Ramallah / PNN /
UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell Tuesday issued a statement on her visit to the Gaza Strip, noting that: "inside the Strip, there is nowhere safe for Gaza’s one million children to turn."
“Today I visited the Gaza Strip to meet with children, their families and UNICEF staff. What I saw and heard was devastating. They have endured repeated bombardment, loss and displacement. Inside the Strip, there is nowhere safe for Gaza’s one million children to turn," Russell said in the statement.
The UNICEF chief went on to say that more than 4,600 children have reportedly been killed, with nearly 9,000 injured in Gaza, adding that "Many children are missing and believed buried under the rubble of collapsed buildings and homes” due to Israeli strikes in populated areas.
“The parties to the conflict are committing grave violations against children; these include killing, maiming, abductions, attacks on schools and hospitals, and the denial of humanitarian access – all of which UNICEF condemns," she added.
She further noted that newborns in need of specialized care have died in one of Gaza’s hospitals as power and medical supplies run out due to the criminal blockade imposed by the Israeli regime.
Russell also said that in the neonatal ward of Nasser Hospital in Khan Yunis, “tiny babies were clinging to life in incubators, as doctors worried how they could keep the machines running without fuel."
Elsewhere in her remarks, Russell warned that “The intermittent opening of Gaza’s border crossings to shipments of humanitarian supplies is insufficient to meet the skyrocketing needs,” adding that with winter around the corner, the need for fuel could become even more acute.
She also reiterated her call to ensure that children are protected and assisted, as per international humanitarian law, and to implement an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in the blockaded territory.