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Parents For Palestine Plan Parliament Event

On Thursday 25 January, children and their parents and families in Te Whanganui-a-Tara will gather on Parliament lawns to stand in solidarity with children and their families who are living in the most dangerous place in the world right now.

UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell told the U.N. Security Council on 22 November that the Gaza Strip is the "most dangerous place in the world to be a child”. Since then, Israel has killed another 5,000 children. Bringing the total number of murdered children up to more than 10,000 in just over one hundred days.

From 12 Midday until 1pm, Wellington’s children and their families will come together to call for Aotearoa’s politicians to protect Palestine’s children and their families.

“I want Palestinian children to be safe and free to grow up and be happy” – Taitamaiti, 8, says. “We want to remember them because so many have died, or they don’t have their mums anymore because their mums were killed and their dads were too and their sisters and brothers”.

Tamaiti tāne, 11, says he will be going to the event because “no child should have to face what children in Palestine are facing. They have no safety. War should not target children. Adults need to stop killing children”.

Children will leave a soft toy or cuddly to represent the more than ten thousand Palestinian children who have been killed in the last hundred days in Gaza. One child is killed every ten minutes in Gaza.

According to Save the Children, more than 10 children on average have lost one or both of their legs every day in Gaza since October 7, with many amputations performed without anaesthesia.

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In a statement citing United Nations statistics, Save the Children’s director for the occupied Palestinian territory, Jason Lee, said the “suffering of children in this conflict is unimaginable and even more so because it is unnecessary and completely avoidable.”

“The killing and maiming of children is condemned as a grave violation against children, and perpetrators must be held to account,” he said.

The UN’s children’s agency has also warned of a triple threat to children in Gaza – not just the danger of raging conflict, but also of malnutrition and disease. Cases of diarrhoea in children under age five have increased about 2,000% compared to before the war, UNICEF said. And 90% of children under age two are now subject to “severe food poverty,” UNICEF has said – up from 80% just two weeks earlier.

This event has been organised by parents against Israel's genocide in Gaza with coordination and support from Justice For Palestine Aotearoa.

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