"There can never be any justification for killing children," said Save the Children's country director for the occupied Palestinian territory. "The situation in Gaza is monstrous and a blight on our common humanity."
Memorial to some of the children killed by Israel put up in Toronto in November. Since then thousands more children have been killed.
By Jessica Corbett, Common Dreams
Al Jazeera on Thursday published the latest update to its "Know Their Names" project, identifying some of the thousands of children killed so far in what people around the world are increasingly calling Israel's genocidal war on the Gaza Strip.
Produced by Mohammed Haddad and Mohammed Hussein, the project now lists 4,216 Palestinians, from infants to 17-year-olds. Of those named, 75% hadn't even lived to their teens, more than half were under age 10, and nearly 500 were younger than 2.
The children are sorted by age, with notes about each group: 17-year-olds "lived through four wars (2008-09, 2012, 2014, 2021)" only to be killed in the fifth and 10-year-olds had their "lives ended before adolescence," while 4-year-olds were "deprived of the joys of preschool" and at least 258 babies "didn't reach their first birthday."
Al Jazeera noted that "the Gaza Strip is a graveyard for thousands of children, the United Nations has said. Since October 7, Israeli attacks have killed at least 10,000 children, according to Palestinian officials. That is one Palestinian child killed every 15 minutes, or about one out of every 100 children in the Gaza Strip."
Officials in Gaza said later Thursday that at least 25,900 people—including 11,500 children—have been killed and another 64,110 injured in Israel's bombardment and blockade, launched in retaliation for a Hamas-led attack. Israeli forces have devastated civilian infrastructure and displaced most of the enclave's 2.3 million residents.
Accounting for the thousands of people missing and presumed dead under the rubble in Gaza, the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor puts the child death toll at 13,022.
Among the dead is 12-year-old Dunia Abu Mohsen, who previously lost a leg in an Israeli airstrike. Before she was killed last month by an Israeli tank-fired shell that hit al-Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis, she said in a video interview that "I want someone to take me abroad, to any country, to install a prosthetic leg, to be able to walk like other people."
"I want to become a doctor, like those who treat us, so that I can treat other children," she said in the recording shared by Defense for Children International - Palestine. "I only want one thing: for the war to end."
An 11-year-old girl in Rafah told the humanitarian group Save the Children earlier this month that "the war has affected us so badly. We had to leave our homes and couldn't do anything. We learned many things during the war, like how important it is to save water. I hope the war ends, and we live in peace and safety."
Jason Lee, Save the Children's country director for the occupied Palestinian territory, said at the time that "there can never be any justification for killing children. The situation in Gaza is monstrous and a blight on our common humanity."
Children who remain in Gaza now "risk being killed by starvation and disease with famine coming ever closer," Lee stressed. "For children who have survived, the mental harm inflicted and the utter devastation of infrastructure including homes, schools, and hospitals has decimated their futures."
"Despite the record number of children killed and maimed, the international community has failed to act again and again. One grave violation committed against children is one too many," he added, calling for a cease-fire and Israel to allow humanitarian aid and commercial goods into Gaza.
Al Jazeera's update to its list of child victims came a day before the International Court of Justice is set to release an order on the South African-led case accusing Israel of genocide.
Jessica Corbett is a senior editor and staff writer for Common Dreams.
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