More than 3,257 children have been killed in Gaza since 7 October, Save the Children has reported.
“One child’s death is too many, but these are grave violations of epic proportions”, the humanitarian agency said.
Across the Palestinian territories and Israel, children make up more than a third of all fatalities, with 33 killed in the West Bank and 29 killed in Israel, according to the report.
These “unimaginable” figures have surpassed the annual number of children killed across the world’s conflict zones since 2019, Save the Children said.
Death tolls from Gaza Health Ministry and Israeli officials show a total of more than 9,400 people killed in the past 23 days of war, Associated Press reported, describing it as the “deadliest and most destructive” of the five wars fought between the sides.
Reporting from occupied Palestinian territory, Save the Children’s country director Jason Lee said, “This is pure horror for all children and their parents. Across the Gaza Strip, more than one million children are trapped in the middle of an active conflict zone with no safe place to go and no route to safety.”
A ‘second phase’ of Israel’s offensive in the Gaza Strip was launched on 26 October, with the employment of ground troops, battle tanks and armoured vehicles, in addition to continuous and intensive air raid shelling. “Children will bear the brunt” of Israel’s expanded ground operation, Save the Children warned.
“More than one million children’s lives – nearly half of the 2.3 million population of Gaza – will be on the line”, the international agency said, stressing that a ceasefire is the “only way to ensure their safety”.