From Ted Chaiban, UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa
AMMAN, 15 May 2021 – “Eight Palestinian children were reported killed north of Gaza overnight, bringing to at least 40 the number of children killed there since 10 May. The age of these children ranges between six months to 17 years. Over half of them were under 10 years old. More than 1,000 people in Gaza are reported injured, some severely, including a high number of children. In Israel, two children, including a six-year-old, were killed since the escalation began.
“In the past week, in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, one 16-year old child was killed and at least 54 Palestinian children were reported injured, another 26 children have been arrested. Most have since been released.
“In Gaza, 35 schools have been damaged while at least 29 schools are temporarily sheltering displaced families who fled their homes due to heavy violence. Up to 10,000 people have been displaced, the majority are children. UNICEF received reports that three schools have been damaged in Israel.
“The scale of violence is massive. Children are bearing the brunt of this escalation. All sides need to step back and end the violence. All sides have an obligation to protect civilians – especially children – and facilitate humanitarian access. The underlying triggers for this violence will not be resolved through further violence.”