Ramallah, November 7, 2023—Israeli forces have killed twice as many Palestinian children in Gaza over the past month than the total number of Palestinian children killed in the West Bank and Gaza combined since 1967.
Israeli forces have killed at least 4,237 Palestinian children in Gaza in one month since the Israeli military unleashed a massive military offensive on the Gaza Strip on October 7, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza. There are an additional 1,350 children missing under the rubble of destroyed buildings, most of whom are presumed dead, meaning that over 5,500 Palestinian children have been killed in Gaza over the past 30 days, at a rate of over 180 children per day.
Between September 2000 and October 6, 2023, DCIP independently verified that Israeli forces and settlers killed 2,187 Palestinian children throughout the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip. Israeli forces killed at least 281 Palestinian children between December 9, 1987 and September 28, 2000, according to B’Tselem. Palestinian estimates suggest Israeli forces killed no more than 100 Palestinian children between June 1967, when Israeli forces occupied the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, and December 1987.
“Israeli forces are killing Palestinian children at a shocking rate as world leaders actively show, day after day, that they lack the temerity to force an end to the bombardment, the bare minimum humanitarian response,” said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, accountability program director at DCIP. “For decades, the international community has supported and justified Israeli war crimes and the denial of the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination, prioritizing the security of the Israeli people at the expense of Palestinian life. Palestinian children are bearing the brunt of that complicity and the failure of international law, protection, and accountability mechanisms.”
The death toll is expected to rise dramatically as Israeli authorities cut off Palestinians in Gaza from food, water, electricity, medical supplies, and fuel and Israeli forces continue indiscriminate and direct attacks against residential buildings and civilian infrastructure such as hospitals, schools, bakeries, solar panels, water stations, and agricultural land.
“Gaza is becoming a graveyard for children. Hundreds of girls and boys are reportedly being killed or injured every day” said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres yesterday. “Without fuel, newborn babies in incubators and patients on life support will die.”
Israeli forces issued an evacuation order for Al-Rantisi Children’s Hospital in advance of a possible attack, according to the Ministry of Health. Israeli attacks have already hit Al-Rantisi Children’s Hospital twice, according to the Ministry of Health, striking the pediatric cancer ward and the specialized children’s center. At least four people were killed and 70 injured, including children and medical staff. The same Israeli attacks destroyed the hospital solar panels and water tanks. Around 70 children are receiving treatment at Al-Rantisi Children’s Hospital and at least 1,000 displaced Palestinians are seeking refuge there.
Cases of chickenpox, diarrhea, and upper respiratory infections are reported at extremely crowded shelters across the Gaza Strip, according to UN OCHA.
The main electricity generators at the Indonesian hospital in north Gaza and Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza city, the largest hospital in the Gaza Strip, shut down on November 3 due to lack of fuel. Both hospitals are operating on secondary generators which are designed to only operate for a few hours each day, according to UN OCHA.
All bakeries in the Gaza City and North Gaza governorates have ceased operations due to damage from Israeli airstrikes and the lack of fuel and flour, according to the Ministry of Health. None of the minimal humanitarian aid allowed to enter through the Rafah crossing has been allowed to reach northern Gaza.
The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child condemned the killing of children in Gaza Strip and also warned that grave human rights violations against children are mounting by the minute in the Gaza Strip. A statement declared, “The Committee on the Rights of the Child strongly condemns the escalation of attacks by Israel against civilian targets in the Gaza Strip,” and “[w]e add our voice to those calling for an immediate ceasefire.”
46 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.