More than 150 children shot by live ammunition in deadliest day since 2014

Tuesday 15 May 2018

Jennifer Moorehead, Save the Children’s Occupied Palestinian Territory Country Director, said:   

"Today is another devastating day for the children of Gaza. At least 13 children have now died since the protests began on March 30. Monday was one of the deadliest days we have seen since the 2014 war, with five children killed and more than 220 children hurt, including more than 150 who were shot by live ammunition, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza. 

There can be no justification for children being killed by armed actors. We urgently call on all parties to take active steps to ensure children are not hurt and to protect children in accordance with the Geneva conventions, relevant international humanitarian law and international human rights law. 

We also call on all parties to show restraint and urge all protests to remain peaceful, while calling on all sides to tackle the long-term causes of this conflict and promote dignity and security for both Israelis and Palestinians. 

Even before the protests, Gaza's hospitals were at breaking point and bed occupancy was 90 percent. The influx of new injuries means people are being treated in corridors and sent home before they have properly healed. To make matters worse, very few of those injured are being allowed to leave Gaza to seek medical care, which only increases the chances of complications and stops children getting the care they need. 

Families, who are now left looking after injured loved ones, are telling us that they are struggling to cope. They often cannot afford the medicines or medical bills for follow up care and are extremely anxious about their children's futures - which they say were already being steadily eroded by more than 10 years of Israeli blockade and falling donor interest. Ongoing power cuts and pay freezes resulting from ongoing divisions between the PA that governs the West Bank and the de-facto authority in Gaza mean that the misery of families is being compounded even further."

*Revised to accomodate following further verification from the WHO