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Gaza conflict causes large children deaths: UNICEF

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

GENEVA, Aug. 5 (Xinhua) -- The four-week Israeli military offensive into the Gaza strip caused some 400 Palestinian children killed and over 2,700 injured, said the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on Tuesday.

Pernille Ironside, Head of Field Office in Gaza with UNICEF, told a press briefing through telephone that the Israel’s military assault has inflicted “catastrophic and tragic” impact to children and their families in Gaza.

In addition to updating the casualties of Palestinian children, Ironside noted a “daunting” number of about 370,000 children in Gaza who have had direct traumatic experience and were in urgent need of immediate psychological and social support.

Ironside said that the nearly-one-month-old conflict made the already-hard-life in Gaza even worse, further restricting the extremely-limited schooling and impaired the weak infrastructure.

The U.N. official stressed the devastating impact of damaged infrastructures, especially the dis-functioning electricity which further aggravated the scarceness of water.

The lack of electricity led to decommission of water pumping stations and water wells and of sewage pumping stations and treatment plants, as it was introduced.

People accommodated in shelters have very limited amount of drinking water and there were insufficient water for hygiene, and things were worse in communities outside of shelters, with most people have no access to potable water.

The risk of outbreak of contagious disease loomed, as she has highlighted.

“This is an urgent concern that could lead potentially to diarrhea and the further death of children, particularly those who are under age of five,” Ironside warned.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/xinhua-news-agency/140805/gaza-conflict-causes-large-children-deaths-unicef