‘Hell on earth’: One child killed every five minutes in Gaza, says Palestine UN envoy

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One Palestinian child is killed every five minutes in Gaza in Israeli airstrikes, Palestine’s United Nations envoy told a Security Council session on Monday.

“Every five minutes, a Palestinian child is killed. How many more days will you wait to recognize that this is a war against our children? Our children – who are, like yours, children of God, children of light,” Minister and Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine to the United Nations, Riyad Mansour, said.

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At least 3,500 Palestinian children have been killed by Israel in three weeks, exceeding the annual number of children killed across the world’s conflict zones combined since 2019, he said.

“Gaza is now hell on earth,” the envoy said at the emergency session held at the request of the UAE.

“Every minute is the difference between life and death for Palestinians in Gaza,” he added.

Executive Director of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Catherine Russell, reiterated the envoy’s statement saying: “the true cost of this latest escalation will be measured in children’s lives — those lost to the violence and those forever changed by it.”

The number of children’s death is “a number which should shake each of us to our core,” she added.

Israel has bombarded the territory day and night, sending entire buildings to the ground and killing thousands. The Palestinian health ministry says more than 8,000 people – the majority of which are children – have been killed with thousands of bodies estimated to be beneath the rubble.

Tensions erupted after Hamas launched its attack on Israel on October 7 in which 1,400 people were killed, according to Israeli officials.

“2.3 million Palestinians in Gaza face death every day and every night. Save them. We have 2,000 people under the rubble. Allow us to find them, save those who still can be saved, and bury in a dignified manner those who have perished,” the envoy added.

More than 1.4 million people have been forcibly displaced from their homes as Israel pounds the overcrowded and impoverished strip, Mansour said.

“These staggering figures keep rising with every minute that action is delayed to stop the onslaught against our people,” he said.

The envoy called for an end to the ongoing violence and for Palestinians to be treated as “human beings, with the respect we deserve.”

Last week, the UN General Assembly adopted a non-binding resolution calling for an immediate humanitarian truce. However, the Security Council has so far failed to arrive at an agreement related to the ongoing violence.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has rejected all calls for a ceasefire from several world leaders and global human rights organizations, including the UN itself, saying it “will not happen.”

Read more:

UN agency in Gaza says cease-fire is `matter of life and death' for Palestinians

UNRWA chief: Forced displacement, collective punishment happening in Gaza

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