Child Care :: Violent spell rivals worst times for Palestinian children

UNICEF is distressed by the extraordinary violence in northern Gaza. Since 1 November, we estimate that 68 Palestinians have been killed, including 14 children. The deaths during the last seven days, including the children killed in today’s shelling, add to the steady deadly toll on Palestinian children since the Intifada broke out in 2000, with 113 children killed so far this year. This is more than double the total figure for 2005.

Children and adolescents, who make up more than half the population, are living through a terrifying siege that will likely have enduring impact. They have seen family members killed and their communities destroyed. They are confined to their homes, in many cases without access to food, water or electricity. They cannot go to school, to their health centres, and they certainly cannot go out to play.

All children have rights which must be safeguarded irrespective of the environment they happen to live in. Protection of civilians is an obligation under international humanitarian law.

For 60 years UNICEF has been the world?s leader for children, working on the ground in 156 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world?s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.

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