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Israel’s War Against Children: 21,000 Children in Gaza Missing Amid Israeli Offensive

Gaza City: Amid the ongoing Israeli war on Gaza, Save the Children has raised the alarm over the fate of up to 21,000 children who remain unaccounted for since the conflict began on October 7.

The humanitarian organization’s latest report highlights the devastating toll on Gaza’s youngest population, with nearly half of the more than 37,000 Palestinians killed in the conflict being children.

Earlier this month, the United Nations added Israel to its “blacklist” of countries accused of harming children during conflicts. Save the Children has now called for a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding the missing children in Gaza, citing concerns over disappearances, detentions, and casualties buried under rubble or in mass graves.

A UN report published in June documented “8,009 grave violations against 4,360 children” across Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank, underscoring the severity of the humanitarian crisis affecting Palestinian children.

In a tragic development, Gaza’s Director of Ambulances and Emergency, Hani al-Jaafarawi, was killed in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza City. Al-Jaafarawi, described as a linchpin in Gaza’s beleaguered health system, became a casualty amid escalating violence.

Simultaneously, health officials reported that two infants succumbed to malnutrition at Kamal Adwan Hospital in northern Gaza, raising the death toll from hunger and thirst to 31.

Since October 7, the conflict has exacted a heavy toll on Gaza’s infrastructure, with approximately 65 percent of the enclave’s roads damaged, according to the United Nations Satellite Centre (UNOSAT). Satellite imagery analysis revealed extensive destruction, including 1,100km of roads destroyed, 350km severely affected, and 1,470km moderately affected.

Despite claims from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that intense fighting in Gaza is nearing its conclusion, he asserted that the war will persist even if a ceasefire deal is reached with Hamas. This stance appears to clash with the ceasefire proposal put forth by US President Joe Biden on May 31, highlighting ongoing diplomatic challenges amid the conflict.

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