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We need all hostages released and a ceasefire now, with over 5,800 children in Gaza now killed

22nd November 2023

Following the news that 50 Israeli hostages will be released by armed Palestinian groups, and in response to the news that over 5,800 children have now been killed in Gaza, Rose Caldwell, chief executive of Plan International UK, says:

“We welcome the long-awaited news that 50 Israeli hostages will be released by armed Palestinian groups, including children and women. No words can describe the trauma a young hostage endures, separated from family, friends, and home, and denied the support and care every child needs.

“We continue to call for the immediate release of all hostages, as well as the release of the approximately 150 children currently reported as held under Israeli military detention. No child should ever have to go through this.

“The shocking news yesterday that over 5,800 children have been killed in Gaza is deeply upsetting. It’s devastating that far more children have been killed in Gaza over the last 46 days than the number of children killed globally in conflicts last year. There is never any justification for the killing of children, yet 5,840 have now died in Gaza – a shocking one child every ten minutes, 127 every single day. 

“Many more children are injured, and 1,500 children are missing, most likely buried under rubble. So far 14,128 people in total have died in Gaza since the escalation in violence. 1.7 million people have been displaced, with the majority sheltering in desperate and dangerously overcrowded conditions.

“While the proposed humanitarian pause should lead to a reduction in violence over the coming days, we continue to demand a full and immediate ceasefire in Gaza, as well as end to violence on the Lebanon-Israel border and in the West Bank. For children especially, it would mean an end to death and injury, and the daily nightmare of conflict that causes so much trauma. Without a full ceasefire we risk further violence and further deaths of innocent people, including children.

“We have a narrow window in which to act and, unless we do, many more children will die from dehydration, starvation, and a lack of medical care. A ceasefire is critical to allow access to life saving humanitarian aid and much needed emotional care. 

“We must not let the children of Gaza return to this horrendous cycle of violence.  It is more critical than ever that the UK Government and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak do the right thing by calling for a ceasefire now.”

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