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UN: Over 2,300 children killed in Gaza as relief efforts are at risk

The United Nations relief agency working in Gaza said its relief operations are in jeopardy as Israeli airstrikes increase.
UN says Gaza humanitarian efforts could end as Israel steps up bombing
Posted at 7:58 AM, Oct 25, 2023

The United Nations Children’s Agency is calling for “an immediate ceasefire” in Gaza as there’s an "alarming" number of child casualties.

Since Oct. 7, over 2,300 children in Gaza have lost their lives, while more than 5,300 have sustained injuries, resulting in a daily average of over 400 children either killed or wounded, according to UNICEF, which states that Hamas has killed more than 30 Israeli children and dozens remain captive within the Gaza Strip.

“The killing and maiming of children, abduction of children, attacks on hospitals and schools, and the denial of humanitarian access constitute grave violations of children's rights,” said Adele Khodr, UNICEF regional director for the Middle East and North Africa, in a press release. “UNICEF urgently appeals on all parties to agree to a ceasefire, allow humanitarian access, and release all hostages. Even wars have rules. Civilians must be protected — children particularly  — and all efforts must be made to spare them in all circumstances.”

UNICEF also reports that the attacks have reached the West Bank, where 28 Palestinian children have been killed and at least 160 children have been injured.

Meanwhile, the United Nations relief agency working in Gaza warned that its relief operations are in jeopardy as Israeli airstrikes increase. It also warned of likely having to halt operations by Wednesday as it will soon run out of fuel.

Israel has not allowed fuel to enter the Gaza Strip over concerns it could be used by Hamas fighters.

SEE MORE: Hamas' underground tunnels pose a challenge for Israeli military

On its 19th day, this conflict stands as the most lethal among the five Gaza wars for all parties concerned, with the U.N. reporting that Gaza remains in a state of complete electricity blackout and its hospitals are "on the brink of collapse" if they don't get access to enough water, fuel and medicine immediately.

"No fuel means no functioning hospitals, no desalination of water and no baking,” said Lynn Hastings, Deputy Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, in a press release. “It will be important also that the Israeli crossings for the movement of people and goods are opened.” 

Overall, over 5,700 people have been killed since Oct. 7, including 2,360 children, 1,292 women, 295 elderly, over 16,200 have been injured and over 1,500 are reported missing, in which over 800 are children, according to the Hamas-run Ministry of Health in Gaza. There are also over 600,000 people who have been displaced. 

In response to criticism by the U.N. levied toward Israel, Israel's ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan called on U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres to resign.

Guterres said that the brutal attacks by Hamas militants that left 1,400 Israelis dead "did not happen in a vacuum" and that they came after the Palestinian people have "been subjected to 56 years of suffocating occupation." 

The Israeli ambassador called these comments "shocking" and said that the secretary-general is completely disconnected from the reality in the region.

Late Tuesday and early Wednesday included a major increase in missile alerts in Israel, with Hamas launching one of its largest rocket attacks since the first day of the war. The Israel Defense Forces also said that a Hamas terrorist cell tried to infiltrate into the country on a beach in southern Israel.

The IDF released footage of what it says was a naval and air strike against Hamas terrorists who entered through a tunnel on the coast of the Gaza Strip.

The IDF said it later struck a weapons storage facility used by the Hamas fighters.

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