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Israel-Palestine live: Unicef says over 13,000 children killed in Gaza

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Israel-Palestine live: Unicef says over 13,000 children killed in Gaza
At least 92 Palestinians killed over past 24 hours, as Israeli bombs hit southern and central Gaza
Key Points
Women and children killed in Israeli attack on Deir al-Balah
Ursula von der Leyen: 'Gaza is facing famine'
Netanyahu to push on with Rafah operation despite global pressure
A Palestinian woman reacts as she holds her belongings next to the rubble of a building, after it was destroyed in an Israeli strike the night before, in the Rimal neighbourhood of Gaza City on March 16, 2024

Live Updates

3 months ago

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3 months ago

Good evening Middle East Eye readers.

Our live coverage of the conflict in Gaza will shortly be closing for the evening.

Here are the day's key developments.

The death toll of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces in Gaza has risen to 31,645 since 7 October, the Palestinian health ministry has announced. It added that 92 people had been killed over the past 24 hours. 

At least 73,676 others have been wounded since the war broke out five months ago. 

Scores of Palestinians were killed or wounded on Sunday in attacks across the Gaza Strip, with the bodies of five people recovered from a town in Khan Younis in the south, medical sources told Wafa news agency. 

Israeli air strikes also hit homes in the Sheikh Radwan and al-Nasr neighbourhoods of Gaza City, as well as the Nuseirat and al-Bureij refugee camps. 

At least 12 Palestinian civilians, mostly women and children, were killed overnight in an Israeli attack on a residential home in central Gaza's Deir al-Balah, according to Wafa news agency. 

The UN children's agency Unicef said on Sunday that over 13,000 children had been killed in Gaza in Israel's offensive, adding that many children were suffering from severe malnutrition and did not "even have the energy to cry".

In other developments:

  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reiterated that Israel will push on with its military operations in Gaza, including an offensive in the southern city of Rafah, despite international pressure against it.

    "To our friends in the international community, I say: is your memory so short? So quickly you forgot about 7 October, the worst massacre committed against Jews since the Holocaust?" he said at the start of Sunday's cabinet meeting. "So quickly you are ready to deny Israel the right to defend itself against the monsters of Hamas?"
     
  • International pressure on Israel continued to grow on Sunday, with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi saying that Egypt and European leaders had agreed to reject an Israeli military operation in Rafah. 
     
  • Meanwhile, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz at a press conference in Jerusalem with Netanyahu on Sunday said: "We cannot stand by and watch Palestinians risk starvation That's not us. That is not what we stand for." 
     
  • European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, speaking in Cairo, said that Gaza was facing famine, and urged for a rapid ceasefire agreement.
     
  • Later, in an interview with CNN, Netanyahu described US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer's speech in which he called for new elections in Israel as "inappropriate".
3 months ago

The UN children's agency said on Sunday that over 13,000 children had been killed in Gaza in Israel's offensive, adding that many children were suffering from severe malnutrition and did not "even have the energy to cry".

"Thousands more have been injured or we can't even determine where they are. They may be stuck under rubble… We haven't seen that rate of death among children in almost any other conflict in the world," Unicef's executive director, Catherine Russell, told CBS News' Face the Nation programme on Sunday.

"I've been in wards of children who are suffering from severe anaemia malnutrition, the whole ward is absolutely quiet. Because the children, the babies… don't even have the energy to cry."

Russell said there were "very great bureaucratic challenges" moving trucks into Gaza for aid and assistance.

A UN expert said earlier this month that Israel was destroying Gaza's food system as part of a broader "starvation campaign".

3 months ago

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has said that Egypt and European leaders had agreed to reject an Israeli military operation in Rafah.

Speaking in Cairo after signing a strategic partnership agreement with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Sisi said: "[An operation] would double the humanitarian catastrophe that civilians in the Gaza Strip are suffering from, in addition to the effects of that operation on liquidating the Palestinian cause, which Egypt outright rejects."

3 months ago

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday that Israel would not leave civilians trapped in Rafah when its forces begin a long-expected assault on the southern Gaza city where more than 1 million Palestinians have taken shelter.

"It's not something we will do while keeping the population locked in place. In fact, we'll do the very opposite, we will enable them to leave," he said during a press statement in Jerusalem with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

The German chancellor said that an Israeli assault on Rafah would make regional peace "very difficult".

3 months ago

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Sunday said he had spoken with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about the need to provide comprehensive humanitarian aid to the people in Gaza.

"We cannot stand by and watch Palestinians risk starvation That's not us. That is not what we stand for," Scholz said at a joint news conference with Netanyahu in Jerusalem.

3 months ago

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has said that Gaza is facing famine, and urged for a rapid ceasefire agreement.

"Gaza is facing famine and we cannot accept this," von der Leyen told reporters on Sunday, speaking in Cairo after signing a strategic partnership agreement with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

"It is critical to achieve an agreement on a ceasefire rapidly now that frees the hostages and allows more humanitarian aid to reach Gaza."

3 months ago

Scores of Palestinians have been killed and wounded on Sunday in attacks across the Gaza Strip. 

The bodies of five people were recovered from a town in Khan Younis in the south, medical sources told Wafa news agency. 

Israeli air strikes also hit homes in the Sheikh Radwan and al-Nasr neighbourhoods of Gaza City, as well as the Nuseirat and al-Bureij refugee camps. 

Earlier on Sunday, the Palestinian health ministry said that the death toll in Gaza since 7 October had risen to 31,645.

3 months ago

Israeli forces detained 25 Palestinians during raids in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem overnight, including a sick woman from Gaza and a child.

The Palestinian Prisoner's Society (PPS) and The Ministry of Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs released a joint statement stating that arrests took place in Hebron, Qalqilya, Bethlehem, Jenin, Tulkarm, Ramallah, and Jerusalem.

The statement alleged that Israeli forces ransacked homes, and beat and threatened detainees and their families. 

It added that a cancer-stricken woman from Gaza who was heading to Jerusalem for treatment was among those detained. 

Around 7,630 Palestinians have been arrested in the West Bank since 7 October. 

3 months ago

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has described US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer's speech in which he call for new elections in Israel as "inappropriate".

The prime minister made his comments on Sunday in an interview with CNN.

3 months ago

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reiterated that Israel will push on with its military operations in Gaza, including an offensive in the southern city of Rafah. 

For weeks now, Israel has been threatening a ground operation in Rafah, where over 1 million displaced Palestinians are sheltering in makeshift homes and tents. 

Netanyahu said that Israeli forces would continue despite growing international pressure. 

"To our friends in the international community I say: is your memory so short? So quickly you forgot about 7 October, the worst massacre committed against Jews since the Holocaust?" he said at the start of Sunday's cabinet meeting.

"So quickly you are ready to deny Israel the right to defend itself against the monsters of Hamas?"

3 months ago

At least 12 Palestinian civilians, mostly women and children, were killed overnight in an Israeli attack on a residential home in central Gaza's Deir al-Balah, according to Wafa news agency. 

Israeli jets targeted a home belonging to the Thabet family in the the Beshara neighbourhood, Wafa reported.

Elsewhere in the enclave, Israeli bombs struck Khan Younis and Rafah in southern Gaza on Sunday morning, as well as a house on Mansoura Street in the Shujaiya neighbourhood of Gaza City.

At least 92 Palestinians were killed over the past 24 hours. 

3 months ago

The death toll of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces in Gaza has risen to 31,645 since 7 October, the Palestinian health ministry has announced. 

It added that 92 people were killed over the past 24 hours. 

At least 73,676 others have been wounded since the war broke out five months ago. 

3 months ago

Israeli missiles launched from the occupied Golan Heights towards Syria in the early hours of Sunday wounded a Syrian soldier, the Syrian army said.

State news agency SANA, carrying a statement from a military source, said that "the Israeli enemy carried out an air attack… targeting a number of points in the southern region", without specifying where.

It said a soldier was wounded in the attack and reported "material losses", adding that air defence systems shot down some of the missiles. 

Earlier this month, an Israeli strike killed an Iranian Revolutionary Guard and two other people in Banias on Syria's Mediterranean coast, reports said, in the third consecutive day of Israeli attacks on the country.