Palestinians search for casualties a day after Israeli strikes on houses in Jabalia refugee camp 

By Vatican News

Nov 3 2023

The United Nations Children’s Fund draws attention to the ‘horrific and appalling’ scenes following the Israeli airstrike hitting the densely-populated Jabaliya refugee camp in northern Gaza. UNICEF reiterates its appeal for a stop to ‘the killing and captivity of children’, calling for a humanitarian ceasefire.

The United Nations agency UNICEF has issued a statement decrying the deaths and destruction in the latest Israeli airstrike on Wednesday of the densely-populated Jabaliya refugee camp in the Gaza Strip.

Describing the carnage as “horrific and appalling,” the second attack on the camp in 25 days of continuous bombardment of the Strip killed at least 80 people and injured hundreds, according to Gaza hospital authorities. The Israel Defense Forces has said the strikes are aimed at Hamas commanders, combatants, and infrastructure. 

More than 3500 children killed, nearly 7000 injured

The UNICEF statement said over these past three and a half weeks, the bombardments have “reportedly resulted in more than 3,500 children killed…and over 6,800 children reportedly injured.”

It underscored that this would mean over 400 children killed or injured per day over this time, and that “this cannot become the new normal.” 

UNICEF recalled the international humanitarian law obligates those in conflict to respect and protect civilian populations sheltering in refugee camps and settlements for the internally displaced. 

The UNICEF statement noted “attacks of this scale on densely populated residential neighborhoods can have indiscriminate effects and are completely unacceptable.”

‘Killing and captivity’ of children must stop

It stressed further that “children have endured too much already” and that “the killing and captivity of children must stop,” children must not be a target.

In conclusion, the November 1st statement reiterated UNICEF’s urgent appeal “to all parties to the conflict for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire, to ensure the protection of all children, and for safe and unimpeded humanitarian access to deliver lifesaving aid at scale across the Gaza Strip, according to International Humanitarian Law.”

UNICEF is the United Nations humanitarian agency responsible for providing emergency humanitarian and developmental aid to children worldwide. – Vatican News