In a shocking revelation, the number of children killed in Gaza over the past three weeks has surpassed the annual number of children killed in armed conflicts globally in each of the past four years. The non-governmental organization, Save the Children, has reported that more than 3,000 children have been killed in Gaza since October 7.
The figures released by the NGO, referencing Palestinian health authorities, show that at least 3,324 children have been killed in Gaza since October 7. This is in stark contrast to the total of 2,985 children killed across 24 countries in 2022, 2,515 in 2021, and 2,674 in 2020.
Jason Lee, Save the Children’s country director for the occupied Palestinian territory, has called these figures “grave violations of epic proportions” and has urged for an immediate ceasefire. He emphasized that “every day spent debating is leaving children killed and injured” and that “children must be protected at all times, especially when they are seeking safety in schools and hospitals”.
The situation has been further exacerbated by the near-total communication blackout experienced by the entire Gaza Strip. Reports suggest that a further 1,000 children have been reported missing in Gaza and may be under the rubble. Children make up more than 40 percent of the more than 8,000 people confirmed to have been killed in Gaza.
The ongoing conflict has also led to a total siege on the Gaza Strip, tightening the blockade enforced since 2007. The lack of electricity and the scarcity of fuel to power generators has forced hospitals to cut down on their operations, endangering the lives of children, including babies in need of energy-intensive neonatal intensive care.
The international community is urged to intervene and prioritize the safety and well-being of children in this escalating conflict. The alarming figures serve as a stark reminder of the devastating impact of war on innocent lives, particularly children, and the urgent need for peace.