The number of child casualties of the Gaza border protests has risen to over 1,000 after one of the most violent days yet.
A 14-year-old boy was reportedly among the five children killed on Monday, making him one of the youngest fatalities since the protests broke out more than six weeks ago.
With fresh violence at the protests in Gaza expected on Tuesday and the possibility of the violence spreading to Jerusalem and the West Bank in the coming days, even more children may be exposed to an increased risk of violence.
Gaza strip violence
“Parents of those who have been injured tell us they don’t know how to support their children,” said Jennifer Moorehead, Save the Children’s Occupied Palestinian Territory Country Director.
Reports from the Gaza Ministry of Health describe children being hit in the torso, face, neck and head by live ammunition and shrapnel, and even forced to endure limb amputation.
“It’s truly heart breaking,” Moorehead added, “while children are telling us that the violence is making them feel hopeless, insecure and afraid.
“A 14-year-old boy who was badly wounded in both legs told us he felt he would go ‘crazy’ after learning that he would not be able to walk for two years because of his injury.”
Gaza border protests
The border between the Gaza Strip and Israel has been the scene of protests since 30 March, with Palestinians displaced by the conflict 70 years ago calling for the right to return.
There have been reported Palestinian attempts to cross the border into Israel, while protesters have also thrown rocks, set tires ablaze and flown kites over the border wall, which have at times had flammable materials attached.
The UN Secretary General has called for an independent investigation after the Israeli response to protests was deemed excessive by the EU, aid agencies and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Help is needed urgently
As the Gaza border protests mean more children risk exposure to violence, it’s vital that the international community provides more assistance – yet funding is lower than ever at this point in the year.
Save the Children has over 30 years of experience on the ground in Gaza, providing water and sanitation, as well as programs for child protection and psychosocial health, among others.
Your help can make a difference for the children of Gaza – their suffering is a reality but your aid can save lives and help to build a better future.