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No end to suffering of Gaza children as Israeli attacks rage on | Israel-Palestine conflict News

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More than 6,600 Palestinian children have been killed by Israeli forces in Gaza since October 7, the government’s media office says.

Thousands more are missing under the rubble amid relentless bombardment, it added.

On Friday, Catherine Russell, executive director of the United Nations Children’s Fund, warned that Gaza is once again “the most dangerous place in the world to be a child”, following the resumption of the war.

Russell said hundreds of children will die each day if violence returns to the scale and intensity seen before the seven-day pause in fighting that ended on Friday.

“It does not have to be this way. For seven days, there was a glimmer of hope for children amidst this horrific nightmare,” Russell said in a statement.

About half of Gaza’s population of 2.3 million is below the age of 18. Many Palestinian minors in Gaza have been traumatised by war, with some having experienced five Israeli assaults since 2008.

The study conducted by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics before the war began on October 7 found that 13 percent of children and minors aged five to 17 suffer from anxiety.

The bureau estimated that about 52,450 children and minors are expected to suffer from stress in 2023, while 13,000 could suffer from signs of depression.

But the numbers are expected to rise exponentially because of the October 7 war, the statistics bureau said.

The Defence for Children International-Palestine, an NGO, said in early November that Israeli forces killed twice as many Palestinian children in the Gaza Strip in October as the total number of Palestinian children killed in the occupied West Bank and Gaza combined since 1967.

More than 15,500 people have been killed in the besieged Palestinian territory in more than eight weeks of combat and heavy bombardment, the Ministry of Health says.

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