Sunday, May 19, 2024

Over 13,800 children killed in Gaza since outbreak of war: UNICEF

More than 13,800 children have been killed in the Gaza Strip since the start of the war in early October 2023, United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) Executive Director Catherine Russell has stated.

“Thousands have been injured and thousands more are on the brink of famine,” she said during a news conference in New York, according to a statement from her organization.

In a separate statement, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women announced that “one child is injured or dies every 10 minutes” in Gaza. The statement added that more than 10,000 women have been killed in Gaza since the war began, and 6,000 of them left 19,000 orphaned children behind.

UNICEF communication specialist Tess Ingram, who recently visited Gaza, said during a news conference in Geneva on Tuesday that what struck her was the number of wounded children she saw.

“Not just in the hospitals, but on the streets, in their makeshift shelters, going about their now permanently altered lives.”

Israel has waged a military offensive on Gaza since a cross-border attack by the Palestinian group Hamas last October which killed nearly 1,200 people.

Nearly 33,900 Palestinians have since been killed and 76,664 others injured amid mass destruction and shortages of necessities.

Israel has also imposed a crippling blockade on the seaside enclave, leaving its population, particularly residents of northern Gaza, on the verge of starvation.

The war has pushed 85% of Gaza’s population into internal displacement amid acute shortages of food, clean water and medicine, while much of the enclave’s infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed.

Israel is accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice. An interim ruling in January ordered it to ensure its forces do not commit acts of genocide and guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.

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