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01
"If there is a hell on earth, it is
the lives of children in Gaza"
said António Guterres,
Secretary-General of the United
Nations in his opening remarks
in May 2021 at the general
assembly.
Unfortunately, the situation for children
in Gaza has deteriorated even further
with human rights groups describing
Gaza as the deadliest place on earth to
be a child. Gaza has become a
graveyard for thousands of children
since the conflict between Israel and
Gaza began in October 2023.
Jason Lee, Save the Children’s Director
for the occupied Palestinian territory,
recently stated that, “Children in Gaza
were already living with unimaginable
distress following 16 years of blockade
and successive escalations in violence.
This war and the physical and mental
scars it is leaving on children is further
eroding their resilience.” He argues it is
unacceptable that any child should
have to endure the hardship that those
in Gaza have suffered. Children are
forced to walk along the streets riddled
with dead bodies in order to search for
food and sleep on the streets in the open
air without basic food or clean water.
Israel’s blockage of food and medicine is
causing detrimental physical and
April 12, 2024
By: Katrina Sriranpong
02
mental harm, which could
last a lifetime. Save the
Children states that at least
17 children have died of
malnutrition in north Gaza,
but the real figure is
estimated to be much
higher. Even before October
2023, children in Gaza lived
under extreme conditions of
cyclical escalations of
violence resulting in poor
mental health.
Children Targeted by Israeli
Snipers in Gaza
based on the wounds suffered.
In mid-February, a group of United Nations
experts stated that, “We are shocked by
reports of the deliberate targeting and
extrajudicial killing of Palestinian women
and children in places where they sought
refuge, or while fleeing. Some of them were
reportedly holding white pieces of cloth
when they were killed by the Israeli army or
affiliated forces.
In a recent article published
by the Guardian, Dr. Fozia
Alvi, a Canadian doctor who
worked in the intensive care
unit in southern Gaza,
observed two young children
that had sniper shots to the
brain. They were only seven
or eight years old. These
were not the only children
the Canadian doctor treated
who were targeted by Israeli
soldiers. She describes
treating children with direct
sniper shots to the head and
the chest. They were small
children. Other doctors
provided similar accounts of
the treatment of children
and the elderly with single
bullet wounds to the head or
chest. These were obviously
not combatants. The doctors
suspected they were directly
targeted by Israeli troops
Unfortunately, Israeli and international
human rights groups have long
documented Israel’s history of shooting
unarmed Palestinians, including children, in
Gaza and the West Bank using snipers or
drones. More recently, Haaretz reported that
Israel routinely fires on civilians in areas that
the military has designated as “combat
zones” and there is no notice or clear
boundary when the zone begins nor ends.
Dr. Vanita Gupta, a doctor from New York
City Hospital, volunteered in Gaza in
January and described treating three
children and their families who were
severely wounded. The families were
returning to their homes as the Israeli army
had withdrawn. Unfortunately, the snipers
stayed behind in the area and targeted the
family and their children when they tried to
return to their homes. Three of the children
had bullet wounds to the head and died at
the hospital.
In Gaza City, a three year old toddler was
also shot outside his home when he tried to
buy fruit with his cousin, a 20 year old
medical school student, who was also killed.
The shooting was witnessed by the father,
who said they were targeted by an Israeli
sniper. The shooting was caught on video
03
and shows the pair lying
together as one tried to lift
his head, but was shot again
and died. There are
countless eyewitness
accounts of the targeting of
civilians, including children.
Dr. Osaid Alser argued that it
was often possible to
distinguish sniper shots.
“When it’s a sniper, usually
it’s a bigger bullet, which
causes significantly more
damage and has more
shock-wave energy as
compared to a smaller rifle
or a pistol. If it’s a sniper, it
may cause amputation of
the limb because it will
cause damage to the
vascular structure – nerves,
bone, soft tissue, everything,”
he said.
Defense for Children
International Palestine said
that over the years there
had been a “clear pattern of
Israeli forces targeting
Palestinian children with
deadly force in situations
where the children posed no
threat to soldiers”. One of the
most disturbing cases is that
of an Israeli captain
shooting a 13 year old
Palestinian girl in 2004
simply because she crossed
into a security zone. She did
not pose a threat and his
own soldiers even said she
was a “little girl” who was
“scared to death.” The Israeli
captain emptied an entire
magazine of his automatic rifle into the 13
year old child. The captain was cleared of
any wrongdoing by the military court despite
internal notes indicating otherwise. This type
of impunity and lack of accountability
demonstrates the system will always protect
Israeli soldiers.
Decades of Legal Impunity
Under international humanitarian law, which
applies during times of war, all parties are
required to protect civilian objects and
civilians, which includes people who are no
longer taking part in hostilities. International
humanitarian law is non-reciprocal, which
means that the violation of the law by one
side does not justify the opposing side from
violating their own obligations.
Over 30,000 Palestinians have been killed in
Gaza since October 2023, including more
than 13,000 children. This does not include
the over 12,000 people who are missing and
are presumed dead. The killing of so many
civilians and humanitarian aid workers since
October 2023 demonstrates that Israel is
violating the principle of proportionality and
distinction under international humanitarian
law. The principle of proportionality requires
that the harm caused to civilians due to a
military attack shall not be excessive when
compared to the military advantage
expected to be gained. Israel has engaged in
disproportionate attacks, which is considered
a violation of international humanitarian law
and is potentially committing a war crime.
International humanitarian law also requires
parties to abide by the principle of distinction
to ensure their targets are military and not
civilian.
04
Of course, attacks on
humanitarian aid workers,
doctors, journalists, children,
and civilian objects are
considered war crimes.
When discussing the
situation in Gaza, Amnesty
International has stated that
indiscriminate attacks or
direct attacks on civilians or
civilian objects must be
investigated as war crimes.
Forensic Architecture, a
research agency based at
the University of London
investigating human rights
violations around the world,
revealed that hospitals in
Gaza were being
systematically targeted by
Israel. Israel argues that
hospitals are being used by
Hamas, but has failed to
provide sufficient public
evidence.
Israel has deliberately been
using starvation as a
weapon of war, which
affects innocent Palestinians
trapped in Gaza such as
children and their families.
Palestinians in the north of
Gaza are facing
catastrophic levels of
hunger. People have
resorted to eating grass,
animal feed, and pet food in
order to survive. There is an
increasing number of
children suffering from
malnutrition. The blockade
imposed by Israel has
caused a large backlog of
trucks eagerly waiting to
enter Gaza. Israel has routinely blocked the
entry of vital medical equipment such as
ventilators and life-saving medicine as well
as crutches, food, and anesthesia. Recently,
they have also blocked animal feed as they
are aware Gazans are eating it to survive.
According to UNICEF, Israel has blocked the
entry of sleeping bags simply because they
were the wrong colour. UNICEF stated that
this type of “toying” with basic and essential
goods demonstrates their intent in engaging
in collective punishment of the whole
population, which is a war crime. Doctors
Without Borders and other humanitarian
groups have repeatedly called for Israeli
authorities to lift the inhumane siege and
allow humanitarian assistance to enter Gaza
in an unhindered way. Allowing aid via land
crossings is the most efficient method to
distribute humanitarian aid to children and
their families.
Recently, seven aid workers with World
Central Kitchen were killed in successive
drone strikes on their three vehicles carrying
aid to the north of Gaza. The three vehicles
were clearly marked and their movement
was coordinated with the approval of Israeli
Defence Forces (IDF). The Telegraph
published an article detailing how the most
senior Israeli commander involved in the air
strike wanted to block humanitarian supplies
into Gaza. The investigation showed the
officer signed a letter to Israel’s War Cabinet
demanding that the territory be deprived of
aid. The letter, dated January 20, implored
them to “do everything in your power” not to
allow “humanitarian supplies” inside Gaza
City. Mr. Mansfield, head of Nexus Chambers
and one of Britain’s leading lawyers, argues
the document is plainly relevant to the
particular state of mind of
05
law.
the officer. In other words,
the target of the airstrikes
were not Hamas, but aid
workers in an attempt to
deter humanitarian supplies
into Gaza City.
Israel has acted with
impunity in committing
violations of international
humanitarian law and
violated the principle of
proportionality, distinction,
and precaution under the
laws of war. Civilians must
always be protected. The
use of starvation as
collective punishment for
the atrocities which
occurred on October 7, 2023
is simply revenge against a
whole population and
constitutes a war crime.
Doctors, journalists,
humanitarian aid workers,
and unarmed civilians have
been targeted and killed.
Over 200 humanitarian aid
workers have been killed in
Gaza. President Biden and
other Western allies of Israel
have not changed their
policy of support for Israel
despite the overwhelming
evidence of human rights
violations by international
human rights groups. For
decades, Israel has seen no
consequence to their
continued violations of
human rights and
international humanitarian
Organizations to Assist Children in Gaza
Thirty years ago, the world failed to stop the
Rwandan genocide. Despite world leaders
having the power to do so, there was not
enough political will to stop the genocide.
The situation is similar today. However, the
digital landscape has changed. We are
again presented with the opportunity to
stop a genocide, which is being shown live
on social media. The war on Gaza is more
than eliminating Hamas, but rather to
satisfy Israel’s hunger for Palestinian land
and resources. Amnesty International has
described “alarming signs of genocide in
Gaza.” Please consider donating to the
following organizations working to alleviate
the suffering of children and their families in
Gaza.
Save the Children
Defense for Children Palestine
UNICEF
UNRWA

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If there is a Hell on Earth, it is the Lives of Children in Gaza.pdf

  • 1. 01 "If there is a hell on earth, it is the lives of children in Gaza" said António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations in his opening remarks in May 2021 at the general assembly. Unfortunately, the situation for children in Gaza has deteriorated even further with human rights groups describing Gaza as the deadliest place on earth to be a child. Gaza has become a graveyard for thousands of children since the conflict between Israel and Gaza began in October 2023. Jason Lee, Save the Children’s Director for the occupied Palestinian territory, recently stated that, “Children in Gaza were already living with unimaginable distress following 16 years of blockade and successive escalations in violence. This war and the physical and mental scars it is leaving on children is further eroding their resilience.” He argues it is unacceptable that any child should have to endure the hardship that those in Gaza have suffered. Children are forced to walk along the streets riddled with dead bodies in order to search for food and sleep on the streets in the open air without basic food or clean water. Israel’s blockage of food and medicine is causing detrimental physical and April 12, 2024 By: Katrina Sriranpong
  • 2. 02 mental harm, which could last a lifetime. Save the Children states that at least 17 children have died of malnutrition in north Gaza, but the real figure is estimated to be much higher. Even before October 2023, children in Gaza lived under extreme conditions of cyclical escalations of violence resulting in poor mental health. Children Targeted by Israeli Snipers in Gaza based on the wounds suffered. In mid-February, a group of United Nations experts stated that, “We are shocked by reports of the deliberate targeting and extrajudicial killing of Palestinian women and children in places where they sought refuge, or while fleeing. Some of them were reportedly holding white pieces of cloth when they were killed by the Israeli army or affiliated forces. In a recent article published by the Guardian, Dr. Fozia Alvi, a Canadian doctor who worked in the intensive care unit in southern Gaza, observed two young children that had sniper shots to the brain. They were only seven or eight years old. These were not the only children the Canadian doctor treated who were targeted by Israeli soldiers. She describes treating children with direct sniper shots to the head and the chest. They were small children. Other doctors provided similar accounts of the treatment of children and the elderly with single bullet wounds to the head or chest. These were obviously not combatants. The doctors suspected they were directly targeted by Israeli troops Unfortunately, Israeli and international human rights groups have long documented Israel’s history of shooting unarmed Palestinians, including children, in Gaza and the West Bank using snipers or drones. More recently, Haaretz reported that Israel routinely fires on civilians in areas that the military has designated as “combat zones” and there is no notice or clear boundary when the zone begins nor ends. Dr. Vanita Gupta, a doctor from New York City Hospital, volunteered in Gaza in January and described treating three children and their families who were severely wounded. The families were returning to their homes as the Israeli army had withdrawn. Unfortunately, the snipers stayed behind in the area and targeted the family and their children when they tried to return to their homes. Three of the children had bullet wounds to the head and died at the hospital. In Gaza City, a three year old toddler was also shot outside his home when he tried to buy fruit with his cousin, a 20 year old medical school student, who was also killed. The shooting was witnessed by the father, who said they were targeted by an Israeli sniper. The shooting was caught on video
  • 3. 03 and shows the pair lying together as one tried to lift his head, but was shot again and died. There are countless eyewitness accounts of the targeting of civilians, including children. Dr. Osaid Alser argued that it was often possible to distinguish sniper shots. “When it’s a sniper, usually it’s a bigger bullet, which causes significantly more damage and has more shock-wave energy as compared to a smaller rifle or a pistol. If it’s a sniper, it may cause amputation of the limb because it will cause damage to the vascular structure – nerves, bone, soft tissue, everything,” he said. Defense for Children International Palestine said that over the years there had been a “clear pattern of Israeli forces targeting Palestinian children with deadly force in situations where the children posed no threat to soldiers”. One of the most disturbing cases is that of an Israeli captain shooting a 13 year old Palestinian girl in 2004 simply because she crossed into a security zone. She did not pose a threat and his own soldiers even said she was a “little girl” who was “scared to death.” The Israeli captain emptied an entire magazine of his automatic rifle into the 13 year old child. The captain was cleared of any wrongdoing by the military court despite internal notes indicating otherwise. This type of impunity and lack of accountability demonstrates the system will always protect Israeli soldiers. Decades of Legal Impunity Under international humanitarian law, which applies during times of war, all parties are required to protect civilian objects and civilians, which includes people who are no longer taking part in hostilities. International humanitarian law is non-reciprocal, which means that the violation of the law by one side does not justify the opposing side from violating their own obligations. Over 30,000 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza since October 2023, including more than 13,000 children. This does not include the over 12,000 people who are missing and are presumed dead. The killing of so many civilians and humanitarian aid workers since October 2023 demonstrates that Israel is violating the principle of proportionality and distinction under international humanitarian law. The principle of proportionality requires that the harm caused to civilians due to a military attack shall not be excessive when compared to the military advantage expected to be gained. Israel has engaged in disproportionate attacks, which is considered a violation of international humanitarian law and is potentially committing a war crime. International humanitarian law also requires parties to abide by the principle of distinction to ensure their targets are military and not civilian.
  • 4. 04 Of course, attacks on humanitarian aid workers, doctors, journalists, children, and civilian objects are considered war crimes. When discussing the situation in Gaza, Amnesty International has stated that indiscriminate attacks or direct attacks on civilians or civilian objects must be investigated as war crimes. Forensic Architecture, a research agency based at the University of London investigating human rights violations around the world, revealed that hospitals in Gaza were being systematically targeted by Israel. Israel argues that hospitals are being used by Hamas, but has failed to provide sufficient public evidence. Israel has deliberately been using starvation as a weapon of war, which affects innocent Palestinians trapped in Gaza such as children and their families. Palestinians in the north of Gaza are facing catastrophic levels of hunger. People have resorted to eating grass, animal feed, and pet food in order to survive. There is an increasing number of children suffering from malnutrition. The blockade imposed by Israel has caused a large backlog of trucks eagerly waiting to enter Gaza. Israel has routinely blocked the entry of vital medical equipment such as ventilators and life-saving medicine as well as crutches, food, and anesthesia. Recently, they have also blocked animal feed as they are aware Gazans are eating it to survive. According to UNICEF, Israel has blocked the entry of sleeping bags simply because they were the wrong colour. UNICEF stated that this type of “toying” with basic and essential goods demonstrates their intent in engaging in collective punishment of the whole population, which is a war crime. Doctors Without Borders and other humanitarian groups have repeatedly called for Israeli authorities to lift the inhumane siege and allow humanitarian assistance to enter Gaza in an unhindered way. Allowing aid via land crossings is the most efficient method to distribute humanitarian aid to children and their families. Recently, seven aid workers with World Central Kitchen were killed in successive drone strikes on their three vehicles carrying aid to the north of Gaza. The three vehicles were clearly marked and their movement was coordinated with the approval of Israeli Defence Forces (IDF). The Telegraph published an article detailing how the most senior Israeli commander involved in the air strike wanted to block humanitarian supplies into Gaza. The investigation showed the officer signed a letter to Israel’s War Cabinet demanding that the territory be deprived of aid. The letter, dated January 20, implored them to “do everything in your power” not to allow “humanitarian supplies” inside Gaza City. Mr. Mansfield, head of Nexus Chambers and one of Britain’s leading lawyers, argues the document is plainly relevant to the particular state of mind of
  • 5. 05 law. the officer. In other words, the target of the airstrikes were not Hamas, but aid workers in an attempt to deter humanitarian supplies into Gaza City. Israel has acted with impunity in committing violations of international humanitarian law and violated the principle of proportionality, distinction, and precaution under the laws of war. Civilians must always be protected. The use of starvation as collective punishment for the atrocities which occurred on October 7, 2023 is simply revenge against a whole population and constitutes a war crime. Doctors, journalists, humanitarian aid workers, and unarmed civilians have been targeted and killed. Over 200 humanitarian aid workers have been killed in Gaza. President Biden and other Western allies of Israel have not changed their policy of support for Israel despite the overwhelming evidence of human rights violations by international human rights groups. For decades, Israel has seen no consequence to their continued violations of human rights and international humanitarian Organizations to Assist Children in Gaza Thirty years ago, the world failed to stop the Rwandan genocide. Despite world leaders having the power to do so, there was not enough political will to stop the genocide. The situation is similar today. However, the digital landscape has changed. We are again presented with the opportunity to stop a genocide, which is being shown live on social media. The war on Gaza is more than eliminating Hamas, but rather to satisfy Israel’s hunger for Palestinian land and resources. Amnesty International has described “alarming signs of genocide in Gaza.” Please consider donating to the following organizations working to alleviate the suffering of children and their families in Gaza. Save the Children Defense for Children Palestine UNICEF UNRWA