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Children are paying the heaviest price of this war.

These past 7 months have been hell on earth for children in Gaza. They have lost homes, loved ones, the safety to which they have a right – and in many cases, their lives.

Children in Gaza are being killed by bombs and bullets at an unprecedented rate. They are dying from hunger and disease at the fastest pace on record. 

Almost every child who has managed to survive the past six months of war 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. 

Israeli forces have now issued orders demanding civilians in parts of Rafah to flee towards an Israeli-designated so-called "humanitarian zone" in Al-Mawasi, which is reportedly being expanded.

This area is not a humanitarian zone– it is unsafe, it does not have the infrastructure, or services needed to protect civilians. Families in Rafah 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.

More than 1 million children in Gaza are at imminent risk of famine. Families are struggling to find enough food and water, with children already dying because of malnutrition and disease. The situation has never been more desperate.

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.

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.

Gaza-Israel War Six Months On
How Save the Children is helping children and families in Gaza after six months of war.

Over the past six months, we’ve helped more than 377,400 people across the region, including more than 323,200 people in Gaza.

We have provided cash to families, distributed food, water and hygiene products, supported children with disabilities and injuries, provided psychosocial support for children and supported ambulances and hospitals to care for premature and newborn babies in Egypt.

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 this war.

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.