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1 in 50 Children in Gaza Have Been Killed or Injured by Israel in Just 6 Months

On average, Israel has killed about 75 children in Gaza each day since October.

Palestinians, including children, collect their belongings among the rubble of their houses destroyed by Israeli attacks on Al-Jenine neighborhood in Rafah, Gaza, on March 31, 2024.

Israel’s genocidal assault has killed or injured over 2 percent of Palestinian children in Gaza over the course of just six months, Save the Children has reported.

In the months since October 7, Israel’s assault has killed over 13,800 children in Gaza and injured over 12,000 children, according to counts by UN officials and the Gaza Ministry of Health cited by Save the Children. This means that Israel has killed or injured at least 25,800 children in Gaza, or over 1 in every 50 children living in the region before the assault.

The anguishing statistic is a show of the sheer brutality of Israel’s genocide, which numerous experts and government insiders have said has violated a wide range of international humanitarian laws. Killing and injuring children is considered by the UN to be a grave violation of international laws on armed conflict.

“This war is not only destroying Gaza, but also the fundamental tenets of childhood,” said Xavier Joubert, director for Save the Children in the occupied Palestinian territory. “The world must act now to ensure an immediate and definitive ceasefire and unfettered humanitarian access to end the horrifying destruction of life in Gaza. As with all children, we owe children in Gaza a dignified future — but at this rate, they are at risk of having no future at all.”

Previous reports have found that Israel is killing and injuring children at a rate that is unprecedented compared to any modern conflict. On average, Israel has killed about 75 children in Gaza each day over the course of the last six months, while many of the children who have survived have sustained lifelong injuries; an average of over 10 children are having one or both legs amputated every day in Gaza. Doctors in the region say that Israeli snipers have also been targeting children.

Aside from injuries from the relentless bombings and gunfire, children are being starved by Israel’s famine campaign. Israel’s food blockade has left half of the population of Gaza at imminent risk of famine, with Palestinians in northern Gaza having access to only an average of 245 calories a day, Oxfam recently reported.

As of the end of March, according to the World Health Organization, at least 27 children have been reported as having died of starvation; in northern Gaza, between 12 and 17 percent of children under 5 years old are suffering from acute malnutrition, while 2 to 6 percent of the children in southern Gaza are experiencing the same. Even if these children don’t die from malnutrition, doctors say the prolonged periods of hunger will stunt their growth and development, which will affect their health for the rest of their lives.

The mental toll on children is also extremely dire, as humanitarian groups have warned. In February, UNICEF reported that Israel’s siege had orphaned 19,000 Palestinian children; humanitarian groups have reported children in Gaza as young as five telling aid workers that they are suicidal.

Further, due to Israel’s systemic dismantling of the health system in Gaza, including the total destruction of Al-Shifa Hospital, the largest hospital in the region, simple injuries can be life threatening for children.

“We fled towards the south on 25 March. On our way to Rafah, we saw small, decomposed bodies near the Beidar area. Our children are seeing things no child should ever see,” one father, who was forced to flee Gaza City with his family, told Save the Children. “A 14-year-old child in our building was going out with his father to get food and he fell and injured his right hand. He needed stitches to stop the bleeding, but his father was too scared to go to Al-Shifa Hospital, due to the bombing and lack of medical staff. His father and I helped dress the child’s wound, but we couldn’t sterilize it properly.”

On top of the atrocities in Gaza, Israel has also intensified its violence in the occupied West Bank over the past six months. At least 113 children have been killed in the West Bank since October, while 725 children have been injured — adding to the record-high death toll that Israeli forces have carried out in the West Bank despite the West Bank not being related to Israel’s purported goal of destroying Hamas forces.

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