'Children's deaths in Gaza outnumber last two conflicts combined'

Posted By: IANS
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Geneva, Aug 8: The toll of children in the Gaza Strip during the ongoing conflict has exceeded the combined number of children killed in the two previous Israeli military operations in the coastal enclave, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said on Friday.

Since the start of Israel's military offensive in Gaza on July 8, at least 447 Palestinian children aged 10 days to 17 years have been reportedly killed, Xinhua quoted UNICEF spokesperson Christopher Tidey as saying at a press conference.

The figure outnumbers the combined death toll of children in the previous two conflicts in Gaza (2008-2009 and 2012), which claimed lives of 350 and 35 children respectively, Tidey added.

He said amid the current hostilities, children who lost their lives made up roughly 30 percent of the total death toll of Palestinian civilians. Among the child victims, at least 68 percent were 12 or younger.

The latest Israeli offensive on the restive enclave has killed 1,900 Palestinians and left over 9,500 wounded, including over 2, 800 children.

It was estimated that houses of over 65,000 people have been completely destroyed or damaged, and more than half a million have been displaced.


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