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Failure to extend military pause is a death sentence for children as bombardment of Gaza resumes

RAMALLAH, 1 December – The failure to extend the military pause is a death sentence for children in Gaza, with children already reported injured following return to fighting, said Save the Children.  

Following two extensions of the pause which led to the release of 110 hostages from Gaza and 240 Palestinians detained in Israeli prisons, according to the UN, warring parties have failed to extend the pause or agree to a definitive ceasefire.  

Despite an increase in some supplies entering Gaza during the week-long pause, restrictions and delays to aid delivery remained, and the UN said the volume of incoming commodities was insufficient to meet the extensive needs of the 1.8 million people displaced from their homes.

Aid agencies including Save the Children reported that the level of humanitarian supplies that could pass the border each day was limited by a lack of fuel and vehicles, damage to infrastructure, as well as screening checks at the border. Two of the three crossings into Gaza – Erez and Kerem Shalom, controlled by Israeli-authorities – remained closed for aid throughout.

Jason Lee, Save the Children’s Country Director in the occupied Palestinian territory, said:

“Every time diplomatic efforts fail, we are failing all children in Gaza, Israel and the West Bank.

“Once again, children in Gaza woke up to the sounds of airstrikes. Once again, they risk being killed by bombs, starvation, disease or dehydration. 56 days of intense violence and destruction have produced one of the worst humanitarian crises ever seen in the region and this seven day-pause hasn’t allowed us to get the aid and staff needed into Gaza to provide lifesaving assistance to the 1.1 million children and their families.

"Nearly 8,000 children in Gaza have already been killed or are missing, presumed under the rubble [1]. In the hours since the breakdown of the pause this morning, the Ministry of Health in Gaza reported at least 32 people killed and tens of people injured, including children. This is a stain on our collective conscience, and we cannot stand by and let this indefensible toll grow even further. The failure of the international community to take decisive action in stopping the conflict, and restoring the international rules-based order will be at the cost of the lives, hopes and futures of an entire generation of children.

“The international community cannot accept a return to hostilities, with its relentless destruction and devastating impacts for children. Humanity must prevail. We need a definitive ceasefire now. It is the only way to keep children safe and create conditions that allow us to provide urgent assistance at the speed and scale needed to save lives.”

James Denselow, Head of Conflict and Humanitarian at Save the Children, added:

“By failing to push for a lasting ceasefire, Rishi Sunak and his government must bear some of the responsibility for this devastating renewal of violence. History will not forget or forgive those who turned a blind eye to children’s suffering.”



Notes to Editor

[1] According to the Government Media Office (GMO) in Gaza, since the start of hostilities, more than 15,000 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza, including about 6,150 children and 4,000 women. In addition, UNICEF reported more than 4,500 people, including at least 1,750 children, were reported missing presumed under the rubble, as of 20 November.