More children killed in Gaza than in the whole world in the previous three years?

More children have been killed in Gaza in the past three weeks than the total number of children killed in conflict worldwide every year since 2019.

Source: balkans.aljazeera.net
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EPA-EFE/MOHAMMED SABER
EPA-EFE/MOHAMMED SABER

Figures released by the NGO Save the Children on Sunday, citing Palestinian health authorities, show that at least 3,324 children have been killed in Gaza since October 7, while 36 have been killed in the West Bank.

According to the UN Secretary General's reports on children and armed conflicts, a total of 2,985 children were killed in 24 countries in 2022, 2,515 in 2021 and 2,674 in 2020 in 22 countries, the organization said.

"The death of one child is too many, but these are grave violations of epic proportions," said Jason Lee, Save the Children's director for the occupied Palestinian territory.

"A ceasefire is the only way to ensure their safety. The international community must put people before politics – every day spent in conflict leads to the death and injury of children. Children must be protected at all times, especially when they seek safety in schools and hospitals."

The statement was issued as Israel moves forward with expanded ground operations inside Gaza as heavy aerial bombardment continues.

On Friday, the entire Gaza Strip experienced an almost complete breakdown of communications in what new reports described as a night of pure terror and some of the fiercest fighting since the war began.

Another 1,000 children are reported missing in Gaza and may be under the rubble. Children make up more than 40 percent of the more than 8,000 people confirmed to have been killed in Gaza.

Since the beginning of the war in Gaza, more than 6,000 children have been wounded. In total, at least 1,400 Israelis and foreign nationals were also killed in Israel, in a surprise attack by Hamas on October 7.

Israel has imposed a total siege on the Gaza Strip, tightening a blockade in place since 2007, cutting off all food, electricity, fuel and water supplies and allowing only small amounts of aid through the Rafah crossing with Egypt since 21 October.

A lack of electricity, as well as a shortage of fuel for generators, forced hospitals to suspend their work, and the health ministry declared Gaza's health system in a state of "total collapse", further endangering the lives of children, including babies in need of intensive neonatal care”.

Hospitals targeted

EPA/ALI ALI
EPA/ALI ALI

The Israeli army stepped up attacks near Al-Quds Hospital in Gaza City on Sunday, after ordering its "urgent" evacuation.

The Palestinian Red Crescent Society said on Sunday it had received "serious threats" from Israeli forces to "immediately evacuate" Al-Quds Hospital in the Tal al-Hawa area of Gaza City. Attacks near the hospital continued throughout the day.

"There is no police, army, nothing in the hospital. There are only thousands of Palestinians here, many of whom have lost their homes. Thousands more are seeking refuge in United Nations schools," said the director of this hospital.

"Israel is targeting every building around Al Quds Hospital. Why is that? Nobody knows."

The Palestinian Red Crescent Society said the hospital was currently treating hundreds of injured patients. About 12,000 displaced civilians, most of whom are children and women, sought refuge in the hospital building.

"We repeat, it is impossible to evacuate hospitals full of patients without endangering their lives," Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director of the World Health Organization, said on Twitter.

Palestinians blamed Israel for the October 17 Al Ahli hospital explosion that killed nearly 500 people. Israel has denied responsibility for the attack.

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