UNICEF Highlights Severe Child Casualties in Gaza amid Ongoing Israeli War

UNICEF Highlights Severe Child Casualties in Gaza amid Ongoing Israeli War

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The United Nations children's agency, UNICEF, raised alarms over the number of child casualties in Gaza, noting that thousands of children remain buried under the rubble of destroyed buildings in the Palestinian territory.

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UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Ted Chaiban made the remarks on Wednesday during a UN Security Council meeting on children and armed conflict.

He stated that Palestinian children continue to endure "incomprehensible suffering," particularly those in Gaza amid a "staggering" scale of death and destruction.

Chaiban noted that more than 23,000 cases of children killed or maimed in 2023 have yet to be verified due to insecurity, movement restrictions, and significant risks to humanitarian personnel operating in Gaza.

"The bodies of thousands of missing children remain buried under rubble, and none of this includes the thousands of violations reported so far in 2024," he added.

The UNICEF official also highlighted the obstacles impeding aid deliveries to Gaza, which are increasing the number of acutely malnourished children.

"After nearly nine months of horrible conflict, UNICEF and other humanitarian actors are still struggling to reach those in need," he said.

He further called for "a complete ceasefire" in Gaza, where many children are losing their lives due to the siege imposed on the territory.

Israel unleashed its assault on Gaza on October 7 after the Palestinian resistance groups carried out a significant operation against Israel in retaliation for intensified aggressions against Palestinians.

So far, the Israeli genocidal war has resulted in more than 37,718 Palestinian deaths, mostly women and children, and over 86,377 injuries in Gaza.

Palestine's UN Ambassador Riyad Mansour also spoke at the Security Council meeting, stating that Israel has killed more children in recent months than in all armed conflicts globally over the past four years.

He estimated that nearly 16,000 Palestinian children were killed in Israel’s aggression against Gaza, while another 21,000 are missing.

"The Gaza Strip, once a vibrant place where children set world records in sports, has now been reduced to a graveyard," Mansour said, calling for "collective resolve and responsibility to pressure Israel to stop the madness."

Meanwhile, Adam Hamawy, a former US Army combat surgeon who returned from a medical mission to Gaza, said that children made up most of his patients.

"The level of civilian casualties that I experienced was beyond anything I’d seen before," the 54-year-old medic told AFP.

"Most of our patients were children under the age of 14."

Hamawy also emphasized that humanitarian aid must enter Gaza in "sufficient volumes to meet the demands."

Source: Tasnim News