The Palestinian death toll from Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip rose to 49 after a 9-year-old Palestinian girl succumbed to injuries she sustained during the attacks on Thursday morning.
Lian Al-Shaer suffered serious head injuries after being hit by an Israeli shrapnel in the Gaza Strip.
Lian underwent a medical surgery on her head before being moved to Al-Makassed Hospital in Occupied Jerusalem, where she was pronounced dead.
Israel has launched a three-day aggression on the Gaza Strip starting last Friday evening, leaving 49 Palestinian citizens killed, and 360 others wounded, in addition to vast material damage.
17 Palestinian children and four women were among the reported victims.
Defense for Children International (DCIP) reported that 36 Palestinian children have been killed in 2022, including 20 Palestinian children shot and killed by Israeli occupation forces in the occupied West Bank.
Between August 5-7, the Israeli military launched an offensive on the Gaza Strip which resulted in the killing of 16 Palestinian children, according to documentation collected by DCIP.
Under international law, intentional lethal force is only justified in circumstances where a direct threat to life or serious injury is present. However, investigations and evidence collected by DCIP regularly suggest that the IOF uses lethal force against Palestinian children in circumstances that may amount to extrajudicial or wilful killings.
UN chief says killing of Palestinian children ‘unconscionable’
The United Nations rights chief Michelle Bachelet issued a statement on Thursday expressing “alarm” at the large numbers of Palestinians – particularly children – who have been killed and injured by Israeli forces in occupied Palestinian territory so far this year.
Almost 40 Palestinian children have been killed so far this year in the occupied territories and in many incidents, Israeli forces appear to use lethal force in a manner that violates international human rights law, Bachelet said in the statement.
“Inflicting hurt on any child during the course of conflict is deeply disturbing, and the killing and maiming of so many children this year is unconscionable,” Bachelet added.
Nineteen Palestinian children were killed in occupied Palestinian territory in the last week alone, bringing the death toll of children since the start of the year to 37, according to the statement.
Seventeen of the children were killed during last weekend’s attacks on Gaza by Israeli forces, and two more children were killed on Tuesday in Israeli operations in the occupied West Bank.
The toll of civilian casualties in the Israeli attack on Gaza “was heavy”, the UN rights chief said.
“International humanitarian law is clear. Launching an attack which may be expected to incidentally kill or injure civilians, or damage civilian objects, in disproportionate manner to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated, is prohibited. Such attacks must stop,” Bachelet said.
For its part, Global Rights Watch (GRW) condemns the Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip and demands an international intervention to put an end to the ongoing Israeli crimes against Palestinians and to provide an international protection to the Palestinian children.