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More kids killed in Gaza than in four years of global conflicts – UN

Israel’s war on Hamas is “a war on children,” UNRWA head Philippe Lazzarini has declared

More children have been killed by Israeli forces in Gaza since October than have died in every global conflict between 2019 and 2022 combined, according to figures released by the UN on Tuesday. 

Over 12,300 children have been reported killed in the Palestinian enclave since that time, UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) chief Philippe Lazzarini said, citing data from the UN and Gaza’s health ministry. Children account for almost half of the total death toll, which now exceeds 31,000.

Between the start of 2019 and the end of 2022, 12,193 children were killed in all armed conflicts globally, according to the figures.

“This war is a war on children. It is a war on their childhood and their future,” Lazzarini said, calling for an immediate ceasefire “for the sake of children in Gaza.”

Israel declared war on Hamas on October 7, after the Palestinian militants killed more than 1,100 people and took around 250 hostages in a surprise attack on the Jewish state. Israel responded with a relentless air campaign, before sending troops and armor into Gaza later that month. Within a month, more civilians had died there than in almost two years of fighting in Ukraine, according to UN data from both conflicts.

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Netanyahu vows to ‘finish the job’ in Gaza

Over the weekend, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that he would defy pressure from the US and invade the city of Rafah in the south of the enclave, where more than a million Gazans displaced from the north have been sheltering. The UN has warned that an Israeli assault on Rafah “could lead to a slaughter” of civilians.

Despite the mounting death toll, Netanyahu claimed on Tuesday that the Israeli military has “taken measures to minimize civilian casualties that no other army has taken in history.”

An Israeli airstrike hit a UNRWA aid distribution center in Rafah later on Tuesday night, the agency said on Wednesday. With a quarter of Gaza’s residents at risk of famine and the territory’s health ministry reporting the deaths of at least 20 children from starvation, Lazzarini’s agency has repeatedly called on Israel to allow more food and humanitarian supplies to enter the besieged enclave. 


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