In yet another statement that offered little solace to the Palestinians enduring the Israeli occupation’s war of extermination, Catherine Russell, the Executive Director of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), characterized her observations and experiences in the Gaza Strip as “horrific.”
Russell recounted the heart-wrenching scenes of unrelenting bombardments, injuries, and displacements, highlighting the absence of any safe haven for Gaza’s children. Her observations revealed a staggering toll: over 4,600 children dead, nearly 9,000 injured, and many trapped under the rubble of buildings demolished by the bombardments.
She shed light on the tragic fate of newborns in another hospital in Gaza, who succumbed due to power outages and depleted medical resources. At Nasser Hospital in Khan Yunis, she encountered a 16-year-old girl, forever robbed of her ability to walk. The dire situation in the hospital’s neonatal department, where life-sustaining incubators struggled to function without fuel, was particularly distressing.
UNICEF staff shared their traumatic experiences with Russell, underscoring the grave dangers humanitarian workers face in Gaza. She noted that over 100 employees of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) have been killed since last October.
Highlighting the inadequacy of humanitarian aid reaching Gaza, Russell renewed her call for an immediate end to this horror, emphasizing the urgent need for protection and assistance for the children.
For 40 days, the Israeli occupation forces have conducted a ruthless war of extermination in Gaza, leading to 11,320 Palestinian deaths, including 4,650 children and 3,145 women, with 29,200 injured, predominantly children and women.
Since the war’s onset, the Israeli occupation has severed essential supplies of water, food, medicine, electricity, and fuel to Gaza’s approximately 2.3 million residents, exacerbating their already dire conditions under a continuous siege since 2006.
This Israeli aggression against the Gaza Strip starkly violates international humanitarian law and human rights, endangering civilian lives and property and inflicting severe suffering. This necessitates urgent and decisive international intervention to halt the aggression and protect civilians in the Gaza Strip.