The ongoing crisis in Gaza has reached a grim milestone, with over 10,000 children killed due to Israeli airstrikes and ground operations, as reported by the Ministry of Health in Gaza. The war, which began on October 7 following an attack on Israel, is nearing its 100th day, leaving a devastating impact on the young population of Gaza.
This dire situation has been highlighted by Save the Children, an organization dedicated to aiding children in the world's most challenging environments.
Their recent findings show that approximately 1% of Gaza's 1.1 million children have lost their lives in this crisis. The children who have survived are facing a myriad of horrors, including severe injuries, burns, and diseases, often coupled with inadequate medical care. The psychological trauma is compounded by the loss of parents and loved ones, and the destruction of their homes.
Lana*, an 11-year-old girl from Rafah in southern Gaza, shared her harrowing experience: “The war has deeply affected us. We were forced to leave our homes and had to learn to conserve resources like water. I just hope for the war to end and for us to live in peace and safety.”
Save the Children's report also highlights the broader impact of the crisis on children in Gaza. Approximately 40% of the casualties since October 7 are children. The war has led to significant damage to infrastructure, with 370 schools and 94 hospitals and healthcare facilities being attacked or destroyed. The entire child population of Gaza, around 1.1 million, is facing a lack of adequate humanitarian assistance.
In addition to the casualties in Gaza, the crisis has also seen abductions of children in Israel and the killing of 33 Israeli children, as reported by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) via Israeli authorities.
Jason Lee, Save the Children’s Country Director for the occupied Palestinian territory, expressed deep concern over the situation: “For every day without a definitive ceasefire, an average of 100 children are being killed. There is no justification for the death of children. The situation in Gaza is a monstrous tragedy against our common humanity. Children, who play no part in the crisis, are bearing the brunt of the violence. They are facing not only the immediate dangers of bombardment and ground operations but also the looming threats of starvation and disease.”
Lee emphasized the need for immediate action from the international community and a definitive ceasefire to protect the lives of children in Gaza. He criticized the global response, highlighting the failure to act despite the record number of child casualties and grave violations.
Save the Children is advocating for an unrestricted flow of aid into Gaza and the resumption of commercial goods entry to prevent further deaths from starvation and disease. The organization has been active in providing essential services and support to Palestinian children affected by the crisis since 1953. Their team in the occupied Palestinian territory is working tirelessly to deliver assistance and find ways to support those in need amidst these challenging conditions.
This ongoing crisis underscores the urgent need for international intervention and support to safeguard the lives of children in Gaza and to find a path towards peace and stability in the region.