Association for Defending Victims of Terrorism – UNICEF calls for an immediate humanitarian pause and safe access to scale and sustain lifesaving services for children
Hundreds of thousands of children and their families have started fleeing northern Gaza today ahead of imminent larger-scale attacks. It follows days of bombardments of Gaza after the brutal attacks of 7 October.
Nearly a week into the war, hundreds of children have been reportedly killed, and thousands more reportedly injured.
UNICEF is calling for an immediate ceasefire as 1.1 million people—nearly half of them children—have been warned to move out, ahead of what is expected to be a widescale military assault into one of the most densely populated places on earth.
Children and families in Gaza have practically run out of food, water, electricity, medicine and safe access to hospitals, following days of hostilities and cuts to all supply routes.
“The situation is catastrophic, with unrelenting bombing and a massive increase in the displacement of children and families. There are no safe places,” said UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell. “An immediate ceasefire and humanitarian access are the top priorities to allow much needed aid to children and families in Gaza. We need an immediate humanitarian pause to ensure unhindered and safe access to children in need, no matter who they are or where they are. There are rules of war. Children in Gaza need lifesaving support and every minute counts.”
Homes and critical infrastructure lie in ruin, and over 423,000 people have already fled their homes. Some have taken shelter in schools or hospitals, with some of the schools damaged in attacks. Gaza’s two main hospitals, already running out of fuel and overflowing with injured civilians, have also been warned to move patients and staff south in just hours.
Right now, there is practically no way out of Gaza for the civilian population.