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UN official: ‘Israel violating Gaza children’s rights’

February 10, 2024 at 10:25 am

An injured Palestinian child is brought to Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital for treatment following the Israeli attacks on a building in Deir Al-Balah, Gaza on February 4, 2024. [Ali Jadallah – Anadolu Agency]

Chairperson of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child Ann Marie Skelton expressed on Friday: “The rights of children living under the state of Israel’s effective control are being gravely violated at a level that has rarely been seen in recent history.”

Skelton added: “No child should grow up in fear, pain and hunger. Yet today, no child in Gaza is free from fear, pain and hunger. In fact, they’ll be considered lucky if they can even survive this war and have the chance to grow up. All children living in the Gaza Strip have lost their childhood. They are traumatised and will forever live with a permanent impact on their mental health.”

Skelton continued: “More than 7,000 are estimated to be buried under rubble, raising the total number of casualties to more than 100,000 people. Many of them are children. Some of them have lost their lives, others have lost their limbs, their parents, siblings, and friends.”

She called for: “Massive psychosocial support to children and families to relieve the traumatic and long-lasting effects of the war.”

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The UN official pointed out: “More than ten children per day, on average, have lost one or both legs in Gaza since the conflict erupted four months ago, according to Save the Children. UNICEF, the UN Children’s Fund, estimates that at least 17,000 children are unaccompanied or separated from their parents, and almost all of Gaza’s 1.2 million children are in need of mental health and psychosocial support. These children also need attention and action from the international community.”

Skelton emphasised her: “Grave concern about the situation of children living in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, who are facing arbitrary arrests, extra-judicial killing and violence committed by occupying forces and settlers.”

She added: “The Committee urges all donor States who have suspended their funding or future funding to UNRWA, to reconsider their decision immediately and provide sufficient funds to ensure that all urgent aid can be provided to all, to each and every child.”

Since 7 October, the Israeli occupation army has continued its genocidal aggression against the Gaza Strip, with US and European support, as its planes bomb the vicinity of hospitals, buildings, towers and Palestinian civilian homes, destroying them over the heads of their inhabitants. Israel has also prevented the entry of water, food, medicine and fuel.

The occupation’s continued aggression against Gaza has led to the deaths of 27,947 martyrs and the injuries of 67,459 people, in addition to the displacement of more than 85 per cent (about 1.9 million people) of the Strip’s population, according to the Gazan authorities and international bodies and organisations.

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