Gazans write names on their children as precaution to identify their dead bodies

So far hundreds of children have been pulled from the wreckage in Gaza, their bodies mutilated or decapitated, making it nearly impossible to recognize them.

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Palestinian families in war-torn Gaza have resorted to writing their children’s names on their hands and legs to identify them in a likely event that they are killed in the ongoing barrage of Israeli airstrikes in the region, according to multiple media reports.

Video footage captured by a CNN journalist in Al Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in central Gaza reportedly showed a dead toddler and three children with their names written in Arabic on their calves.

“What we noticed today is that many parents writing the names of their children on their legs so they can get identified after airstrikes and if they get lost. This is a new phenomenon that just started in Gaza,” the network quoted the supervisor of the hospital room where they washed dead bodies, as saying.

“Many of the children are missing, many get here with their skulls broken…and it’s impossible to identify them. Only though that writing do they get identified.”

Mourners carry the bodies of Palestinian children from the al-Astal family, who were killed along with other family members in Israeli strikes, in Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza Strip October 22, 2023. (Reuters)
Mourners carry the bodies of Palestinian children from the al-Astal family, who were killed along with other family members in Israeli strikes, in Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza Strip October 22, 2023. (Reuters)

Israel has levelled residential buildings in Gaza in what it says is a response to the deadly October 7 attack launched by Hamas which claimed the lives of 1,400 Israelis and foreign nationals.

So far hundreds of children have been pulled from the wreckage in Gaza, their bodies mutilated or decapitated, making it nearly impossible to recognize them. The practice of writing names on children’s bodies has rapidly grown as a result.

Children dying at an ‘alarming rate’

Meanwhile, the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) warned that children in Gaza are dying at an “alarming rate,” and need urgent humanitarian aid.

“Time is running out,” the UN agency said.

UNICEF’s statement comes as humanitarian organizations warn that fuel supply in Gaza will completely run out in three days, making it impossible to keep hospitals and other essential services running.

Hospitals are facing severe challenges, as they treat an overwhelming number of injured patients.

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The video captured by CNN at the Al Aqsa Martyrs hospital reportedly showed the place overrun with patients, including children, who were lying on makeshift beds and mattresses.

The death toll in Gaza has reached 4,650 with more than 700 children killed. Over 14,000 Palestinians have been wounded, most of whom are civilians, according to the Palestinian health ministry.

Over 2.2 million population in Gaza are children.

Read more:

Gaza’s fuel supply to completely run out in three days as humanitarian crisis worsens

Unprecedented Israeli raids across Gaza continue

Israeli forces kill two Palestinians in clashes at West Bank refugee camp

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