At least 140 Palestinian children have been killed by the Israeli military as they launched an offensive on Gaza over the weekend, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.
Israeli forces vowed to turn the Gaza Strip into ‘rubble’ following the surprise attack by Hamas on October 7 and have launched retaliatory strikes in over 200 locations throughout Gaza, killing more than 700 people and injuring 4,000 more.
Among those caught in the crossfire are around 140 children, human rights group Defence for Children International Palestine confirmed.
‘Israeli forces are intensifying air, land, and sea attacks against an overwhelmingly Palestinian civilian population in the Gaza Strip where nowhere and nobody is safe,’ said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, accountability program director at DCIP.
‘Rather than deescalating hostilities to rein in civilian harm, the international community is actively bolstering Israeli war efforts through increased military funding and weapons despite Israeli officials declaring their intention to commit war crimes and crimes against humanity. Systemic impunity must end.’
At least 140 youngsters have since been killed via direct attacks from Israeli forces between October 7-10, according to DCIP, with the number expected to rise as more information comes to light.
The ministry also shared photos of some of the killed children.
The news comes following reports that Hamas fighters killed and maimed children during their surprise attack over the weekend which saw over 900 Israelis dead.
Statement from UN
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said on Tuesday: ‘I recognise the legitimate grievances of the Palestinians. But nothing can justify these acts of terror and the killing, maiming and abduction of civilians.
‘I recognise Israel’s legitimate security concerns, but also remind Israel civilians must be respected and protected at all times.’
Over 187,000 people in the Gaza strip have fled their homes as mass displacement escalates with intensifying Israeli attacks, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA).
Israeli PM, Benjamin Netanyahu has called up 300,000 army reservists and signalled a ground assault against the Gaza Strip, which is controlled by Hamas.