Gaza, 5 December, 2023 (GNP): Amid relentless Israeli airstrikes and the expansion of its offensive to the south, within the designated safe zone, the death toll is rising exponentially in Gaza.
According to the Palestinian health ministry, over 16,000 people have died since the beginning of the conflict on October 7th.
However, according to a recent statement from the Palestinian foreign ministry, the death toll is rising significantly among children.
At the time of its reporting, the tragic death toll stood at more than 6,000 children. Additionally, hundreds of children are still reported missing under the rubble.
After the temporary humanitarian pause following the breakdown of the temporary truce between Hamas and Israel, the executive director of the UN’s Children’s Fund, Catherine Russell, once again called Gaza ‘the most dangerous place in the world to be a child’.
It is worth noting that about half of the total population in Gaza, approximately 2.3 million people, are below the age of 18.
Consequently, many of the children have already experienced five Israeli assaults since 2008, and therefore have been traumatized by the consistent war.
Before the episode of October 7, a study by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics revealed that 13 percent of children and minors aged 5 to 17 experienced anxiety.
The bureau’s estimates projected that approximately 52,450 children and minors might endure stress in 2023, with 13,000 possibly exhibiting signs of depression.
Now, the Statistics Bureau anticipates a significant surge in these figures due to the impact of the ongoing aggression, suggesting an exponential increase in the number of affected children and minors.
Additionally, in early November, the NGO Defense for Children International-Palestine reported that in October alone, the number of Palestinian children killed in the Gaza Strip was double the total count of Palestinian children who had been killed by Israeli forces in both the occupied West Bank and Gaza since 1967 by forces.