Protect Gaza’s children before thousands more die from Israel’s bombardment

Vigil held outside UK Parliament to remember the at least 2,000 children killed in Gaza in the past fortnight.

The at least 2,000 children killed since Israel’s devastating bombardment of Gaza were remembered at a vigil outside Parliament on Tuesday, as Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) called for an immediate ceasefire to stop the loss of thousands more young lives.

One million children in Gaza remain under attack and under siege, without adequate access to water, food, medicines, and shelter. Israeli airstrikes on Gaza have killed more than 5,000 Palestinians, a large proportion of them children.Photo: Hand with name of killed Gazan child at vigil held in Parliament Square (Credit: Hassan Akkad) 

“Today we mourn the at least 2,000 children that have been killed since Israel’s bombardment and siege of Gaza began. A further 5000 children have been injured and 800 children are missing, believed to be dead under the rubble,” said Melanie Ward, CEO of Medical Aid for Palestinians.

“Time is running out for the one million children of Gaza who are living an unspeakable nightmare. Their basic needs such as food and water are rapidly running out, and many have been forced to flee their homes as Israel’s bombardment and siege continues. Indiscriminate bombing must stop, a ceasefire must be secured, and sufficient aid, including fuel, must be allowed in. World leaders have a responsibility to end these horrors and protect Gaza’s children.”

The vigil at Parliament Square in London saw each mourner write the name of a Palestinian child killed in Israel’s ongoing bombardment of Gaza on the palm of their hand. According to MAP’s staff in Gaza, children there have started to write their own names on their hands, terrified that if they are killed in the bombing, their bodies will not be identified or buried with their loved ones.

A poignant message from nine-year-old Zeina Abu Libdeh, daughter of one of MAP’s colleagues in Gaza, was read out to mourners. Zeina was forced to leave her home in the Al Remal area of Gaza:

“I have been displaced five times, as each time we go to a new house the Israeli airstrikes bomb the neighbourhood. I feel sad as my brother died in one of these strikes and I did not have a chance to say goodbye.”

“Our lives have changed forever. We have no water and no electricity. I can barely go to the toilet.  I used to like watching videos on the phone but now I am scared as all of it is footage of children's bodies shattered into pieces. I miss my neighbours and I miss my friends. I no longer play. Our life is a nightmare...Please let the war end.”

Photo: Vigil for 2000 children killed in Gaza held in Parliament Square (Credit: Hassan Akkad)

 

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