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24 Oct, 2023 14:38

At least 2,000 children killed in Gaza – charity

Israeli airstrikes are killing minors “indiscriminately,” aid organization Save the Children has said
At least 2,000 children killed in Gaza – charity

At least 2,000 children have died in Israel’s bombardment of Gaza over the past 17 days, UK-based aid group Save the Children has said.

The charity cited figures from the Hamas-operated Health Ministry in Gaza, which stated on Monday that at least 5,087 people have been killed in Israel’s siege of the enclave, including at least 2,055 children.

“Thousands of homes, and dozens of playgrounds, schools, hospitals, churches and mosques have been damaged or destroyed in Gaza,” Save the Children said. “At least 4,600 children [have been] injured as reported by the [Gaza] Ministry of Health – some with excruciating burns, lost limbs and other horrific blast injuries.”

It claimed that Israeli airstrikes are “killing and injuring children indiscriminately.” 

In addition to the 2,055 children said to have been killed in Gaza, the charity also noted Israeli media reports stating that “a further 27 children were killed in Israel.” 

Israel has launched an unprecedented bombardment of Gaza in retaliation for the surprise October 7 incursion into its territory by the Palestinian militant group Hamas. About 1,400 people, mostly civilians, were killed in the attack, during which Hamas fighters also seized a reported 250 hostages.

On Monday, Hamas released two elderly female Israeli hostages as pressure grew for the group to free any captives being held in Gaza. Israel is widely expected to launch a ground offensive into the enclave in the coming days, as part of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s pledge to eradicate Hamas.

“With the death toll climbing, children are at risk and terrified,” Save the Children’s Jason Lee said in a statement. “Children have been killed and injured in every major escalation, not to mention suffering from serious longer term mental health impacts. They’ve never emerged unscathed.” 

Lee added that a ceasefire must be agreed immediately, insisting that “the only way to truly protect children’s lives is to halt this violence.” 

Elsewhere in its statement, Save the Children warned of further humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza, saying that over 1 million children are “trapped in the middle of the active conflict zone” with no safe route out. Many lack access to medication and adequate care after Israel shut off electricity that powered vital healthcare infrastructure, the agency added.

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