A United Nations committee appeals for “massive psychosocial support” for children traumatized by violence in Gaza, the West Bank and Israel, and said it would review Israel’s treatment of children later this year.
Children and women make up the bulk of the nearly 28,000 people killed during the offensive, according to the authorities in Gaza. That figure cannot be independently verified and includes some 10,000 Hamas terrorists Israel says it has killed in battle. Israel also says it killed some 1,000 gunmen inside Israel on October 7.
Hamas’s October 7 rampage into Israel killed about 1,200 people and saw another 253 taken hostage.
“The rights of children living under the state of Israel’s effective control are being gravely violated at a level that has rarely been seen in recent history,” said Ann Skelton, chair of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.
“We call for massive psychosocial support for children and families to relieve the traumatic and long-lasting impact of war, including Israeli children who were victims of, or witnesses to, the [October 7] attacks and those whose family members have been taken hostage,” she tells a news conference.
The Israeli diplomatic mission in Geneva says it will issue a statement on the UN committee’s comments shortly.
UNICEF said last week that nearly all children in Gaza were thought to require mental health support.
Skelton says Israel had postponed its participation in a planned dialogue on child issues and that it was now scheduled to take place in September.
“The committee deeply regrets that it did not have the opportunity to review Israel when time is of the essence,” she says.