At least 41 children killed in West Bank since start of Gaza conflict, human rights group says

Dozens of children have been killed in the West Bank since the start of the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza nearly a month ago, the U.K.-based human rights group Save the Children said Saturday.

While most of the world focuses on the increasing violence in the Gaza Strip, where thousands have been reported dead, more than 140 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank also have been killed — including at least 41 children — the organization said.

“Children across the occupied Palestinian territory are increasingly caught up in a horrifying spiral of violence, while the world is watching. But the conflict`s devastating impact on children did not start on October 7,” said Jason Lee, Save the Children’s country director for the occupied Palestinian territory.

On Sept. 17, weeks before the devastating attack on Israel that killed more than 1,400 people, Save the Children reported on the death of 38 Palestinian children in the occupied West Bank in 2023,

“Violence and displacement have been ongoing for years, with children paying the highest price for a conflict they have no part in,” Lee said Saturday. “By September this was already the deadliest year on record for children in the West Bank, and we’re nearing the same number in less than a month.”

Violence related to Israeli settlers in the West Bank and Settler-related violence and forced displacement of Palestinians have also soared in the past four weeks.

An average of seven such incidents have been recorded daily since Oct. 7 — compared to three incidents per day in 2023 before Oct. 7, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said on Wednesday. The UN office called the incidents “the other mass displacement.”

At least 111 families in the West Bank — including 356 children — have been displaced since the escalation of violence in Gaza earlier this month.

“Time and time again, children are shot at, locked up, harassed,” Lee said. “This has to stop.”