UNICEF says senseless killing of Rafah children by Israel must stop

Edited by Ed Newman
2024-05-27 23:11:02


An injured Palestinian toddler is being treated by hospital staff amid Israeli bombardment of refugees tented near the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) warehouses of Rafah, May 26, 2024.

Geneva, May 28 (RHC)-- UNICEF has called on the Israeli regime to stop its senseless killing of the innocent children who fled to the city of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, seeking refuge from the Zionist attacks.

Following the recent Israeli airstrikes on Rafah, the head of the UN Children’s Fund, originally known as the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, demanded on Monday that Israelis put an “end to the senseless killing of children.”  Catherine Russell cited shocking images of injured children rescued from burned tents that "haunted" her.  

She noted that the children had been targeted in the bombing by U.S.-granted Israeli jets.  “Images of burned children and families emerging from bombed tents in Rafah shock us all.  The reported killing of children sheltering in makeshift tents is unconscionable,” Russell wrote on X.

Highlighting the severity of the dire situation in the besieged Gaza Strip, Russell said, “For over 7 months, we've witnessed this tragedy unfold, resulting in thousands of children killed or injured.”

Russell said she briefed the UN Security Council regarding the “catastrophic” conditions, while emphasizing the utmost humanitarian necessity for “an immediate ceasefire... and an end to the senseless killing of children.”

In the Israeli bombing of Rafah on Sunday, several dozens of Palestinians were killed while dozens more were injured as Israeli jets targeted the refugee camp where displaced people had been settled.

The Israeli regime forces targeted the area near the logistics base of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) in Tal al-Sultan, said the Gaza-based Government Media Office.

Images of burned children & families emerging from bombed tents in #Rafah shocks us all. The reported killing of children sheltering in makeshift tents is unconscionable. For over 7 months, we've witnessed this tragedy unfold, resulting in thousands of children killed or injured.

— Catherine Russell (@unicefchief) May 27, 2024

Meanwhile, the head of the African Union Commission slammed the Israeli regime for the impunity of its forces in the genocidal war on Gaza, saying the war crimes conducted by Tel Aviv were in contempt of the UN International Court of Justice (ICJ) rulings.

“With horrific overnight airstrikes killing mostly Palestinian women & children... the State of Israel continues to violate international law with impunity and in contempt of an ICJ (International Court of Justice) ruling two days ago ordering an end to its military action in Rafah,” Moussa Faki Mahamat said on X on Monday.  “The ICJ order must be urgently enforced if global order is to prevail.”

Regarding the "genocide" case lodged by South Africa against the Tel Aviv regime, the ICJ on May 24 ordered the Israeli forces to halt their Rafah offensive.

Likewise, a number of international humanitarian relief organizations -- including ActionAid, CARE International, Churches for Middle East Peace, Danish Refugee Council, Democratic Socialists of America, Médecins du Monde France & Spain & Switzerland, Medical Aid for Palestinians, Middle East Children’s Alliance, Norwegian Church Aid, Oxfam, War Child Alliance, among several other humanitarian organizations and aid groups, called on the UN Security Council to take decisive action to ensure the ICJ's orders are implemented.

The international relief organizations signed a joint letter to the UN, noting, “Failure to do so would further compromise the conditions to sustain human life in Gaza and would undermine global trust in the primacy of international law.”

Meanwhile, the Hague-based ICJ, whose orders are legally binding but lack direct enforcement mechanisms, has ordered the Israeli regime forces to keep open the Rafah crossing between Egypt and Gaza, after Israel's seizure of the Palestinian side earlier this month effectively shut it.

The Israeli regime, which feels open to any war crime it fancies because there will be no punishment ahead, has dismissed the ICJ order, claiming that the UN court’s ruling was wrong.

Since the Israeli regime forces launched the genocidal war on the hapless people of the besieged Gaza Strip, following Palestinian resistance groups’ retaliatory operation on October 7, 2023, more than 36,000 people in Gaza, mostly women and children, have been killed, according to Gaza's health ministry.


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