Israeli Operation In Gaza Has Killed One Child Every Hour, UN Report Says

Gaza children A Palestinian man holds a child while fleeing the Shujayeh neighbourhood during heavy Israeli shelling in Gaza City July 20, 2014.  REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly

One child has been killed in Gaza every hour after July 20, says a report from the United Nations. More children have been killed in Gaza since the start of Israel’s “Operation Protective Edge” than militants, according to the most recent U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) report.

As of July 22, 599 people had been killed in Gaza since the start of the Operation and more than 445 were civilian deaths. OCHA said that 147 of those deaths were children and 22 of those children were 3 years old or younger.

The youngest casualty so far is Fare Jom’a Al Tarabeen, who was three months old when he was killed on July 18, the first day of Israel’s ground invasion.

Since the OCHA report was released, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency said an additional 74 Palestinians were killed, including 10 children.  Just as this article was being published, Palestinian officials announced that 31 people were killed in an attack in southern Gaza, which would bring the death toll to 695 as Wednesday ended.

According to the OCHA report, at least 135,500 people in Gaza are in need of sheltered-related assistance and at least 116,000 children are in need of psychosocial support. The UNRWA’s stock of nonfood item kits -- which help people make shelter, keep clean and stay warm -- is currently at zero.

At a news briefing in Geneva on Tuesday, OCHA Spokesperson Jens Laerke said, “there is literally no safe place for civilians [in Gaza].” 

On Wednesday, United Nations Human Rights Council voted to launch an investigation into Israel’s operation in Gaza for possible international law violations and war crimes. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the move. As Hamas rockets continued to fire -- the Israeli Defense Force said almost 100 were fired on Wednesday -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with Palestinian and Israeli leaders and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a so-far unsuccessful attempt to achieve a cease-fire. 

 

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