GAZA – Women and children under attack: we must bear witness to gross violations of the right to life

Image: Al Jazeera, 31 October 2023

by Marge Berer

In last week’s newsletter, I forgot to include a photograph from Gaza to accompany the report called “Unheard voices” (of women) published in the International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics. The photo above is now with that report on the Campaign newsletter archive web page.

I think it is crucial to share photographs of what is happening in the lives of Gazan women and their babies: giving birth with bombs falling around them, delivering prematurely perhaps with no help, having caesarean sections without pain relief, trying to care for newborns with little or nothing to eat for themselves and not enough breastmilk for the baby, newborn babies dying of starvation – in the midst of the destruction of hospitals, people’s housing or the tents they are living in, absence of clean water and medicines, during forced migration from one unsafe place to another, or trying to survive in the rubble from the relentless bombing.

More than 15,000 Gazan children have been killed since October 2023, many more have been maimed. This is partly because half the population of Gaza are children, but also because they are often in the direct line of Israeli gunfire, bombs or their aftermath. It was estimated by UNICEF in early February 2024 that 17,000 more children were alone, having lost all their family members or been separated from them because of the bombing. Nearly all of those children require mental health support, UNICEF says.

The majority of other Gazans who have been killed are women, all civilians. These are all crimes against humanity.

In addition to the photo and text about Shaimaa below, you can find many more photos that show this horrific maltreatment at UN OCHA:

Hospital corridor as refuge:

AlJazeera YouTube Video: I Gave Birth after Surviving an Israeli Airstrike.

A family trying to flee from air strikes in the city of Rafah. ©UNICEF/Eyad El Baba.

“I’ve seen kids write their names on their palms, because when they die they want people to know who they are.” Mahmoud Shalabi, Senior Programme Manager in Gaza, Medical Aid for Palestinians

SOURCES: Gaza children, 12 June 2024 ; Gaza children under attack, by UN OCHA, 12 June 2024