UNICEF Calls for Immediate End to Killing of Children in Palestine

UNICEF calls for immediate end to killing of Palestinian children, as Israeli airstrikes claim 17 lives in 72 hours. Urgent ceasefire and humanitarian aid needed to address devastating crisis.

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Muthana Al-Najjar
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UNICEF Calls for Immediate End to Killing of Children in Palestine

UNICEF Calls for Immediate End to Killing of Children in Palestine

UNICEF has called for an immediate end to the killing of children in Palestine, citing the deaths of 17 children in Israeli airstrikes on Tulkarm in the West Bank and Rafah in the Gaza Strip within the past 72 hours. UNICEF's Regional Director, Adele Khodr, stated that children in Palestine have been "caught in a tragic and vicious cycle of violence for too long" and that "this is a war disproportionately affecting children." "The killing of children needs to stop," Khodr stressed, adding that a ceasefire is urgently needed.

The airstrikes have killed a total of 22 people, including 18 children, in Rafah, and at least 14 Palestinians, including a 15-year-old boy, in Tulkarm. Since October 2022, at least 34,097 Palestinians have been killed, mostly women and children, and 76,980 have been injured, according to Palestinian health authorities. The Israeli war on Gaza has pushed 85% of the territory's population into internal displacement and damaged or destroyed 60% of the enclave's infrastructure, according to the UN.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice, but hostilities have continued unabated, and aid deliveries remain insufficient to address the humanitarian catastrophe. The UN children's agency warned that the Gaza Strip has become a "graveyard for thousands of children," with over 3,450 children killed so far. UNICEF is calling for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire and the safe, sustained, and unimpeded access of humanitarian aid, including water, food, medical supplies, and fuel, to the Gaza Strip.

Why this matters: The ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine has resulted in a devastating humanitarian crisis, with children bearing the brunt of the violence. The international community must take urgent action to protect innocent lives and ensure the delivery of critical aid to those in need.

The recent Israeli airstrike that killed seven World Central Kitchen aid workers is part of a pattern of attacks on humanitarian workers, including doctors, nurses, and journalists, according to officials from humanitarian organizations. The White House has hinted that U.S. policy towards Gaza may change if Israel does not take specific steps to protect civilians and aid workers. Egypt and the United Nations have reiterated the necessity of ending Israeli "violations" against civilians in Gaza, with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and UN Special Rapporteur Francesca Albanese stressing the need to stop Israeli practices aimed at displacing Palestinians and implementing policies of collective punishment and indiscriminate targeting of civilians.

Key Takeaways

  • UNICEF calls for immediate end to killing of Palestinian children in airstrikes.
  • Israeli airstrikes killed 22 people, including 18 children, in Rafah and Tulkarm.
  • Since Oct 2022, 34,097 Palestinians killed, 76,980 injured, 85% displaced in Gaza.
  • Israel accused of genocide, but hostilities continue, and aid delivery remains insufficient.
  • US may change policy if Israel fails to protect civilians and aid workers in Gaza.