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Children are paying the heaviest price.

A humanitarian catastrophe is unfolding in Gaza, with unimaginable and unnecessary suffering. Children are being killed at a devastating rate, whole families are being wiped out.

Almost every child who has managed to survive the past four months of bombardment is now in the line of fire in Rafah. The majority of the displaced population - more than 1.3 million people (including over 610,000 children) are trapped in an area of just 62 sq km. They have nowhere safe to go.

Read more on the impact of forced displacement on children in Gaza.

For the children who survive the bombs and ground operations, many will die from famine, dehydration and disease if humanitarian aid continues to be weaponised. Many will also suffer from serious longer-term mental health impacts.

While we welcome the release of some Israeli children held hostage in Gaza, all remaining hostages must be released immediately and unconditionally. Similarly, more must be done to protect Palestinian children held in Israeli military detention.

If we don't act now, history will judge us all. We need a definitive ceasefire now.

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Read the latest news and stories from the occupied Palestinian territory.

A humanitarian catastrophehas unfoldedin Gaza, with unimaginable and
unnecessary suffering. More than 4,500 children have now been killed, which is more than the annual number
of children killed in all conflicts since 2019.This number is still rising. For those children who survive the
bombs and ground operations, many will die from disease, starvation, and dehydration if humanitarian aid
continues to be weaponized.

Our response.

The situation is evolving fast and the violence continues. Our teams and partners have been working around the clock to get vital supplies to families in Gaza - such as drinking water, food, hygiene products, mattresses, blankets, games and other recreational items.

In Egypt, we are supporting children and families being evacuated from Gaza for medical treatment.

We are also there for the families impacted by the increased violence in the West Bank with cash and assistive devices for children with disabilities and injuries following attacks by settlers and Israeli forces.

We will continue to respond in this way for as long as supplies and circumstances allow. However, immediate, unfettered and sustained access is urgently needed to enable the necessary full-scale response to the critical and rising needs faced by children and families. Time is costing lives.

We are calling for a definitive ceasefire now by all parties in the conflict. 

We are there for children.

Your support is urgently needed for these children and their families.

Photo: Mohammed Zaanoun / Middle East Images / Middle East Images via AFP.