Friday, March 1, 2024

The UN says 17,000 children in Gaza have been separated from their families

At least 17,000 children have been “separated” from their parents in the Gaza Strip or “unaccompanied” since the war between Israel and Hamas began nearly four months ago, according to United Nations (UN) estimates.

“Each of them has a tragic story of pain and loss,” said Jonathan Crickx, spokesman for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in the Palestinian Territories.

“This number corresponds to 1 percent of the entire population of Gaza that has been displaced, 1.7 million people,” Crickx stated via videoconference from the city of Jerusalem at a press conference held in Geneva.

The spokesperson explained that finding out who these unaccompanied minors are is “very difficult” because, as he explained, “they come into hospitals, injured or shocked, and they can’t say their names. ”

Crickx said that when there is a war, it is usually relatives who take care of orphaned children.

However, in the Gaza Strip, “due to the complete lack of food, water,, or shelter, relatives are also struggling and facing challenges, such as taking care of another child, which makes it difficult for them to take care of their own children. and immediate family members,” he explained.

In general, Unicef ​​defines “separated” children as those without their parents; and the “unaccompanied” as those plucked from their parents and who, moreover, are not in the care of any relative.

In addition, the spokesman warned that “almost all children” in the Gaza Strip—nearlyone million—needpsychological helpbecause their mental health is strongly affected by the war.

The war, sparked by an attack by Hamas in southern Israel on October 7, when its fighters killed about 1,163 people, mostly civilians, and kidnapped about 250, triggered Israel’s air and ground offensive. to “destroy” the Islamist organization, which is far from the rest of at least 27,131 dead, mostly women and children, according to the Hamas Ministry of Health.

World Nation News Desk
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