In Gaza, childhoods loved and lost
Amidst conflict and devastation, a child is still a child.
Thousands of children have been killed and thousands more injured across the Gaza Strip. Children are still being held hostage. Their basic rights to life and health are being denied, day after day. The loss and trauma they are experiencing will be borne out for generations to come.
Children bear no responsibility for war, but they suffer its deepest scars. And they pay the highest price. These are the voices of children in Gaza.
“I can’t stand this life. I can’t stand living in a school shelter. I can’t stand the idea of this becoming normal for us.”
– Ghazal, 14
“I wish for a ceasefire.”
– Mohammad, 8
“What we need is drinking water and food. The amount we receive isn’t enough. We only eat one time a day.”
– Majd, 9
“I hope for a ceasefire and I dream of a future where I can return to my school.”
“My dream was to become a doctor, but now I’m dreaming of stay alive.”
– Ahmad, 14
“I love all children, and I don’t want them to die like we are.”
– Salwa, 8
“I miss my school the most. My only dream now is to put an end to this war and for the world to send us bread.”
– Kenan, 10
“My dream is to become a police officer after this war ends.”
– Abood, 9
“The only thing I want to share is love to the entire world. I want them to know and to understand that we are kids like any other kid on this Earth.”
– Amal, 11
To respond to the situation for children in Israel and the State of Palestine, UNICEF is calling for:
- An immediate humanitarian ceasefire.
- The immediate, safe and unconditional release of all abducted children and the prevention and end to any grave violations against children, including killing and injuring.
- All access crossings into the Gaza Strip to be opened and safe movement for humanitarian workers and supplies across the Gaza Strip to ensure sustained and unimpeded access of humanitarian aid to affected populations wherever they are. This must include water, food, medical supplies, and fuel.
- Urgent medical cases in Gaza to be able to safely access critical health services or be allowed to leave, and for injured or sick children evacuated to be accompanied by family members.
- Respect and protection for civilian infrastructure such as shelters and schools, and health, electric, water and sanitation facilities, to prevent loss of civilian and children’s lives, outbreaks of diseases, and to provide care to the sick and wounded. All parties to the conflict must respect international humanitarian law.
UNICEF continues to press world leaders on every occasion for humanitarian access to the whole of Gaza.
To find out more about the situation and how UNICEF is responding: