Israeli military forcibly displaces tens of thousands, kills 4,412 children in Gaza

Nov 09, 2023
Palestinians families fleeing Gaza City and other parts of northern Gaza towards the southern areas, walk along a highway on November 9, 2023. (Photo: Mahmud Hams / AFP)

Ramallah, November 9, 2023—Israeli forces have killed more than 4,400 Palestinian children in Gaza as they forcibly displace tens of thousands of Palestinians to southern Gaza.

Israeli forces have killed at least 4,412 Palestinian children in Gaza in just over a 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 1,400 children missing under the rubble of destroyed buildings, most of whom are presumed dead, meaning that over 5,800 Palestinian children have been killed in Gaza over the past 33 days, at a rate of about 176 children each day. 

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. 

“Israeli officials are seemingly undeterred by shock at the catastrophic and unprecedented loss of Palestinian life in Gaza,” said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, accountability program director at DCIP. “Israeli forces continue their military attempt to depopulate Gaza and create conditions that eliminate Palestinian life while world leaders show, day after day, that they lack the temerity to force an end to the bombardment, the bare minimum humanitarian response.”

Yesterday, around 50,000 Palestinians from north Gaza evacuated south along Salahaddin Road, Gaza’s main road, as Israeli forces opened a so-called evacuation corridor, according to UN OCHA. The corridor has opened once a day since November 5, and about 72,000 people have been forcibly displaced to the south since. Most displaced Palestinians are moving on foot, some walking up to 20 kilometers (12 miles). The Israeli military forced Palestinians evacuating by car to leave their cars at the southern edge of Gaza city and continue on by foot. Israel forces continued shelling on and around Salahaddin Road as Palestinians moved south, walking past corpses.

Israeli forces appear to be implementing the Dahiya Doctrine, according to Israeli veterans’ group Breaking the Silence. The Dahiya Doctrine, which is named after the Dahiya neighborhood of Beirut where Israel first implemented the strategy in 2006, uses overwhelming and disproportionate force to destroy civilian infrastructure. 

The Israeli military previously implemented the Dahiya Doctrine during massive military offensives on the Gaza Strip in 2014, and 2008-9, according to documentation collected by DCIP. However, the scale of destruction unleashed by Israeli forces today greatly surpasses previous Israeli attacks on civilian infrastructure.

Hospitals across Gaza, particularly in the north, are collapsing amid fuel and medical supply shortages as Israeli forces continue to bombard areas directly surrounding hospitals. All services at Al-Rantisi Children’s Hospital and Al-Nasr Psychiatric Hospital, both located in north Gaza, have stopped, according to the Ministry of Health. Al Quds Hospital, located in Gaza City, has shut down key services, and Al-Awda, the only hospital that provides maternity services in north Gaza, has warned it is close to being forced to shut down, 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.

At least 50 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.

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