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United Nations Reports: Over 17,000 Children in Gaza Strip Lack Guardians

IndiaUnited Nations Reports: Over 17,000 Children in Gaza Strip Lack Guardians

Unicef Estimates Over 17,000 Children in Gaza Strip Without Guardians

Unicef has characterized Gaza as the “most dangerous place in the world to be a child,” attributing this assessment to Israel’s conflict with Hamas, which has transformed the region into “a graveyard for thousands of children.” Against a backdrop of deepening humanitarian crisis and famine warnings, Unicef reports widespread malnutrition and illness among children.

According to spokesperson Jonathan Crickx, the figure of unaccompanied children is an estimate, given the challenging security and humanitarian conditions. He emphasized the individual tragedies behind each statistic, highlighting the harrowing experiences of loss and grief faced by these children.

In conflict scenarios, extended family members often take in separated children, including orphans. However, resource shortages in Gaza have strained extended families, making it difficult for them to care for additional children.

Children constitute approximately 40% of the 27,000 Palestinians killed in Gaza since October 7, as reported by Gaza authorities and international organizations. Some parents have resorted to separating their children, dispersing them among relatives in different areas of Gaza to enhance their chances of survival. Tragically, others have resorted to writing their children’s names directly on their skin in case of loss or tragedy.

Gaza’s hospitals have witnessed an influx of wounded children arriving unaccompanied for treatment after Israeli airstrikes, leading medical workers to adopt a new abbreviation, “WCNSF” (Wounded Child, No Surviving Family).

Crickx underscored the profound impact of the conflict on children’s mental health, citing extremely high levels of persistent anxiety, sleep disturbances, and emotional instability.

Antony Blinken’s visit to Saudi Arabia marks his first stop on a West Asia tour aimed at advancing negotiations on a normalization deal between Saudi Arabia and Israel and facilitating discussions on post-war Gaza governance. This visit comes amid heightened tensions and retaliatory US strikes on Iran-backed militias across Syria, Iraq, and Yemen, following a drone strike in Jordan that killed three American troops and injured dozens.

Blinken’s itinerary includes visits to Egypt, Qatar, and Israel, where he will work to progress Egyptian- and Qatari-mediated discussions with Hamas aimed at securing a hostage deal.

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