One in five killed in Gaza is a child

Wednesday 16 July 2014

16th July 2014 - One out of every five people killed in Gaza since the escalation of violence is a child, and the numbers will keep rising until a long-lasting agreement is reached that ensures that both Israeli and Palestinian children can live without fear for their survival, Save the Children warns. 

 Jozef Nateel / Save the Children

Children in Gaza and southern Israel are once again facing harrowing scenes that nobody should ever have to witness. "Everyone knows why this conflict is wrong," said Save the Children's Co-Country Director David Hassell. "The use of explosive weapons in built up residential areas, targeting of homes, and indiscriminate rocket attacks place children in harm’s way. It has been a dangerous and terrifying few days for children in both Gaza and Israel. It is unacceptable that in a conflict between adults, children should make up a fifth of the victims." 

Children we have worked with in previous deadly escalations are once again experiencing nightmares and distress. Our psycho-social support teams have carried out home and hospital visits to hundreds of families, although movement is still too risky for them to reach more. Estimates indicate that at least 25,000 children will need psycho-social support in order to cope with the trauma they are experiencing. Thousands of people have been temporarily displaced from their homes, disrupting children's sense of family security. 

At least 149 of 194 people killed in Gaza have been civilians, 38 of whom were children. The numbers of dead, injured, and displaced are increasing, as are the numbers of homes destroyed. Children and families in southern Israel are also terrified by the hundreds of rockets that have landed in Israel and one Israeli is reported to have been killed and at least 15 injured, including children. 

 Save the Children calls on all sides in this conflict to agree to end the violence as a matter of urgency, before more innocent civilians are injured or killed, or forced to live in fear for their lives. 

Beyond a ceasefire, we also know that only a negotiated agreement between all parties to the conflict will bring about a lasting difference: this must tackle the long-term causes of this conflict and promote dignity and security for both Israelis and Palestinians. 

We also call for the end of the blockade of Gaza which is causing severe hardships and impacting on the well-being of all children and their families. 

Save the Children is on the ground in Gaza. To arrange interviews or for further information, please contact: Osama Y. Damo in Gaza +972 (0)59 7911 086,