On August 24, nearly half a million Palestinian children in Gaza who were scheduled to start a new school year were unable to do so because of Israel's latest military assault on the occupied and besieged coastal strip, "Operation Protective Edge," which began on July 8 and killed more than 2100 people, including at least 1462 civilians. With a fledgling ceasefire agreed to on August 26 taking hold, the children of Gaza are struggling to cope with the horrors they experienced during Israel's brutal attack, and to return to some semblance of normalcy.
The following fact sheet provides an overview of the impact that Israel's latest assault and its siege and blockade have had on the children of Gaza. For further reference, see our recently released fact sheet, Gaza Crisis Update (August 22).
CHILDREN KILLED & INJURED BY ISRAEL'S LATEST ASSAULT
- According to the United Nations, between July 7 and August 25 the Israeli military killed at least 495 Palestinian children in Gaza during “Operation Protective Edge.” The Al Mezan Center for Human Rights puts the number at 518, while the Palestinian Center for Human Rights puts it at 519. All three figures exceed the number of Palestinian children killed in the last two major Israeli assaults on Gaza combined, approximately 350 during “Operation Cast Lead” in 2008-9 and 35 in November 2012. The number of children killed also exceeds the total number of Israelis, civilians and soldiers, killed by Palestinians in the last decade.
- According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, between July 7 and August 20, 3106 Palestinian children were injured by the Israeli military in Gaza.
- Of the more than 3100 children wounded, the UN estimates that 1000 of them will suffer a permanent disability as a result of their injury.
- Thousands of unexploded bombs and shells pose a danger to civilians returning to areas they fled from during the fighting, putting children at particular risk.