Children in Gaza and Israel bear brunt of violence: UNICEF

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On 8 July 2014, a girl makes her way through the rubble at her home, which was destroyed during Israeli air strike, in the city of Khan Yunis, in the southern Gaza Strip. © UNICEF/NYHQ2014-0895/El Baba

Children are bearing the brunt of the worsening violence in Gaza and Israel and it's taking a toll on their young bodies and minds.

That's according to a statement issued by UNICEF Executive Director, Anthony Lake on Sunday, a day after the Security Council's call on Israeli and Palestinian leaders to protect civilians, exercise maximum restraint and resume direct talks.

At least 33 children in Gaza have been killed and hundreds more injured in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Children are lacking sleep and having nightmares, some have stopped eating while other are exhibiting harrowing signs of mental distress, UNICEF staff on the ground has reported.

Mr Lake warned that too often, children who witness such violence and come to view it as "normal", are likely to repeat it themselves in later life.

Meanwhile, the UN Secretary-General has expressed alarm at the worsening situation in and around the Gaza Strip despite the Council's clear demand for a ceasefire.

He called for "immediate" measures to end the fighting and prevent further civilian casualties and risks to regional peace and security.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration:  1’10″

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