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Child deaths in Gaza exceeded the annual children’s death toll in conflict zones since 2019

The number of children killed in the Gaza Strip within three weeks has surpassed the annual number of children slain in conflict zones across the globe since 2019, according to London-based organisation Save the Children.

According to the report, more than 3,257 children have been killed, including at least 3,195 in Gaza and 33 in the West Bank, since October 7. Children account for more than 40 per cent of the 7,703 people killed in the Strip. Another 1,000 children are missing and presumed buried under debris, suggesting that the death toll may be much higher than the figures reported.

Israeli forces announced an “expanded ground operation” in the Gaza Strip on Friday. Save the Children warned that this would lead to more deaths and injuries, urging an immediate ceasefire.

The organisation’s director in the Gaza Strip, Jason Lee, claimed the expanding violence was putting more children at risk.

“One child’s death is one too many, but these are grave violations of epic proportions. A ceasefire is the only way to ensure their safety. The international community must put people before politics every day spent debating is leaving children killed and injured. Children must be protected at all times, especially when they are seeking safety in schools and hospitals.”

At least 6,360 children in Gaza and at least 180 children in the West Bank are also reported to have been injured. More than 200 people, including children, remain hostages in the enclave. Soraya Ali, Save the Children’s global media manager for the Middle East and North Africa region, stated:

“This is the deadliest year since 2019 and that really speaks to the gravity of the situation in Gaza. We can all agree that with every air strike and every bullet shot, a child’s sense of security is ripped away from them. What we owe to children is a ceasefire and all parties to agree to adhere to the rules of international humanitarian law.”

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