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15,000 babies to be born into 'nightmare' of Gaza war

15,000 babies expected to be born into 'nightmare' of Gaza war: Save the Children
3 min read
16 November, 2023
The situation in Gaza has been described by Save the Children as 'a humanitarian catastrophe' with babies 'being born into a nightmare'.
Since the start of Israel's bombardment of the Gaza Strip, over 4,500 children have been killed [Photo by Abed Rahim Khatib/Anadolu via Getty Images]

Around 15,000 babies will be born in the Gaza Strip by the end of 2023 as Israel continues its deadly siege and war on the Palestinian enclave.

The figures, released in a new report by Save the Children, are based on UN data that estimates that 180 women give birth to children each day in Gaza and takes into account multiple births.

The charity warned that 66,000 babies born this year in Gaza are also "at grave risk" in the besieged enclave where "clean water is scarce, food and medicines are running low, and pregnant or breastfeeding women are struggling to find food".

It comes as Israeli troops stormed the Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, where 40 patients, including three babies, have died since the medical facility ran out of fuel to run generators on Saturday.

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Save the Children's director in the occupied Palestinian Territory, Jason Lee, noted that the humanitarian situation in the aid-dependent Gaza Strip had drastically deteriorated, saying that "babies are being born into a nightmare, a humanitarian catastrophe".

"The violence must stop. We need a ceasefire. We need it now," he added. An estimated 11,470 people have been killed since the beginning of Israel's indiscriminate attack on the Gaza Strip, which has flattened residential areas and targeted hospitals and schools.

Two-thirds of all the casualties have been women and children, according to Palestinian health authorities.

Save the Children have increasingly been campaigning for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, with CEO Gwen Hines saying that the organisation was calling for a ceasefire "not because we're naive but because we're experts", adding that proposals for four-hour humanitarian pauses were unacceptable.

Alongside Save the Children several aid organisations including Doctors without Borders (MSF) have joined calls for a ceasefire, with the NGO's project coordinator Christophe Garnier saying a ceasefire is "an indispensable condition to end the carnage and allow aid to reach those who need it".

UN Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs Martin Griffiths said that "the carnage in Gaza cannot be allowed to continue".

"The warring parties must agree to a humanitarian ceasefire and stop fighting," he added.

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With civilian deaths mounting, international calls for a ceasefire have also increased, with an increasing number of Western leaders also joining in, although the US and the UK continue to support Israel's war on Gaza.

French President Emmanuel Macron has said there is "no justification" for Israel's bombing of civilians in Gaza, adding that "we urge Israel to stop".

On Wednesday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also called for Israel to stop targeting civilians in Gaza, saying that "the world is witnessing this killing of women, of children, of babies. This has to stop".