Geneva - Israel has killed more than 10,000 infants and children since the start of its attack on the Gaza Strip on 7 October, Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor reported in a statement issued Saturday.

Euro-Med Monitor said that 23,012 Palestinians have been killed so far in the intense Israeli air and artillery attacks on the Gaza Strip, including 9,077 children. As hundreds of additional children remaintrapped under the rubble of destroyed buildings with little chance of survival, the total number of child deaths is likely to exceed 10,000.

According to Euro-Med Monitor figures, roughly 700,000 children have been affected by Israel’s Gaza genocide, a number that includes those who were killed, injured, and internally displaced.

The rights group said that United Nations agenciessuch as UNICEF have declined to disclose the actual number of casualties, as this would requireconfronting their own inability to perform their roles, which supposedly entail saving trapped or wounded victims and effectively preventing the deaths of countless children in Gaza.

The ongoing Israeli attacks have left over 18,000 Palestinian children injured, with many in critical condition. Dozens more have suffered amputations, and hundreds more have suffered severe burns to various parts of their bodies.

Euro-Med Monitor further estimated that between 24,000 and 25,000 children in the Gaza Strip have lost one or both parents, and approximately 640,000 have had their homes destroyed or damaged, leaving them without a place to live.

In addition, the future of hundreds of thousands of children is still unknown, as 217 schools in the Gaza Strip have been damaged or destroyed during the Israeli attacks, severely affecting the education process in the Strip.

The children of Gaza are being subjected to indiscriminate attacks by Israel amid a genocidethat has been ongoing for three consecutive months now, said Euro-Med Monitor, while a large number of them are denied access to food and/or clean water. Many of these children have been forced to flee under fire, which has worsened their already precarious psychological situations.

Over 1.840 million Gazans have been internally displaced, leaving many families with childrenliving in severely overcrowded facilities that are neither intended nor suitable for shelter, stated the human rights organisation.

Children in the Gaza Strip are at a startling risk of starvation and death, particularly in Gaza City and the Strip’s northern areas, where children are only eating one meal a day. Euro-Med Monitor also cited the rise of dangerous coping mechanisms, like children using risky and unhealthy methods to light fires for cooking.

In addition, children in Gaza face the risk of exposure to epidemics and communicable diseases—a result of multiple crises such as lack of safe drinking water; the stopping of sewage pumps; lack of health care; and lack of personal hygiene in extremely overcrowded shelter centres.

Children under the age of 18, who make up 47% of the 2.3 million people living in the Gaza Strip, have long had mental health issues. Prior to the current violence, four out of every five children used to report that they experienced depression, sadness, or fear, and earlier studies revealed an even higher number of mental health issues. 

Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor renewed its urgent call on the international community to take immediate action to stop Israel’s attempts to turn the Gaza Strip into a real-life cemetery for children, to instead protect them, and to end its blatant double-standard policy that allows for Israeli impunity.

The Geneva-based organisation stressed that Israel must be held accountable for its clear violations of international humanitarian law, which are evidenced by its killing and targeting of Palestinian children and negation of their special needs for vaccines, food, clothing, and shelter—needs that are clearly recognised in the Geneva Conventions and their 1977 Protocols.