UNICEF condemns the 'recommencing of the killing of children in Gaza'

AFP , Friday 1 Dec 2023

The United Nations children's agency UNICEF condemned the resumption of fighting, saying: "Today, those in power have decided that the killing of children would recommence."

Palestinian child wounded in the Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip is treated in al Aqsa Hospital on Deir al Balah, Gaza Strip, Friday, Dec. 1, 2023. AP


"The humanitarian situation in Gaza is so perilous that anything other than sustained peace and at-scale emergency aid will mean catastrophe for the children of Gaza," UNICEF spokesman James Elder told reporters in Geneva via video link from the besieged Palestinian enclave.

Elder said the "dire" state of health, nutrition, water, and sanitation there threatened to trigger "a disaster of unparalleled magnitude for the children of Gaza".

"Inaction, at its core, is an approval of the killing of children," he said, calling it "reckless to think more attacks on the people of Gaza will lead to anything other than carnage."

"It's deeply unsettling to hear how some have been able to overlook the tragic deaths of these children; and now, today, are seemingly comfortable with the horrors -- the attacks -- starting again," he said.

"To accept the sacrifice of the children in Gaza is humanity giving up.

"This is our last chance before we delve into yet again explaining why another entirely avoidable tragedy was not stopped."

Elder said that he visited children in the Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip as hostilities resumed on Friday.

He said that during the truce, "slowly, slowly, glimpses of childhood started to come back" to traumatized and wounded children.

However, as the explosions began, "in an instant... you saw fear return and childhood retreat", he said.

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