Grave violations against Palestinian children: November 10

UN’s Children and Armed Conflict Agenda

Nov 10, 2023
People sift through the smoldering rubble of buildings destroyed in an Israeli strike on the Bureij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip on November 2, 2023. (Photo: Mahmud Hams / AFP)

Ramallah, November 10, 2023—Israeli forces’ attacks in Gaza and military operations in the occupied West Bank since October 7 result in increasingly widespread grave violations against Palestinian children. 

Israel and the State of Palestine are a “situation of concern” in the United Nations Secretary General’s annual reporting on Children and Armed Conflict (CAAC) since 2006, when the first annual report was issued pursuant to Security Council Resolution 1612 (2005). Through this process, the United Nations has the mandate to monitor and verify six specific grave violations against children, to provide regular reports on grave violations to the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary General for Children and Armed Conflict (OSRSG-CAAC), and to engage all parties to address grave violations.

The six grave violations serve as the basis to gather information and report on violations affecting children, and are killing and maiming of children, recruitment or use of children as soldiers, sexual violence against children, abduction of children, attacks against schools or hospitals, and denial of humanitarian access for children. All parties to armed conflict must protect children and prevent the commission of grave violations against them.

CAAC Bulletins have been prepared periodically over the past many years to provide specific information on trends and the impact of conflict-related violence on children and to inform UN dialogue with parties to the conflict on measures to prevent and end grave violations of children’s rights, in line with recommendations included in the UN Secretary General’s Annual Reports on Children and Armed Conflict.

As Israeli forces kill Palestinian children in Gaza at unprecedented rates, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres declared on Monday that “Gaza is becoming a graveyard for children” and warned “without fuel, newborn babies in incubators and patients on life support will die.” The death toll is expected to rise dramatically as Israeli authorities have cut off Palestinians in Gaza from food, water, electricity, medical supplies, and fuel, catapulting a captive civilian population into what Guterres described as a “nightmare” that “is a crisis of humanity.” 

The information below covers the period between October 7 – November 10, 2023.


Killing and maiming

At least 4,506 Palestinian children in Gaza have been killed in Israeli attacks since October 7, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health. At least 1,500 children are reported missing under the rubble of destroyed buildings, most of whom are presumed dead.

51 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.


Attacks on schools and hospitals

The World Health Organization (WHO) has documented 235 attacks on health care in the Occupied Palestinian Territory between October 7 and November 6, including 108 attacks in the Gaza Strip resulting in at least 512 fatalities and 654 casualties, including 16 fatalities and 37 injuries of health care workers on duty. The attacks have damaged 39 health care facilities, including 22 hospitals, and damaged at least 33 ambulances.

In the occupied West Bank, WHO has documented 127 attacks on health care, affecting 104 ambulances and including 72 attacks involving obstruction to delivery of health care; 70 involving physical violence towards health teams; 19 involving detention of health staff and ambulances; and 12 involving militarized search of health assets.

At least 18 out of 35 hospitals in the Gaza Strip are not functioning, in addition to two outpatient specialist centers, due to damage from Israeli airstrikes and shelling or fuel shortages, according to UN OCHA. 40 additional health care centers are out of service.

At least 51 percent of education facilities in Gaza have been hit, according to UN OCHA.


Denial of humanitarian access

An estimated 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza are displaced, according to UN OCHA. Around 45 percent of Gaza’s housing units have been damaged or destroyed.

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, international efforts resulted in approval for the entry of 20 aid trucks from the Rafah crossing on October 21. Since then, a total of 821 trucks carrying humanitarian aid have been allowed to enter Gaza through the Rafah crossing, according to UN OCHA. The trucks have included food, water, and medical supplies. Israeli authorities have not permitted fuel to be included in the deliveries. Fuel and electricity are critically needed to operate hospitals, bakeries, water pumps, and other necessities.

Prior to October 7, an average of 500 trucks entered Gaza daily to provide relief to Palestinians. Zero humanitarian aid trucks entered Gaza between October 7 and 20.

“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.

Please wait...

Never miss an update.

Read the privacy policy.

We will never share your email address and you can unsubscribe at any time.