Gaza, 27 October 2023 (TDI): In the last 18 days, Gaza has seen a heartbreaking toll on its children leading to  2,360 reported fatalities and 5,364 injuries from relentless attacks, averaging over 400 children affected daily.

Almost every child in the Gaza Strip has faced devastating events, enduring destruction, relentless attacks, and severe shortages of essentials like food and medicine. These experiences have led to profound trauma, displacing families and disrupting their lives.

Adele Khodr, UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa, strongly condemned these violations of children’s rights.

She urgently appealed to all parties involved to agree to a ceasefire, ensure humanitarian access, and release hostages. Khodr emphasized the critical need to protect civilians, especially children, during conflicts, highlighting the importance of upholding rules even in times of war.

In the West Bank, there has been a disturbing increase in casualties, with almost a hundred Palestinians, including 28 children, losing their lives, and at least 160 children sustaining injuries.

Before the tragic events of October 7, 2023, children in the West Bank were already facing the highest levels of conflict-related violence in 20 years. This year alone, 41 Palestinian children and six Israeli children lost their lives due to the ongoing violence.

Children enduring repeated traumatic events in Gaza face potential lifelong consequences. Violence and upheaval lead to toxic stress, affecting physical, cognitive development, and mental health.

Before the recent escalation, over 816,000 Gaza children required mental health support, highlighting the urgent need for comprehensive assistance.

Also Read: Israel-Palestine Conflict: Gaza’s children caught in crossfire

The situation in the Gaza Strip deeply troubles our collective conscience,” remarked Khodr, emphasizing the alarming rate of child deaths and injuries. She highlighted the urgent need for easing tensions and allowing humanitarian aid, including vital supplies.

Nearly 2.3 million people in the Gaza Strip, half of them children, are grappling with a severe water crisis. Most water systems are non-functional due to fuel shortages and damaged infrastructure, operating at just 5% of their usual capacity.