UNICEF has said that it is "saddened" by the Israel's killing of two children in the Gaza Strip this weekend.
In a statement yesterday, UNICEF's Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa Geert Cappelaere expressed the UN's deep sadness about Israel's killing of two Palestinian children in the besieged enclave this weekend.
"UNICEF is deeply saddened by the killing of two children, aged 14 and 17 years old, shot [Friday] in the Gaza Strip," Cappelaere said, noting that: "the exact circumstances of their death are under verification."
Cappelaere stated that the incident brought the number of Palestinian children killed this year to four.
"This is another stark reminder of the significant violence that children in the State of Palestine continue to endure. As we mark 30 years since the Convention on the Rights of the Child, it is essential that the fundamental rights of children be respected," he stressed.Cappelaere continued: "It is time for violence against children to end. For years, children in the State of Palestine and Israel have suffered not only physically but have also borne the brunt emotionally." "Children are children," he added: "They must be protected at all times. Children should never be a target, nor should they be exposed to any form of violence by any party."
Israeli snipers stationed east of the besieged Gaza Strip opened fire at Palestinians taking part in the Great March of Return protests – which have been ongoing since March – killing 14-year-old Hassan Shalaby and the 17-year-old Hamza Ishtiwi.