The ongoing conflict in Gaza has resulted in the death of thousands of children, according to officials in the region.
Meanwhile, the Israeli military maintains that it takes all possible precautions to prevent civilian casualties.
But the reality on the ground paints a grim picture, with children like 9-year-old Khaled Joudeh mourning the loss of his family members, including his baby sister, Misk, The New York Times reports. The Joudeh family lost 68 members in an airstrike on October 22, according to relatives.
5,000 Palestinian Children Killed
The United Nations has warned that Gaza has turned into a “graveyard for thousands of children.” Health officials in Gaza estimate that 5,000 Palestinian children have been killed since the Israeli counter-assault against Hamas began. If these figures are accurate, the number of children killed in Gaza in the past six weeks surpasses the 2,985 children killed in major conflict zones worldwide last year.
The Israeli military insists that it takes all feasible precautions to mitigate harm to civilians, contrasting its approach with the “murderous assault against women, children, elderly and the disabled” by Hamas. However, the intensity of the Israeli bombing campaign, one of the most severe of the 21st century, has sparked global concern.
The Biden administration, initially skeptical of the death toll reported by health officials in Gaza, now acknowledges that the number of Palestinian casualties may be even higher than reported. The scale of the bombardment has led some parents to separate their children, sending them to relatives in different parts of the Gaza Strip in an attempt to increase their chances of survival.
The conflict has also had a profound psychological impact on children, with many showing signs of trauma, including night terrors. The war has also disrupted the once vibrant beach culture of Gaza, a coastal strip known for its cabanas and food shacks lining the Mediterranean.
Read more at The New York Times.