2,913 Palestinian children killed in Gaza with U.S. approval

People search for survivors and the bodies of victims through the rubble of buildings destroyed during Israeli bombardment, in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip on October 26, 2023. (Photo: Mahmud Hams / AFP)

Ramallah, October 26, 2023—Nearly 3,000 Palestinian children have been confirmed killed in Gaza since October 7, according to the Ministry of Health.

Israeli forces have killed 2,913 Palestinian children in Gaza, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza, in less than three weeks since the Israeli military unleashed a massive military offensive on the Gaza Strip on October 7 after Palestinian armed groups fired rockets toward Israel and breached the Israeli perimeter fence surrounding Gaza, launching attacks inside Israel.

“Israeli forces are actively committing the crime of genocide against Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip,” said Brad Parker, attorney and senior policy adviser at DCIP. “The United States is not simply standing by, but is actively enabling and supporting the gravest crime under international law making the United States complicit. Israeli warplanes are entirely U.S.-sourced and the munitions killing Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are overwhelmingly American-made weapons.”

The fatality and injury numbers provided by the Ministry of Health in Gaza only account for people admitted to hospitals, and an estimated 940 Palestinian children are reported missing under the rubble of destroyed buildings, indicating the actual death toll is much higher. 

In the United States, the Biden administration and Congress have overwhelmingly and unconditionally supported the ongoing full-scale Israeli military attacks, which have largely been carried out with U.S.-sourced weapons and supported by U.S.-taxpayer military funding.

On October 16, Representatives Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), Cori Bush (MO-01), Rashida Tlaib (MI-12), André Carson (IN-07), Summer Lee (PA-12), and Delia C. Ramirez (IL-03) introduced the Ceasefire Now resolution (H.Res. 786) in the House of Representatives urging the Biden Administration to call for an immediate de-escalation and ceasefire in Israel and Palestine, to send humanitarian aid and assistance to Gaza, and to save as many lives as possible. The resolution currently has the support of 18 members of Congress.

Yesterday, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly voted in support of H.Res. 771, a resolution expressing solidarity with Israel and condemning attacks by Hamas and other armed groups this month. In a roll call vote on the House floor yesterday, 412 members of Congress approved the resolution, with 10 lawmakers voting ‘no’, 6 voting ‘present’, and 5 not voting.

The United Nations Security Council failed again yesterday to agree on a resolution that would help end or pause active hostilities, rejecting dueling resolutions from the United States and Russia, both permanent members with veto power. 

Nearly two-thirds of medical facilities in the Gaza Strip have completely shut down, according to the World Health Organization, including 12 out of Gaza’s 35 hospitals. 

Doctors in Gaza report many cases of chickenpox, scabies, and diarrhea, especially among children, as Palestinians lack access to clean water, basic hygiene, and sanitation amid Israeli authorities’ complete closure of the Gaza Strip, according to Al Jazeera.

Many people have resorted to drinking salt water from agricultural wells, according to UN OCHA. Drinking salt water raises grave health concerns for babies, pregnant women, and people with kidney disease. 

The Ministry of Health has also reported at least 8,000 new cases of coronavirus among displaced Palestinians, most of whom are living in extremely crowded circumstances.

Palestinian doctors also warn that as hospitals’ fuel reserves run critically low, at least 130 premature babies are in danger if their incubators shut down. In addition, around 1,100 kidney failure patients, including 38 children, rely on dialysis machines to stay alive.

An estimated 1.4 million Palestinians in Gaza are displaced, according to UN OCHA

Since October 11 at 2 p.m. Gaza has experienced a full electricity blackout after Israeli authorities cut the electricity and fuel supply on October 7 and the Gaza Power Plant depleted its reserves, according to UN OCHA.

Eight trucks carrying humanitarian aid, out of 20 trucks planned, entered through the Rafah crossing with food, water, and medical supplies, according to UN OCHA. 62 trucks carrying humanitarian aid have been allowed to enter Gaza since October 21. Fuel was not included in the aid deliveries.

At least 45 percent of all housing units in the Gaza Strip have been damaged or completely destroyed since October 7, according to UN OCHA.

34 Palestinian children have been killed in the occupied West Bank since October 7, according to documentation collected by DCIP, when the Israeli military began a full-scale bombardment on the Gaza Strip dubbed Operation Iron Swords.

At least 102 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces and settlers in the occupied West Bank since October 7, according to UN OCHA.

“The State of Israel has no choice but to turn Gaza into a place that is temporarily or permanently impossible to live in,” reservist Major General Giora Eiland told Israeli media. “Creating a severe humanitarian crisis in Gaza is a necessary means to achieve the goal. Gaza will become a place where no human being can exist.”

“Human animals must be treated as such. There will be no electricity and no water [in Gaza], there will only be destruction. You wanted hell, you will get hell,” said Major General Ghassan Alian, head of Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT).

Under international law, genocide is prohibited and constitutes the deliberate killing of a large number of people from a particular nation or ethnic group with the aim of destroying that nation or group, in whole or in part. Genocide can result from killing or by creating conditions of life that are so unbearable it brings about the group’s destruction.

International humanitarian law prohibits indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks and requires all parties to an armed conflict to distinguish between military targets, civilians, and civilian objects. Deploying explosive weapons in densely-populated civilian areas constitutes indiscriminate attacks and carrying out direct attacks against civilians or civilian objects amounts to war crimes.

Israeli authorities have imposed a closure policy against the Gaza Strip since 2007 by strictly controlling and limiting the entry and exit of individuals; maintaining harsh restrictions on imports including food, construction materials, fuel, and other essential items; as well as prohibiting exports. Israel continues to maintain complete control over the Gaza Strip’s borders, airspace, and territorial waters.