Statement by Maria Calivis, UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa, on the Gaza Strip

July 18, 2014

The killing of four Palestinian children—all from one extended family—and the injuring of two more all while playing on a beach in Gaza City is a stark reminder that no place is safe anymore for children in the Gaza Strip.

NEW YORK (July 17, 2014) – The killing of four Palestinian children—all from one extended family—and the injuring of two more all while playing on a beach in Gaza City is a stark reminder that no place is safe anymore for children in the Gaza Strip.

Also yesterday a number of rockets were found hidden in a UNRWA school in Gaza, in disregard for the neutrality of schools.

The number of children killed in Gaza has now reached at least 48 since the hostilities began only ten days ago. On average, four children from Gaza are being killed every day.

It is outrageous that children in Gaza continue to pay such a heavy price in a conflict for which they have no responsibility. Children on both sides of the conflict must be protected from this senseless violence. Those who are in a position of command have an obligation to keep children out of the line of fire.

UNICEF welcomes the short humanitarian pause that took place today and reiterates the call made by the UNICEF Executive Director for both sides to exercise maximum restraint and prevent additional child casualties.

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About UNICEF

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) works in 190 countries and territories to save and improve children’s lives, providing health care and immunizations, clean water and sanitation, nutrition, education, emergency relief and more. The U.S. Fund for UNICEF supports UNICEF’s work through fundraising, advocacy, and education in the United States. Together, we are working toward the day when zero children die from preventable causes and every child has a safe and healthy childhood. For more information, visit www.unicefusa.org

For additional information, please contact:

Susannah Masur, U.S. Fund for UNICEF, 212.880.9146, smasur@unicefusa.org