Women hold dolls that symbolize children killed, during a demonstration against the Israeli offensive in Gaza, on Avenida Paulista in São Paulo on October 29, 0223(Brazil). EFE/ Isaac Fontana

One Palestinian child dies every 10 minutes in Israeli attacks in Gaza

Jorge Fuentelsaz

Jerusalem, Nov 5 (EFE). – A Palestinian child dies every ten minutes and two are injured in the Gaza Strip since the outbreak of the war between Israel and Hamas on October 7, a situation that has turned Gaza into a “graveyard for thousands of children,” according to he United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

“Gaza has become a graveyard for thousands of children. It’s a living hell for everyone else,” said Sunday UNICEF’s spokesman, James Elder, who stressed that the number of dead children, “”staggeringly rises every day.”

The images of the bodies of injured children and minors, captured by cell phones or local journalists and circulated on social networks, are devastating.

“1 child is killed every 10 minutes in Gaza right now. Time is costing lives. We are calling for an immediate ceasefire. There is no safe place in Gaza,” the NGO Save the Children wrote on X (formerly Twitter) to highlight the statistics.

The Gaza Ministry of Health said Sunday that at least 4,000 minors have died, 8,067 have been injured and 1,250 are missing under the rubble of buildings destroyed by the ongoing attacks by the Israeli Defense Forces.

On October 17, Save the Children stated on its website that “according to the latest available data, more than 1,000 children have died in 11 days of air strikes in the Gaza Strip, which is equivalent to one every 15 minutes.”

Statistics from a few weeks later are a clear indication that the offensive against minors is getting harsher, and as Unicef explained, not only because of the bombings, but also because of trauma and the current lack of drinking water in the Strip.

“The situation is clearly not improving. Around 420 children die or are injured every day, which is obviously a terrible number,” Toby Fricker, also from UNICEF, told Efe.

He asserted that there are many casualty figures circulating, “but the reality is that too many children are dying or being injured every day, which is why UNICEF and the UN Secretary General have called many, many times for an immediate ceasefire, and we will continue to do so.”

No safe place for children in Gaza

Fricker reiterated the need for parties to the conflict to protect children and civilians during hostilities.

“Right now, there is no safe place for children in Gaza,” Fricker said, recalling that about half of Gaza’s residents are children, meaning that there are nearly one million minors living in Gaza.

“Now that many have been displaced, (the children) are living in shelters in schools and other places. There is a lack of access to basic services such as drinking water, health care or sanitation,” he adds, before stressing that Gaza suffered from “great humanitarian needs, even before the outbreak of war.”

On Saturday, UNICEF condemned attacks on two schools in the last 24 hours that killed at least 35 people, including children, and according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, 73% of the victims were minors, children and elderly.

In a statement released Sunday, the ministry also denounced that more than 200,000 homes, more than half of Gaza, have been destroyed.

Israel accuses Hamas of using children as human shields

Israel rejects the information provided by Hamas and justifies its actions by saying that Hamas fighters and commanders use civilians as human shields.

In a video released by the Foreign Ministry on Sunday, Israeli soldiers show an alleged rocket launching site located near a children’s pool in a residential area in the Beit Hanun neighborhood.

“These are just some of the many examples of Hamas using civilians in Gaza as human shields,” the Israeli ministry said in a release.

Also Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insisted that the army is “operating in accordance with the highest standards of international law to avoid harming innocent people.”

He said this after disavowing the Minister of Heritage, the far-right Amichai Eliyahu, who had assured that launching an atomic bomb against the Gaza Strip could be one of the options in the war. EFE