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UNICEF: Over 13,800 Palestinian children killed in Gaza since October

April 19, 2024 at 11:07 am

Injured and killed Palestinian children are brought to the al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital following the Israeli attacks on Maghazi refugee camp area in Deir al-Balah, Gaza on April 16, 2024. [Ashraf Amra – Anadolu Agency]

More than 13,800 children have been killed in the Gaza Strip since Israel began its devastating war on the besieged enclave on 7 October, according to the director of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Catherine Russell.   “Thousands have been injured and thousands more are on the brink of famine,” Russell confirmed during a news conference in New York, according to a statement from her organisation.

In a separate statement, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women conveyed that “one child is injured or dies every ten minutes” in Gaza.  The statement added that more than 10,000 women have been killed in Gaza since the war began, with 6,000 of them leaving 19,000 orphaned children behind. UNICEF communications specialist Tess Ingram, who recently visited Gaza, expressed during a news conference in Geneva on Tuesday that what struck her was the number of wounded children she saw: “Not just in the hospitals, but on the streets, in their makeshift shelters, going about their now permanently altered lives.”

Israel has waged a deadly military offensive on the Gaza Strip since the 7 October, 2023, cross-border attack by Hamas in which nearly 1,200 people were killed.

Read: 10,000 homeless as Israel destroyed 2,000 homes in central Gaza

At least 33,900 Palestinians, mostly women and children, have since been killed in Gaza, and over 76,600 others injured amid mass destruction and shortages of necessities.

Israel has also imposed a crippling blockade on the Palestinian enclave, leaving its population, particularly residents of northern Gaza, on the verge of starvation.

The Israeli war has pushed 85 per cent of Gaza’s population into internal displacement amid acute shortages of food, clean water and medicine, while 60 per cent of the enclave’s infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice. An interim ruling in January ordered Tel Aviv to stop genocidal acts and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.