THE head of humanitarian policy and advocacy at Save the Children, Alexandra Saieh, says Israel’s war on Gaza is killing children at “rates unparalleled in recent crises”.
Saieh told Al Jazeera that Israel’s bombardment of the besieged enclave has also left many children critically injured and facing lifelong disabilities.
The war, she added, was leaving children in Gaza “starved and robbed of any sense of safety and security”.
After examining the mental health impacts on children for many years, Save the Children found that Palestinian children in Gaza face heightened levels of emotional distress every year, Saieh added.
He said in a study they conducted in 2022, Save the Children found that three out of five children in Gaza had feelings and thoughts of self-harm. The majority experienced depression, nightmares and had no hope for the future, so the past four months will make that infinitely worse.
Meanwhile, Israeli police have arrested several protesters in Tel Aviv who called for the resignation of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and early elections amid Israel’s continued war on Gaza.
Hundreds of people were dispersed in Kaplan Square, and some protest equipment seized, according to the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper.
Protesters raised the slogan: “Elections now” and chanted for the immediate dismissal of Netanyahu, according to the report.
Several other areas in Israel witnessed protests with thousands participating, demanding the dismissal of the government and the release of captives in Gaza. More than 100 captives remain in the custody of Hamas.
They included Jerusalem, Haifa, Caesarea, Kefar Sava, Rehovot, and Beersheba, according to the Israeli broadcasting authority and Yedioth Ahronoth. As protests intensified, Netanyahu criticised demonstrations by the families of captives held in Gaza as “useless and contributing to the demands of Hamas”.