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GAZA: Extension of humanitarian pause still falls far short of providing safety and supplies children desperately need

Ramallah, 27 November – Even with the agreed two-day extension of the four-day pause in fighting children in Gaza won’t be safe until a lasting ceasefire is agreed. Every child held hostage must be released, emphasized Save the Children.

The fragile pause has enabled the release of 58 hostages from Gaza and 117 Palestinian women and children detained in Israeli prisons, including 87 minors.

During the pause, violence has continued, with seven Palestinians, including four children, killed by Israeli forces in the West Bank according to the UN, and Israeli forces opening fire and throwing teargas canisters at people attempting to use the pause to return to their homes in the north of Gaza, killing one person and injuring dozens.

Any limited pause cannot replace the lasting ceasefire necessary to provide desperately-needed supplies. Civilians in Gaza are still living in dire conditions. They lack access to food, water, medicines, and healthcare facilities. The flow of humanitarian aid to the north of Gaza, where over a million people have been displaced, has been restricted and intermittent even during the temporary pause.

Jason Lee, Country Director for Save the Children in the occupied Palestinian territory said:

“This two-day extension of the pause in fighting will come as a huge relief to people in Gaza. But the scale and scope of the crisis is so unprecedented that two days is not enough. People who have survived 50 days of relentless bombardment in Gaza are surrounded by destruction and left with nothing. Children are hungry, thirsty and at risk of disease. There are extremely long lines to get cooking gas, food and water. A few more days without fighting is not long enough for families to get what they need to survive. And when the fighting resumes, they will again face the violence that has led to those needs in the first place. Only a lasting ceasefire can deliver the scale of humanitarian aid required and stop the devastating increase in needs. Children in Gaza have a right to safety, a right to live.

We’re also concerned that at the same time that 117 Palestinian children and women have been released from Israeli military detention, at least 112 more Palestinians in the occupied West Bank have been newly detained, according to Palestinian authorities.

It is long past time to stop violations against children’s rights, to release all hostages, and to provide long-lasting safety to children in Gaza, the West Bank, and Israel. Anything else will fail to provide them with the future they deserve.”

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