More than ten children per day, on average, have lost one or both of their legs in Gaza since Israel launched its genocidal bombing campaign on the Strip three months ago, said Save the Children.
Since 7 October, more than 1,000 children have had one or both legs amputated, according to UNICEF. Many of these operations on children were done without anaesthetic, with the healthcare system in Gaza crippled by the conflict, and major shortages of doctors and nurses and medical supplies like anaesthesia and antibiotics, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
While 13 out of Gaza’s 36 hospitals remain partially functional, they are operating on a partial and fluctuating basis, dependent on their access to fuel and basic medical supplies on any given day. The nine partially functional hospitals in the south are operating at three times their capacity, while facing critical shortages of basic supplies and fuel. In addition, only 30 per cent of Gaza’s medics are still working, according to the WHO.
“I’ve seen doctors and nurses completely overwhelmed when children come in with blast wounds. The impact of seeing children in that much pain and not having the equipment, medicines to treat them or alleviate pain is too much for even experienced professionals,” Save the Children’s Country Director for the occupied Palestinian territory, Jason Lee, said.“Even in a war zone, the sights and sounds of a young child mutilated by bombs cannot be reconciled let alone understood within the bounds of humanity.”
The suffering of children in this conflict is unimaginable and even more so because it is unnecessary and completely avoidable.
“We must heed the lessons from the past and must prevent “atrocity crimes” from unfolding,” he added.
Some 22,000 Palestinians have been killed and a further 57,000 injured in the three months since 7 October, according to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, with children being maimed and killed at a devastating rate, and entire families being killed on a daily basis.