2,055 Palestinian children killed in Gaza, more than 800 missing

Oct 23, 2023
A digger arrives to start removing rubble following an Israeli airstrike in the southern Gaza Strip on October 12, 2023. (Photo: Said Khatib / AFP)

Ramallah, October 23, 2023—More than 2,000 Palestinian children are confirmed killed during the Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip since October 7.

At least 182 Palestinian children were killed in the last 24 hours of Israeli bombardment, which many Palestinians in Gaza described as the heaviest day of bombing since Israel launched a large-scale military operation dubbed Operation Iron Swords on October 7.

Israeli forces have killed 2,055 Palestinian children in Gaza, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza, in just over two weeks since the Israeli military unleashed a massive military offensive on the Gaza Strip on October 7 after Palestinian armed groups fired rockets toward Israel and breached the Israeli perimeter fence surrounding Gaza, launching attacks inside Israel.

The fatality and injury numbers provided by the Ministry of Health in Gaza only account for people admitted to hospitals, and an estimated 830 Palestinian children are reported missing under the rubble of destroyed buildings, indicating the actual death toll is much higher. An additional 4,992 Palestinian children in Gaza are injured.

Doctors in Gaza report many cases of chickenpox, scabies, and diarrhea, especially among children, as Palestinians lack access to clean water, basic hygiene, and sanitation amid Israeli authorities’ complete closure of the Gaza Strip, according to Al Jazeera.

The Ministry of Health has also reported at least 8,000 new cases of coronavirus among displaced Palestinians, most of whom are living in extremely crowded circumstances.

Palestinian doctors also warn that as hospitals’ fuel reserves run critically low, at least 130 premature babies are in danger if their incubators shut down. In addition, around 1,100 kidney failure patients, including 38 children, rely on dialysis machines to stay alive.

An estimated 1.4 million Palestinians in Gaza are displaced, according to UN OCHA

Since October 11 at 2 p.m. Gaza has experienced a full electricity blackout after Israeli authorities cut the electricity and fuel supply on October 7 and the Gaza Power Plant depleted its reserves, according to UN OCHA

Two weeks after Israel cut off food, water, electricity, and fuel from Gaza, two humanitarian aid convoys totaling 34 trucks entered Gaza through the Rafah crossing on October 21 and 22, according to UN OCHA, carrying food, water, and medical supplies. Fuel was not included in the aid deliveries.

At least 43 percent of all housing units in the Gaza Strip have been damaged or completely destroyed since October 7, according to UN OCHA.

Prior to October 7, an average of 600 humanitarian aid trucks entered Gaza daily to provide relief to Palestinians. Zero humanitarian aid trucks entered Gaza between October 7 and 20.

29 Palestinian children have been killed in the occupied West Bank since October 7, according to documentation collected by DCIP, when the Israeli military began a full-scale bombardment on the Gaza Strip dubbed Operation Iron Swords.

At least 91 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces and settlers in the occupied West Bank since October 7, according to UN OCHA.

The State of Israel has no choice but to turn Gaza into a place that is temporarily or permanently impossible to live in,” reservist Major General Giora Eiland told Israeli media. “Creating a severe humanitarian crisis in Gaza is a necessary means to achieve the goal. Gaza will become a place where no human being can exist.”

“Human animals must be treated as such. There will be no electricity and no water [in Gaza], there will only be destruction. You wanted hell, you will get hell,” said Major General Ghassan Alian, head of Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT).

Under international law, genocide is prohibited and constitutes the deliberate killing of a large number of people from a particular nation or ethnic group with the aim of destroying that nation or group, in whole or in part. Genocide can result from killing or by creating conditions of life that are so unbearable it brings about the group’s destruction.

International humanitarian law prohibits indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks and requires all parties to an armed conflict to distinguish between military targets, civilians, and civilian objects. Deploying explosive weapons in densely-populated civilian areas constitutes indiscriminate attacks and carrying out direct attacks against civilians or civilian objects amounts to war crimes.

Israeli authorities have imposed a closure policy against the Gaza Strip since 2007 by strictly controlling and limiting the entry and exit of individuals; maintaining harsh restrictions on imports including food, construction materials, fuel, and other essential items; as well as prohibiting exports. Israel continues to maintain complete control over the Gaza Strip’s borders, airspace, and territorial waters.

News | Fatalities and Injuries
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