GAZA / PNN /
The United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) says more than 700,000 children in Gaza have been displaced amid brutal Israeli strikes against the coastal enclave.
In a post on social media platform X on Monday, UNICEF said more than 700,000 children in Gaza have been “forced to leave everything behind.”
The UN agency also called for “an immediate humanitarian ceasefire” and “sustained and unimpeded access to provide assistance.”
The UN agency earlier warned that children in Gaza are facing a dire humanitarian situation amid an ongoing Israeli aggression which has paralyzed medical and healthcare services.
“Children in Gaza are hanging by a thread, particularly in the north,” Adele Khodr, UNICEF Middle East and North Africa Regional Director said on Friday.
“Thousands and thousands of children remain in northern Gaza as hostilities intensify. These children have nowhere to go and are at extreme risk. We call for the attacks on health care facilities to stop immediately and for the urgent delivery of fuel and medical supplies to hospitals across all Gaza, including the northern parts of the Strip,” he said.
The UNICEF has already warned that the risk of waterborne and other diseases is rising and “particularly threatens children” amid rare access to safe water and as the total number of displaced people, which exceeded 1.5 million, are living in dreadful sanitation conditions.
The World Health Organization (WHO) Palestinian has said a child is killed on average every 10 minutes in the besieged Gaza Strip, warning that “nowhere and no one is safe" under Israel's relentless onslaught on the coastal enclave.
‘West paralyzed in response to Israeli genocide in Gaza’
Francesca Albanese, the UN special rapporteur to the occupied Palestinian territories, slammed the international community, including Australia, for their failure to stop Israel from committing “the crime of genocide against the Palestinian people.”
“In the face of all of this, the international community is almost completely paralyzed,” she said in an address to the National Press Club on Tuesday.
Albanese also described the UN’s response to the atrocities in Gaza as “its most epic failure.”
“I am being generous when I say the UN is experiencing its most epic political and humanitarian failure since its creation,” she said.
“Individual member states, especially in the West, and Australia is no exception, are on the margins. Muttering notable words of condemnation for Israel’s success at best or staying silent in fear of restraining Israel’s … claimed right to self-defense. Whatever that means.”
The UN official also said from a legal perspective that Israel’s right to self-defense was “non-existent”, noting that the Tel Aviv regime had ignored proportionality in its “unrelenting bombardment of Gaza.”
“Israel cannot claim the right of self-defense against a threat that emanates from a territory it occupies, from a territory that is under belligerent occupation,” she said.
“What is being done (in Gaza) is wrong … How many more people need to die?” she asked, calling for an urgent ceasefire.
Her remarks came as Israel’s brutal aggression on Gaza is in its sixth week.
Israel launched the war on Gaza on October 7 after the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas waged the surprise Operation Al-Aqsa Storm against the occupying entity in response to the Israeli regime's decades-long suppression and devastation against Palestinians.
According to the Gaza-based health ministry, more than 11,240 Palestinians, including 4,630 children and 3,130 women, have been killed and 29,000 others injured in the Israeli strikes.
‘Israel committing war crimes’
Albanese also hit out at vast sections of the international community and media who she said had forgotten, or tuned out, that the conflict had started decades ago.
She noted that Palestinian people had long been subject to a “violent structure of dispossession, confiscation of land, and forcible displacement” long before the Israeli attack on October 7.
“When it is widespread and systemic is not just a war crime, it is a crime against humanity,” Albanese said, adding that “There were already war crimes being committed before October 7.”
The UN official stressed that Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory “must end” and is “apartheid by default”.