Catherine Russell, the Executive Director of the United Nations children’s agency, UNICEF, has called the besieged Gaza Strip “the most dangerous place in the world to be a child.
Mrs. Russell told the UN Security Council that over 5,300 children have reportedly been killed in Gaza since Hamas’ October 7 attack on Israel, accounting for 40 percent of the deaths.
She also said that an additional 1,200 children are believed to remain under the rubble of bombed-out buildings or are otherwise unaccounted for.
While welcoming a deal reached yesterday by Israel and Hamas to free hostages and pause ferocious fighting and bombardment in Gaza, Mrs. Russell says a pause is not enough and called for an urgent humanitarian ceasefire to immediately put a stop to what she labelled as carnage.
UNICEF estimates that acute malnutrition in children could increase by nearly 30 per cent in Gaza over the next months.
Some 240 people ranging from infants to the elderly were taken captive during the October 7 attack by Hamas militants that killed about 1,200 in Israel, mostly civilians, according to Israeli authorities.