10 children lose one or two legs in Gaza every day, says UNRWA

By Middle East Monitor

UNRWA Commissioner-General, Philippe Lazzarini, said yesterday in a press conference that the numbers are staggering in Gaza: ‘4,000 children missing, 17,000 unaccompanied… you add this to the reported 14,000 children killed. Every day 10 children on average are losing one or two legs’

An average of 10 Palestinian children a day are losing one or both legs, the Commissioner-General of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) has revealed. “This gives you an idea of the scope of the type of childhood, a child can have in Gaza,” said Philippe Lazzarini.

The UN official made his comment during a press conference at the UN headquarters in Geneva on Tuesday. The statistic quoted does not include the arms and the hands that are lost, he pointed out. “Ten per day, that means around 2,000 children after the more than 260 days of this brutal war. Moreover, the amputations often take place in quite horrible conditions, and sometimes without anaesthesia.”

Lazzarini mentioned a report published by Save the Children which estimates that “up to 21,000 children are estimated to be missing” since the beginning of the attack on the Gaza Strip, either because they were buried under rubble, captured, buried in unknown graves, or lost contact with their families and relatives.

Despite the difficulty of collecting and verifying numbers, Save the Children confirmed that “at least 17,000 children in the Gaza Strip are unaccompanied by their families, and 4,000 children are missing after being buried under rubble.”

Lazzarini warned again that UNRWA has cash “until end of August,” adding that the agency still had “a shortfall of about $140 million… to bridge to the end of the year.”

Regarding the situation in the occupied West Bank, he noted that UNRWA is very concerned about the situation there, where the Palestinians are facing a “silent war.” The intensity of the Israeli military operations in refugee camps in the West Bank has become very evident, added Lazzarini.

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