Over 1,800 killed in two weeks in Gaza most of them children

23 Oct 2023 11:15am
A man writes names on the shroud of children killed in the Israeli attack in Gaza yesterday - AFP
A man writes names on the shroud of children killed in the Israeli attack in Gaza yesterday - AFP

RAMALLAH - More than 1,800 innocent children have lost their lives due to Israel's brutality since the recent genocide erupted on Oct 7 in Gaza, as stated in a release by Defence for Children International-Palestine (DCIP) on Saturday.

DCIP noted that the number of child casualties might increase as 1,400 victims are still missing following a series of bombings on hospitals, schools, mosques, and public residences.

Palestinian children who survived the bombings throughout Gaza are reported to be experiencing severe humanitarian crises.

"Watching the deaths of other children worsens their already bitter experience, leaving deeply painful scars in the souls of these children.

"Moreover, losing family members in the blink of an eye

"Children who once felt safe and comfortable in their family's embrace are now orphans," according to the organisation.

It is estimated that a child is killed by Israeli bombings in Gaza every 15 minutes.

Israel's recent attacks are described as the most severe in decades, resulting in the deaths of over 4,000 Palestinians and nearly 14,000 injuries.

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"We are witnessing mass murder in real-time," said a DCIP spokesperson.

According to the 1949 Geneva Conventions, children should be protected during armed conflicts, and this principle is enshrined in international rules of armed conflict.

In another development, mothers in Gaza are trying their best to comfort their children from the trauma of bombings and the destruction surrounding them due to the Zionist regime's attacks.

Esra Abu Ghazzah 30, a mother of two children aged eight and two, told Al Jazeera that her children began vomiting after the airstrikes, and they showed extreme fear.

Her children are two of the 95 percent of Palestinian children in Gaza living with the psychological effects of war.

Based on research conducted by Palestinian psychologist Dr Iman Farajallah, children who survive wars but are not physically injured will face psychological, emotional, and behavioural disorders.

Some children will exhibit anxiety, regression, or aggressive behaviour.

According to Samah Jabr a mother of four, she is concerned about her eldest son 13-year-old Qusay's health.

"Recently, he (Qusay) has been very restless and is often startled, even jumping at sudden noises. Moreover, he cannot stand anyone speaking loudly, even if they are joking.

"I try to tell him that this war will end," she said.

Iman Farajallah added that most Palestinian teenagers do not want to be out of their mother's sight.

"They will not leave the room to go to the bathroom or kitchen without being accompanied by their mothers," she said.

Due to the relentless bombings carried out by the Zionist regime, schooling has been suspended since schools have been turned into temporary shelters for survival.

The United Nations (UN) now provides shelter for approximately 400,000 Gazans who have lost their homes in schools and other facilities.

However, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), which operates 278 schools in Gaza, said that at least four schools have suffered severe damage due to Israeli bombings, resulting in at least six deaths.

The Education Above All (EAA) Foundation, which provides scholarships to Palestinians in need of education in al-Fakhoora, Gaza, was also destroyed on Tuesday.

EAA released a statement stating that collective punishment, reprisals, and attacks on civilians and public infrastructure are serious violations of international humanitarian law.

A total blockade by Israel on Gaza means that no food or water can enter the territory; however, on Tuesday, Israel resumed water supplies to southern Gaza.

A nutrition expert based in Jerusalem with the World Food Programme (WFP) stated that poor water sanitation could put children at a high risk of diarrheal diseases.

Dehydration is the most commonly experienced cause and a leading cause of death in children under the age of five worldwide.

Food deprivation affects cognitive function and energy levels and, in the worst case, leads to starvation and death.