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UNICEF says 469 children killed in Gaza conflict

August 22, 2014, 14:12 UTC+3 UNITED NATIONS

According to recent reports, 17,000 dwellings have been destroyed in Israel’s military operation in Gaza

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THE UNITED NATIONS, August 22. /ITAR-TASS/. As many as 469 children have been killed in the current armed conflict in Gaza and another 3,000 - injured, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) reported on Thursday.

Over the past two days the standoff between the Israeli army and Palestinian militants has claimed the lives of at least nine minors, the fund said.

The top UNICEF field officer in Gaza reported that at least nine more Palestinian children have been killed there in the last 48 hours, bringing the total to 469 since early July, saying that there is not a single family in the tiny enclave that has not been touched by the current violence.

“The impact is has truly been vast, both at a very physical level, in terms of casualties, injuries, the infrastructure that’s been damaged, but also importantly, emotionally and psychologically in terms of the destabilizing impact that not knowing, not truly feeling like there is anywhere safe place to go in Gaza,” Pernilla Ironside, Chief of the UNICEF Gaza field office said.

UNICEF has 50 psychologists and counsellors in Gaza reaching out to children directly impacted by loss. They have reached 3,000, but the needs are “staggering” as parents are also in a state of trauma, Ms. Ironside said, noting that today 373,000 Palestinian children need “immediate psycho-social first aid.”

According to recent reports, 17,000 dwellings have been destroyed in Israel’s military operation in Gaza. The UNICEF official said their restoration could take 18 years. In addition, a long time is required for the restoration of civilian infrastructure facilities. The buildings of 219 schools were damaged and 22 schools were completely destroyed by Israeli air strikes and artillery shelling, UNICEF said.

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