Israel-Hamas conflict a ‘war on children’ – UNICEF
A spokesperson for UNICEF has condemned the mass killings of children in Gaza during the Israel-Hamas conflict, and called on “those with influence” to put an end to the conflict.
James Elder posted an emotional video on Instagram on Friday, saying: “The ceasefire is over. We can already hear the bombing. I am at a hospital. There was a hit about 50 metres from here. This is the biggest, still functioning hospital in Gaza. It's at 200% capacity. The health system here is overwhelmed.”
The spokesman for the UN children’s fund said the world “cannot see more children with the wounds of war, with the burns, with the shrapnel littering their body, with the broken bones,” adding: “This is a war on children.”
Elder's remarks came after renewed fighting between Israel and Hamas following the expiry of a week-long truce, which started on November 24. On Saturday, the Israeli military carried out large-scale bombing raids on Gaza.
Gaza health officials say Israeli air strikes have killed 184 people and wounded at least 589 others since the truce ended on Friday morning. On Friday evening, Reuters quoted officials in Gaza as saying more 20 residential buildings had been hit. The local health ministry has said most of those killed in the strikes were children and women.
Jens Laerke, spokesperson for the UN humanitarian office in Geneva, has warned that the renewed fighting will aggravate an already dire humanitarian situation, saying: “Hell on Earth has returned to Gaza.”
According to Gaza authorities, more than 6,000 children have been killed in the enclave since the start of Israel’s operation, following the Hamas attack on October 7.
An additional 1,800 children have been trapped under the rubble, most of whom are presumed dead. A further 9,000 children have been injured, many with life-changing consequences.