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  • Writer's pictureMuskaan Kapur

The Disturbing Reality: A Child in Palestine is Killed Every 10 Minutes

In the heart of the ongoing conflict in the Middle East, a stark and distressing statistic demands our attention: a child is killed in Palestine every 10 minutes. The narrative surrounding these tragic losses often revolves around the pretext of a "war against HAMAS." However, beneath the surface of this geopolitical struggle lies a humanitarian crisis that begs for global awareness and urgent action.

Behind the rhetoric of geopolitical conflict, it is crucial to humanize the staggering numbers and recognize the devastating impact on innocent lives. Every 10 minutes, a child's laughter is silenced, a family is shattered, and a community mourns the loss of its future. This grim reality cannot be obscured by political agendas or labeled solely as collateral damage in a war against terrorism.

The justification for these tragic losses often hinges on the assertion that they are casualties of a broader conflict against HAMAS, the Palestinian political and militant group. While acknowledging the complexities of the geopolitical landscape, it is essential to question the proportionality and necessity of the actions taken, especially when the primary victims are civilians, and, most tragically, children.

The disproportionate impact on Palestinian children raises serious concerns about the methods and strategies employed in this conflict. International humanitarian law emphasizes the protection of civilians, especially children, during armed conflicts. The alarming frequency of child casualties in Palestine demands a closer examination of the methods used and the adherence to these crucial principles.

A girl and her toy in the midst of war

Regardless of political affiliations or allegiances, the loss of a child is a tragedy that transcends borders and ideologies. It is imperative to shift the narrative from a mere "war against HAMAS" to a broader understanding of the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Palestine. This crisis not only affects the immediate victims but has long-lasting implications for the collective psyche of an entire generation.

The Call for International Accountability:

As the international community witnesses these distressing events, the call for accountability grows louder. Mary Lou McDonald, the leader of Sinn Féin and a member of the Irish Parliament (Dáil Éireann) representing Dublin Central: “Where is the protection of international law for every child killed in Gaza, for every Gazan mother holding the cold body of their dead child? Israel cannot be allowed to commit atrocities with impunity. The government says that Israel’s actions cannot be without consequences. I agree. That is why the Irish government must take the lead and refer Israel to the International Criminal Court and send the Israeli ambassador home.”

The protection of innocent lives, irrespective of geopolitical affiliations, should be a shared commitment, urging nations worldwide to echo the call for justice, referencing Israel to the International Criminal Court, and collectively promoting a stance against impunity. It is in this unity that the international community can send a resounding message that atrocities against civilians, particularly children, cannot go unchecked, and the pursuit of justice is a global responsibility.

In the face of a child being killed in Palestine every 10 minutes, it is incumbent upon the global community to look beyond geopolitical justifications and address the profound humanitarian crisis unfolding. The world cannot turn a blind eye to the devastating impact on innocent lives, and a collective effort is needed to bring about lasting peace, justice, and a future free from the specter of violence for the children of Palestine.

The stark warnings from Catherine Russell, executive director of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), underscore the dire situation faced by children in Gaza. With the resumption of conflict, Gaza is once again labeled as "the most dangerous place in the world to be a child." This alarming characterization is further supported by a study conducted by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, revealing that even before the recent escalation, 13 percent of children and minors aged five to 17 were already suffering from anxiety.

The statistics paint a grim picture of the mental health challenges faced by Gaza's youth, predicting that approximately 52,450 children and minors are expected to suffer from stress in 2023, with an additional 13,000 potentially exhibiting signs of depression. However, these figures beg a fundamental question: how can these children hope to survive and cope if a ceasefire and lasting peace remain elusive?

The very essence of survival for these young lives hinges on the establishment of a ceasefire and the pursuit of a sustainable peace agreement. The prolonged cycle of conflict not only inflicts physical harm but also leaves lasting scars on the mental well-being of an entire generation. A sustainable resolution is crucial not only for immediate relief but also for the long-term stability and growth of these young minds.

The international community must heed these warnings and work collectively to facilitate a ceasefire, initiate peace talks, and address the root causes of the conflict. Only through concerted efforts to establish lasting peace can we hope to provide the children of Gaza with the safety, security, and future they deserve. The urgency of this situation demands a global response that prioritizes the well-being and survival of innocent lives in one of the world's most perilous environments.


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