The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) estimated the number of children separated from their families in the Gaza Strip at more than 17,000, and called for a ceasefire, stressing that "almost all of Gaza's one million children" need psychological support.
UNICEF said that its estimates indicate that at least 17,000 children in Gaza have become unaccompanied or separated from their families, about four months after the start of the war.
Jonathan Krekes, the organization's spokesman in the Palestinian territories, said: "This number represents 1% of the total number of displaced people (1.7 million people)," and stressed: "Everyone has a heartbreaking story of loss and grief."
Crikes stressed in a press conference in Geneva via video communication technology from Jerusalem that identifying the children is “extremely difficult,” because sometimes they are taken to the hospital injured or in a state of shock and “they simply cannot even say their names.”
Krekes explained that usually during conflicts, relatives take care of children who find themselves without their families, but the population in Gaza currently lacks food, water and shelter. He added: "These families face difficulty in meeting the needs of their children and members."
Children have nothing to do with this conflict," Crix noted. "Yet they suffer in a way that no child should ever suffer."
He added: "No child should ever be exposed to the level of violence we saw on October 7 - or the level of violence we have seen since."