UNICEF concerned over the impact of violence on children in Gaza and southern Israel

UNICEF expressed deep concern over the impact on children of the recent escalation of violence in the Gaza Strip and Israel. "Everything must be done to protect the safety and the lives of innocent children,” said Jean Gough, UNICEF Special Representative to the occupied Palestinian territory. “We call upon all parties to do everything in their power to protect children and to put an end to violence.”

JERUSALEM, Israel (March 12, 2012) — UNICEF expressed deep concern over the impact on children of the recent escalation of violence in the Gaza Strip and Israel.

On Monday, a 15-year-old Palestinian boy was killed and another four children were reported injured in an explosion in the Gaza Strip. On Sunday, a 12-year-old Palestinian boy was killed in an airstrike on Gaza. So far, 14 Palestinian children aged from one to 17 years have been reported injured in airstrikes. Two schools suffered minor damage in Gaza City.

On Sunday in Israel, a rocket hit a school that was empty at the time. Classes had to be cancelled in the south of the country, affecting over 200,000 Israeli students.

"Everything must be done to protect the safety and the lives of innocent children,” said Ms. Jean Gough, UNICEF Special Representative to the occupied Palestinian territory. “We call upon all parties to do everything in their power to protect children and to put an end to violence.”

Since Friday, violence has escalated as Israeli aircraft struck Gaza and Palestinian militants launched rockets towards southern Israel. Last year, 20 Palestinian children and five Israeli children were killed in incidents related to the conflict; another 448 Palestinian children and two Israeli children were injured.

UNICEF expressed deep concern over the impact on children of the recent escalation of violence in the Gaza Strip and Israel. "Everything must be done to protect the safety and the lives of innocent children," said Jean Gough, UNICEF Special Representative to the occupied Palestinian territory. "We call upon all parties to do everything in their power to protect children and to put an end to violence."

About UNICEF

UNICEF has saved more children's lives than any other humanitarian organization in the world. Working in more than 150 countries, UNICEF provides children with health care, clean water, 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.

UNICEF is at the forefront of efforts to reduce child mortality worldwide. There has been substantial progress: the annual number of under-five deaths dropped from more than 12 million in 1990 to 7.6 million in 2010. But still, 21,000 children die each day from preventable causes. Our mission is to do whatever it takes to make that number zero by giving children the essentials for 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
Kiní Schoop, U.S. Fund for UNICEF, 212.922.2634, kschoop@unicefusa.org