Grave violations against Palestinian children: November 27

UN’s Children and Armed Conflict Agenda

Nov 27, 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 27, 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.

“Without the political will to genuinely resolve conflicts, we will continue to fail our children and their hopes and dreams. Without respecting the obligations under international humanitarian and human rights law, we will continue to harm our children. Without putting children at the center of our actions, the possibility of complying with the CRC and providing every child with their rights and needs is sadly null,” said the Special Representative of the Secretary General for Children and Armed Conflict, Virginia Gamba.

The information below covers the period between October 7 – November 27, 2023.


Killing and maiming

More than 6,150 Palestinian children in Gaza have been killed in Israeli attacks since October 7, according to the Governmental Media Office in Gaza.

60 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

Since the collapse of the healthcare system in Gaza mid-November, the Ministry of Health has been unable to document and release detailed updates regarding attacks on hospitals. Here is a partial timeline of some of the major attacks on hospitals in Gaza since October 7.

October 17: Israel bombed the courtyard of Al-Ahli Hospital where at least 500 Palestinians were killed and more than 600 others injured, including doctors and those seeking treatment and shelter in the hospital, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.

November 10: Israeli attacks around Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City intensified, and a strike hit the courtyard outside the hospital. The hospital lost power and ceased functioning as a hospital. Israeli occupation forces besiege the Al-Rantisi and Nasser Children’s Hospitals. In addition, there is a suspension of oxygen stations, exposing sick children to the danger of death at any moment. 

November 12: An Israeli airstrike bombed Al-Mahdi hospital in Gaza City, killing two doctors and injuring others.

November 14: With regard to the Al-Shifa Medical Complex, Israeli bombardments and attacks continued in the vicinity of Al-Shifa Hospital. Those inside and around the hospital, including staff, patients and forcibly displaced people, were targeted by Israeli snipers. The intensive care unit, the maternity ward and the upper floor of the surgery building were damaged. In addition, a fire broke out near the department of treating patients with kidney disorders. Nasser Children’s Hospital in Gaza City was also bombed by Israeli airstrikes.

November 15: The director of Al-Shifa Hospital says Israeli tanks and forces are completely stationed in its surroundings.

November 16: Israeli ground troops continue to carry out a raid on Al-Shifa Hospital for a second day.

November 17: Israeli ground troops continue to carry out a raid on Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza for a third day. Israeli troops are still inside the hospital. Israeli forces also bombed Al-Wafa Elderly Hospital in the Al-Zahra area of the central Gaza Strip. The bombing resulted in killing the hospital manager and injuring other doctors.

November 18: Premature babies forced to evacuate Al-Shifa medical complex by Israeli forces. Israeli forces continue to impose a blockade on Al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza City, according to the Ministry of Health. Medical teams cannot move outside and reach the injured safely. The Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) announced that its emergency medical teams are trapped in Al-Amal Hospital for the third consecutive day, amid intense bombing and open-fire. The teams have been unable to move outside and reach the injured.

November 19: Israeli airstrikes resumed against Al-Shifa Hospital. At least one patient was arrested during the hospital’s invasion carried out by Israeli forces. Israeli forces bombarded the Al-Awda Hospital in northern Gaza, resulting in the death and injury of several Palestinians. 

November 20: A joint mission between the United Nations and the Palestine Red Crescent Society, led by the World Health Organization, evacuated 31 premature babies from the besieged Al-Shifa Hospital in northern Gaza to Al-Helal Al-Emirati Maternity Hospital in southern Gaza. Israeli forces also besiege the Indonesian Hospital. A bomb struck the second floor of the Indonesian Hospital, killing at least 12 people. Ashraf al-Qudra, Gaza’s Health Ministry spokesperson: “The Indonesian Hospital staff are insisting they will stay to treat the wounded. There are about 700 people, including medical staff and injured people, inside the hospital.”

Between October 7 and November 16, at least 71 displaced Palestinians were killed, and 573 others were injured while seeking refuge in UNRWA shelters and schools throughout Gaza, according to UNRWA.

More than 250 education facilities have been hit since October 7, equating to 40% of the total number of schools in the Gaza Strip, according to UN OCHA.


Denial of humanitarian access

An estimated 1.5 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.

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.

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