UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell has issued a stark warning about the dire situation in Gaza, as ongoing Israeli aggression continues to displace over 1 million children. Alarming reports suggest that many of these children are believed to be missing or buried underneath the rubble of destroyed buildings.
Russell recently visited the Gaza Strip and shared her firsthand account of the horrifying scenes she witnessed. In a statement released on UNICEF’s website, she expressed her devastation, saying, “Today I visited the Gaza Strip to meet with children, their families, and UNICEF staff. What I saw and heard was devastating. They have endured repeated bombardment, loss, and displacement. Inside the Strip, there is nowhere safe for Gaza’s one million children to turn.”
The relentless Israeli aggression has resulted in a rising number of Palestinian casualties. According to the latest reports from the Ministry of Health, over 11,200 civilians, including 4,600 children, have been killed so far in the ongoing conflict.
The situation becomes even more distressing with the knowledge that many children are missing and presumed to be trapped beneath the rubble of collapsed buildings. Russell explains, “The tragic result of the use of explosive weapons in populated areas is that many children are believed to be buried under the debris of destroyed buildings and homes.”
Adding to the crisis is the severe shortage of medical supplies and power caused by the Israeli blockade. This has led to the deaths of newborns who require specialized care. Just over the weekend, three out of 39 premature babies tragically passed away at al-Shifa Hospital, Gaza’s largest hospital, due to a fuel shortage for the generators sustaining their incubators.
Furthermore, the situation took an even more disturbing turn when the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) stormed al-Shifa Hospital, committing a war crime. Physicians and refugees were detained and handcuffed, while gunfire was even reported within the hospital premises.
“In the hospital’s neonatal ward, tiny babies were clinging to life in incubators, as doctors worried how they could keep the machines running without fuel,” Russell lamented.
As the crisis in Gaza deepens, urgent intervention and support are needed to alleviate the suffering of innocent children and families who continue to bear the brunt of this devastating conflict.
Source: Agencies (edited by Al-Manar English Website)