GENEVA, October 31. /TASS/. The Gaza Strip has become a graveyard of children, with the number of dead minors in the Palestinian enclave to date exceeding 3,400, UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) spokesman James Elder told a news briefing in Geneva.
"Gaza has become a graveyard of children," he said. According to the latest figures from the Gaza Health Ministry, more than 3,450 children have died in the enclave, Elder said. He reiterated his call for an immediate ceasefire and the opening of all crossings to allow humanitarian aid to flow uninterrupted. "If we had a ceasefire for 72 hours, this would mean a thousand children would be safe again for this time," Elder said.
He noted that threats to children's lives "go beyond the bombs and mortars." Infant mortality from dehydration is "a growing threat" in the enclave, as Gaza's water production is 5% of what is needed. This is due to the fact that most desalination plants are idle due to damage or fuel shortages.
Earlier, the Al Jazeera TV channel, citing the Ministry of Health of the enclave, reported that the number of deaths as a result of the worsening of Middle East conflict in the Gaza Strip increased to 8,525.
Tensions flared up again in the Middle East on October 7 when militants from the radical Palestinian group Hamas staged a surprise attack on Israeli territory from the Gaza Strip. Hamas described its operation as a response to the aggressive actions of Israeli authorities against the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City. Israel has declared a total blockade of the Gaza Strip and carried out air strikes on the Palestinian enclave, as well as some areas of Lebanon and Syria. Clashes are also underway in the West Bank.
On October 30, Israel Defense Forces spokesman Daniel Hagari announced the "expansion of the scale" of the ground military operation in Gaza.