The United Nations said that the Gaza Strip has become a "graveyard" for thousands of children after Israel increased retaliatory bombings against Hamas while cutting off civilians' access to water, electricity, and fuel.
Over 8,500 Palestinian civilians have been killed in the Gaza Strip since Israel vowed "mighty revenge" against Hamas for their Oct. 7 attacks. 3,450 of those killed so far were children, and approximately 70 percent of the total deaths have been in vulnerable groups, such as women, children, and the elderly.
“Our gravest fears about the reported numbers of children killed becoming dozens, then hundreds, and ultimately thousands were realised in just a fortnight,” James Elder, a spokesperson for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), said in a statement Tuesday. “The numbers are appalling; reportedly more than 3,450 children killed; staggeringly this rises significantly every day. Gaza has become a graveyard for thousands of children. It’s a living hell for everyone else.”
Israel refuses to fuel Gaza
UNICEF officials added that an additional 6,300 children in Gaza have been injured, and approximately 1,000 more are missing. By the organization's estimate, 420 Palestinian children in the Gaza strip have been killed, and continue to be killed, every day since Oct. 7. That's one killed every ten minutes.
Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are not permitted to leave, but Israel ordered the 1.1 million Palestinians living in the northern half to evacuate south as they ramped up airstrikes and began a ground invasion over the weekend, against international law.
Gaza is already one of the world’s most densely populated areas — with more than 2 million people living within 140 square miles. The UN described the order as amounting to "forcible transfer" or "collective punishment," both of which are regarded as war crimes.
Israel has also refused to let in emergency fuel, making hospitals unable to care for the estimated 1,000 patients receiving kidney dialysis treatment in Gaza, as well as 130 premature babies in incubators. The United Nations was forced to drastically cut aid efforts in the region as of last week, which were already less than half of 1 percent – or one two-hundredth – of the amount of aid it ordinarily receives.
“And if there is no ceasefire, no water, no medicine, and no release of abducted children?" Elder continued. "Then we hurtle towards even greater horrors afflicting innocent children."
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