44% of All Palestinians Killed by Israel Since October 7 Are Children

PALESTINE - ISRAEL, 15 Apr 2024

Abdul Rahman | Peoples Dispatch - TRANSCEND Media Service

Rallies for Palestinian Children’s Day were held across Brazil, including in São Paulo. Photo: Priscila Ramos

Over 14,000 children have been killed and nearly 17,000 others have lost at least one or both of their parents in the Israeli bombings or ground offensives in the last six months in Gaza.

8 Apr 2024 – Israel has killed 14,350 Palestinian children between October 7 and April 4. This means children account for 44% of all Palestinians killed in Israel’s genocidal war on Gaza, Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) said in a press release ahead of Palestinian Children’s Day.

Women and children constitute nearly 70% of over 7,000 additional persons missing in the same period, and the majority of the over 75,000 wounded Palestinians are women and children.

Out of a total of 455 Palestinians killed in the occupied West Bank by the Israeli forces in the same period, 117 were children.

Over 17,000 Palestinian children have also been orphaned or separated from their parents as a result of Israel’s genocidal attacks, according to UNICEF data, after either both or one of their parents were killed in the Israeli bombings and ground offensives since October 7.

Palestinians celebrate Children’s Day on April 5 every year. Human rights groups such as Defense of Children International Palestine, Palestinian Network for Children’s Rights (PNCR) and others mark the day as International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian Children in order to highlight Israel’s systematic crimes against them.

Israel starves Palestinian children to death

At least 31 Palestinian children have been starved to death in Gaza in the last couple of months. The starvation is a product of the deliberate blockade and restrictions imposed by the Israeli forces on the delivery and distribution of food and other humanitarian aid in the besieged territory. The entire population of Gaza is now facing acute levels of food insecurity.

The around 20,000 children born since October 7 in Gaza are now at severe risk of malnutrition. The prolonged lack of nutrition has raised the possibility of stunted growth for the children of Gaza.

A large number of pregnant women in Gaza are deprived of adequate medical care as well, due to the genocide and Israel’s repeated attacks on the health facilities and workers.

According to the PCBS, by the middle of this year, there would be around 2.4 million children below the age of 18 in the occupied Palestinian territories, 43% of the total Palestinian population in West Bank and Gaza. The population of children in Palestine is almost equally divided between the West Bank (over 1.3 million) and Gaza (over 1 million).

Around 816,000 children in Gaza need psychological assistance due to trauma caused by the ongoing genocide. Around 620,000 have been out of school, with eight out of ten schools destroyed by the invading Israeli forces in indiscriminate bombings on civilian infrastructures and deliberate acts of sabotage. Another 133 schools are used as temporary shelters for displaced people.

The child prisoners of Palestine

Though since October 7, Israeli forces detained over 500 Palestinian children, some were released later. However, still there are over 200 Palestinian children in different Israeli jails. According to Addameer, 41 Palestinian child prisoners are being kept under administrative detainees.

Palestinians children detained by the Israeli forces have often been subjected to torture and abuse both during their arrests and in the prison. In a large number of cases, Palestinian children have been treated like criminals when arrested by Israeli forces with their hands tied, blindfolded. They are often tried in military courts.

In a report submitted last year by Francesca Albanese, UN special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories, claimed that over “10,000 Palestinian children have experienced institutionalized ill treatment during arrests, prosecutions, sentencing and consequent traumas on themselves and their families.”

Some children released from Israeli prison recently have also testified that they were isolated in the prison and tortured and severely beaten, Addameer claimed.

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