Children are suffering from escalation of conflict in Gaza and southern Israel
New York, 16 November 2012 – Children have been victims of the recent escalation of conflict in Gaza and southern Israel. Since Wednesday, 60 Palestinian children were reportedly injured and at least four reportedly killed during Israeli airstrikes including an 11 month old boy, as well as a pregnant woman. The United Nations has also received information of more than 50 Israeli civilians injured by rockets fired from Gaza into Israel. Reports indicate that children were among the casualties.
“I call on all parties to immediately stop the violence and to fully respect their obligations under international humanitarian law to protect girls and boys from the fighting,” the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Ms. Leila Zerrougui said.
The outbreak of hostilities also threatens children’s access to education. On Thursday, a teacher at a United Nations school in northern Gaza was killed. All educational facilities in Gaza and schools in southern Israel within 40 km radius of the border with Gaza were closed due to the increasing number of attacks.
“Especially in times of conflict, the security of schools, students and teachers and access to education for all children must be guaranteed,” SRSG Zerrougui stressed.
The killing and maiming of children as well as attacks on schools count among the grave violations against children in armed conflict defined by the Security Council Resolution 1612 (2005).
“We will continue to monitor the evolution of the crisis and the violations committed against Palestinian and Israeli children by all parties,” Leila Zerrougui said.