UNICEF Executive Director on Friday warned that over 1.1 million children are threatened by intensifying conflict, malnutrition and disease in the Gaza Strip, Anadolu Agency reports.
“Children in Gaza are caught in a nightmare that worsens with every passing day,” Catherine Russell said in a statement.
Children and families in Gaza continue to be killed and injured in the fighting, and their lives are increasingly at risk from preventable diseases and lack of food and water, she said, adding all children and civilians must be protected from violence, and have access to basic services and supplies.
Cases of diarrhoea in children went up 50 per cent in just one week, with 90 per cent children under two subject to “severe food poverty”.
UNICEF is calling for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire to help save civilian lives and alleviate suffering, Russell said, adding: “UNICEF works to provide the life-saving aid the children of Gaza so desperately need. But we urgently need better and safer access.” to save children’s lives”.
“The future of thousands more children in Gaza hang in the balance. The world cannot stand by and watch. The violence and the suffering of children must stop,” she said.
Israel has launched relentless air and ground attacks on the Gaza Strip since a cross-border attack by the Palestinian Resistance group, Hamas, on 7 October.
At least 22,600 Palestinians have since been killed and 57,910 others injured, according to Gaza’s health authorities, while nearly 1,200 Israelis are believed to have been killed in the Hamas attack.
However, since then, it has been revealed by Haaretz that helicopters and tanks of the Israeli army had, in fact, killed many of the 1,139 soldiers and civilians claimed by Israel to have been killed by the Palestinian Resistance.
The onslaught has left Gaza in ruins, with 60 per cent of the enclave’s infrastructure damaged or destroyed and nearly 2 million residents amid acute shortages of food, clean water and medicine.