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Killers of Gaza children must be brought to justice: Rights group

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A Palestinian boy plays in the rubble of houses destroyed during the 50-day Israeli assault on Gaza in the summer of 2014, in the village of Khuza’a, east of Khan Yunis, in the southern Gaza Strip on July 7, 2015. (AFP)

An International children’s rights group says justice has not yet been served for over 500 Palestinian children killed during Israel’s war on the besieged Gaza Strip last year.

According to a report released by the Switzerland-based NGO Defense for Children International group (DCIP) on Tuesday, not a single perpetrator has yet been held accountable for any of the tragic killings. 

“Despite well-documented evidence of war crimes committed by the Israeli military during the assault on Gaza last summer, there has been no justice and accountability for grave violations against Palestinian children,” the group said.

The report said of 547 Palestinian children who had died during the onslaught, 535 of them had been killed as a direct result of Israeli attacks, adding that the death toll was independently confirmed by the group and that nearly 68 percent of the children had been 12 years old or younger.

It also maintained that 164 of these children had been killed by Israeli drone strikes during the offensive.

“Systemic impunity has enabled Israel to continue its oppressive policies in Gaza where children undoubtedly remain targets. The status quo is not sustainable. Without accountability, Palestinian children will continue to endure the worst of future Israeli military offensives and unending military occupation,” Khaled Quzmar, DCIP’s general director was quoted as saying in the report.

Palestinian children play next to the remains of their house on June 22, 2015 in Gaza City that was destroyed during 50-day Israeli assault on Gaza in the summer of 2014. (AFP)

Meanwhile, the Palestinian ambassador to the United Nations says the damage is still impacting the lives of people residing in the besieged Strip.

“During this somber time, we remember the thousands of Palestinian victims of Israel’s wars and crimes and reaffirm that the sole way to halt the immense suffering of the Palestinian people is by ending the nearly half century, illegal Israeli occupation and fulfilling the long-overdue inalienable rights of the Palestinian people," Riyad Mansour said on Wednesday.

The Israeli regime started military strikes on the blockaded Palestinian territory in early July 2014 and later escalated its attacks with a ground invasion. The war ended in late August that year.

Nearly 2,200 Palestinians lost their lives and some 11,000 were injured in the Israeli assaults. Gaza’s health officials say the fatalities included nearly 260 women, adding that more than 3,100 children were also injured.

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