Published: 09:59, June 16, 2024 | Updated: 13:00, June 16, 2024
UN agency: Over 600,000 children in Gaza denied education amid war
By Xinhua
A Palestinian child pushes another child sitting in a wheelbarrow along a narrow street past destroyed buildings in Khan Yunis, in the southern Gaza Strip on June 11, 2024, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Hamas militant group. (PHOTO / AFP))

GAZA / RAMALLAH - About 625,000 children have been denied an education in the Gaza Strip as schools have been forced to remain closed due to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, a UN body said on Saturday.

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East said in a statement on social media platform X that its crews continue to support Palestinian children through activities that help them return to learning, but this is not enough, stressing the necessity of a ceasefire now.

Also on Saturday, Israeli military spokesperson Avichay Adraee said in a statement that eight Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers were killed in fighting in the southern Gaza Strip

The war robbed the children in Gaza of their childhood, and the survivors are suffering from deep trauma, as their schools were destroyed and they lost an entire academic year without education or play, it added.

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Children are the first to suffer the most in conflicts and wars, pointing out that a very large number of them have been killed and others injured, and many of them will have scars for life, the statement said.

As of Friday, the Palestinian death toll from the ongoing conflict has risen to 37,296, with 85,197 others wounded, Hamas-run health authorities said in a press statement.

Also on Saturday, Israeli military spokesperson Avichay Adraee said in a statement that eight Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers were killed in fighting in the southern Gaza Strip.

In a separate statement, Adraee said the IDF forces are moving forward with defeating the military wing of Hamas and stripping its Rafah Brigade of its capabilities.

Palestinian inspect the scene where 21-year-old Qais Muhammad Zakarneh, and two others were killed during an Isreali military operation the day before in Qabatiyeh, near the city of Jenin, in the northern Israeli occupied West Bank on June 14, 2024. (PHOTO / AFP)

"The forces in the field daily kill many terrorists and destroy weapons, platforms, and rockets, thus preventing Hamas from returning to action against Israel as it was on Oct 7," Adraee added.

Since last Oct 7, Israel has been waging a large-scale war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip, which has led to massive casualties and destruction of homes and infrastructure after Hamas launched an unprecedented attack on southern Israel, which claimed the lives of about 1,200 Israelis.

West Bank

Meanwhile, a 16-year-old Palestinian boy was fatally shot by Israeli military gunfire east of Nablus in the northern West Bank, as reported by the Palestinian Ministry of Health on Saturday.

The teenager, identified as Sultan Abdel Rahman Khatatba from Beit Furik, east of Nablus, succumbed to his chest wounds, according to a ministry press release received by Xinhua.

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The Palestinian Red Crescent Society confirmed that its medical teams evacuated three individuals injured by live ammunition fired by Israeli forces.

They also alleged that Israeli forces "assaulted" an ambulance driver from the Beit Furik municipality and vandalized the vehicle.

The Israeli army has yet to comment on the incident.