grow up to be the people their communities needed them to become.

Children who survive could see their lives irrevocably altered through repeated exposure to traumatic events. Violence and upheaval can induce toxic stress, which can interfere with physical and cognitive development and cause mental-health problems in both the short and long term. Even before this latest escalation, more than 816,000 children in Gaza—three-quarters of its entire child population—were identified as needing mental-health and psychosocial support. [Continue reading…]

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