More children killed in Gaza in three weeks of Israeli bombing than all the world's conflicts annually

More children killed in Gaza in three weeks of Israeli bombing than all the world's conflicts annually
The number of children killed in three weeks of Israel's war on Gaza exceeds the total number of children killed across the world per year since 2019.
2 min read
30 October, 2023
More than 4,300 children have been killed in Gaza since Israel launched its ruthless bombing campaign on 7 October [Getty]

The number of children killed in three weeks of Israeli bombing of Gaza now exceeds the number killed annually in all the world's conflict zones since 2019, when 4,019 were killed.

At least 3,195 out of the 7,703 people killed in Israel's bombing of Gaza since 7 October were children, 40 percent of the total, with 1,000 children still missing and assumed buried under the rubble, Save the Children has said.

Combined, this exceeds the 2,985 children killed in 24 countries in 2022, 2,515 in 2021, and 2,674 across 22 countries in 2020, as Israel commits an apparent wholescale and arbitrary campaign of bombing of Gaza.

"The use of explosive weapons in densely populated urban areas like the Gaza Strip is catastrophic for children," Save the Children told The New Arab.

"Not only do they destroy their homes, schools and hospitals, they can also lead to life-changing injuries."

The high proportion of children killed indicates that Israel is not limiting its strikes to military targets, as it claims, but indiscriminately bombing in one of the world's most densely populated areas, with homes and hospitals, churches and mosques all victim to the assault from the skies.

A third of hospitals in the Gaza Strip are no longer functioning due to Israel's "total blockade" of essential goods such as medicine, fuel, and electricity, which are essential to keeping medical facilities running.

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According to Doctors without Borders, anaesthesia shortages have led to children having limbs amputated without pain relief, while vinegar is also being used by surgeons to treat bacteria.

"The risk of children dying from injuries has never been higher," said Save the Children. 

Jason Lee, Save the Children's country director in the occupied Palestinian Territory, said: "Three weeks of violence have ripped children from families and torn through their lives at an unimaginable rate… with violence not only continuing but expanding in Gaza right now, many more children remain at grave risk."

Lee said only a ceasefire can guarantee children’s safety. "Children must be protected at all times, especially when they are seeking safety in schools and hospitals," he added. 

[Editor's note: This story has been edited. The previous version stated that 4,357 children had been killed since 7 October, but the figure as of 31 October was 3,542 children killed.]