World Children’s Day is annually celebrated on November 20. The theme for this year is ‘For every child, every right’. The blatant irony is that the day is being celebrated as the children of Gaza do not even have the fundamental right to life. They are being orphaned, injured, losing limbs, burned by white phosphorus, or worse, killed. With the war entering the seventh week, almost 5000 children are dead. 1800 children are missing under the rubble, presumably dead, while 9000 are severely injured with life-changing consequences.
One out of every 200 children in Gaza has been killed by Israeli strikes since October 7. This is like one child is killed every 10 minutes in the besieged Gaza strip.
A report published by Save the Children published when the toll was around 4630, said that the number of deaths “surpasses the annual number of children killed across all the world’s conflict zones since 2019.” The report clearly mentioned that “no child in Gaza is safe at the moment”.
The children who have survived will bear trauma for the rest of their lives but their imminent problems are hunger, fear, lack of shelter, hygiene.
The New York Times, called out multiple times by critics of the war, today published its headline, ‘Graveyard of Children’. In the course of the last six weeks, the world saw a girl pushing her way out of the rubble, another bawling her eyes out searching for her mother insisting she had recognized her among the dead from her hair, a boy who lost his parents in the first bombing and his legs to the second in the hospital, children’s corpses burned and decimated, and as many as 30 crying infants who are out of incubators, walking the thin line of life and death.
Dr Abu-Sittah told The NY Times “More and more, it seems like a war against children.”