Creating new perspectives since 2009

UNICEF condemns ‘killing, maiming or abducting of children’ in ongoing Gaza crisis

October 11, 2023 at 2:16 pm

A view of debris after Israeli airstrikes at al-Shati refugee camp in Gaza Strip on 09 October 2023 [Ali Jadallah – Anadolu Agency]

The Executive Director of UNICEF has said that less than 72 hours after the outbreak of “horrific violence” in Israel and the State of Palestine, reports indicated that grave rights violations against children were rampant.

“Many children have been killed or injured,” explained Catherine Russell in New York on Monday, “while countless others have been exposed to the violence.” She stressed that nothing justifies the killing, maiming or abducting of children. “These are grave rights violations which UNICEF condemns wholeheartedly.”

The UN children’s fund called on armed groups, or those responsible, for the immediate and safe release of any children being held hostage in Gaza so that they can be reunited with their families or caregivers. “And we call on all parties to protect children from harm, in accordance with international humanitarian law.”

The senior UN official added her “deep concern” at Israel’s decision to block electricity and prevent food, fuel and water from entering Gaza, “which may put the lives of children at risk.”

It is imperative, said Russell, that all parties refrain from further violence and attacks on civilian infrastructure.

“Moreover, with the humanitarian situation rapidly deteriorating, humanitarian actors must be able to safely access children and their families with lifesaving services and supplies, wherever they may be. I remind all parties that in this war, as in all wars, it is children who suffer first and suffer most.”

READ: Israel threatens to bomb Egypt aid trucks heading to Gaza