Sabine Dolan

UNICEF speaks to memory of boys killed in Gaza

The killing of three young brothers in Gaza City yesterday has shocked the Palestinian community across the political divide and exposed, once again, the plight of children living in the volatile region. “I am shocked by the tragic event,” stated UNICEF’s Special Representative in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Dan Rohrmann. “This is another event highlighting the serious deterioration of the humanitarian situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory - and with tragic consequences for civilians, including children.” Masked gunmen shot at a car carrying the three boys, between the ages of four and nine, on their way to school. No one has claimed responsibility for the killings. 

Renewed violence in Gaza raises serious concerns for children's safety

Renewed violence in Gaza is again raising serious concerns about the welfare of civilians, including children. Now in its sixth day, the armed conflict has claimed the lives of an estimated 50 Palestinians - half of them civilians, and 8 of them children. “The situation in northern Gaza, and in particular in Beit Hanoun, is very serious and is getting worse,” says UNICEF Representative in the Occupied Palestinian Territory Dan Rohrmann. “We have seen an extraordinary number of children being killed just in the last five days. There are tanks everywhere, shelling, house demolitions and there is fighting in the streets. People are getting quite desperate.” 

Crisis worsens Gaza's already severe water shortage

The water point in the southern Gaza town of Joret al Lout is the only place to get drinkable water for the more than 10,000 people who live there. Half of those in the poor and densely populated community are children. Many can be seen at the water point, filling bottles and jerry cans. Children like Mahmoud Abdullah, 13, help as best they can with the severe shortage of safe water. “We are filling water bottles because we have no drinkable water at home, and if water is available it is salty,” says Mahmoud. People in Joret al Lout have not had drinkable running water in their homes since 28 June, when the region’s only power plant was bombed. 

Palestinian children hit hardest in ongoing Gaza crisis

Two young girls were killed early this evening in Jabalia in northeast Gaza and a three-year old girl, Sabrine, was killed in Al Shujayieh, a densely populated area in east Gaza. These latest casualties bring the total number of children who have died in Gaza since the hostilities began on 28 June 2006 to 33. Some 100 children have also been injured. “Children of all ages are afraid.” says UNICEF oPt Communication Officer Monica Awad. “They have nightmares. Parents in Gaza tell us that children won’t let go of their mothers. They are afraid to get out of the houses.” 

Safe-play havens for Palestinian children living in conflict zones

Nestled in the golden hills surrounding Nablus in the West Bank, the little town of Till is home to 3,000 people. Like many population centres in this conflict-prone area, children’s access to safe-play and recreational facilities has been virtually non-existent…until recently. Just a few months ago, UNICEF helped create Till’s first-ever safe-play area for children. “For me, there’s a big difference between before the playground was built and after,” says nine-year-old Majdi Ramadan, a 4th grade student who lives in Till with his family. “I used to play in the streets, but we were always interrupted when people walked by. It was dangerous, too, with all the cars; one of my friends got hurt. Now I’m no longer afraid of the cars, I can just play.”