Unicef’s putrified pity on world children obscuring cruelty on Palestinian’s
ONE would be very hard not to feel repulsive at the United Nations’ (UN) latest concerns contained in a report on children of the world.
It’s agency, the UN Children’s Fund (Unicef), expressed distress over the death of an estimated 7.1 million children and youth, or one in every 4.4 seconds in 2021, caused by healthcare inequality in Third-World countries.
“Everyday, far too many parents are facing the trauma of losing their children…Such widespread, preventable tragedy should never be accepted as inevitable. Progress is possible with stronger political will and targeted investment in equitable access to primary health care for every woman and child,” said Vidhya Ganesh, a director of Unicef.
In the same report, a World Health Organisation (WHO) official was quoted saying that “It is grossly unjust that a child’s chances of survival can be shaped just by their place of birth, and that there are such vast inequalities in their access to lifesaving health services. Children everywhere need strong primary healthcare systems that meet their needs and those of their families, so that no matter where they are born, they have the best start and hope for the future”.
“Grossly unjust…” and “equitable access…” could not have include Palestinian children though.
In the past 16 years, more than 940,000 Palestinian children within Gaza Strip’s apartheid blockage have been denied not only basic healthcare, food supply and education, but more importantly a safe environment and protection from the terrorist regime of Israel.
Just middle last month, the world organisation’s own Middle East envoy, Tor Wennesland, raised his utmost concern to the UN’s own Security Council of the high level of violence in the region in 2022, where “disturbing are the continued killings of Palestinians by Israeli security forces in incidents where they did not appear to present an imminent threat to life”.
Up until Dec 19, more than 150 Palestinians, including 44 children and youths, were murdered either by Israel security forces or illegal settlers last year.
Wennesland presented his findings to the UN Security Council as part of a quarterly report submission on his official role as UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process.
He is UN’s official envoy, and yet Unicef found it convenient to omit cruelty to children of the occupied territories of Palestine, including the close to a million children of the Gaza Strip, in their report on global child healthcare?
As a human being, how heartless would it be to aim a bullet at a child?
We have witnessed this with our own eyes.
On July 17, 2014, the world watched in horror as ABC News crew members recorded how four petrified Palestinian boys aged nine to eleven, brothers and cousins, who were playing football on the beach of Gaza, were murdered by Israeli forces.
Captured on video, the bombs were clearly aimed at these boys who were crying, desperate in their attempt to flee the barrage of missiles. Nine-year-old, eleven-year-old boys.
How heartless would it be to commit such murder, and how heartless were we to bear witness and then do nothing upon?
There was a brief round of condemnation, but one could not remember anything remotely to a whimper coming out of Unicef.
Just in June last year, a reputable NGO, Save the Children, released a disturbing finding that four out of five children in the Gaza Strip are living with depression, grief and fear under the apartheid blockade repeatedly ignored by the UN itself.
The report titled “Trapped” also found out that more than half of Gaza’s children have contemplated suicide and three out of five are self-harming. The children sampled are between the age of 12 and 17 years old.
If you’re a parent, imagine how you would react if your child, at 12 or 13 years of life, confiding in you on ending his or her life? Would not you be devastated, broken?
The only thing I could never imagine is how these Unicef officials sleep at night. — pic AFP
Asuki Abas is the editor at The Malaysian Reserve.
- This article first appeared in The Malaysian Reserve weekly print edition