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38 Children Murdered, 42 Taken Hostage, 116 Orphaned

The National Council for the Child submitted to the President data on the effects of the October 7 massacre and the Swords of Iron War on children and adolescents in Israel, as part of the “Children in Israel 2023” yearbook.

A total of 19,407 children have suffered physical and mental injuries in hostilities since the outbreak of the war, 37% of them under the age of six. According to the Council, 38 children were murdered in the massacre; three between the ages of birth and three, and four between the ages of 3 and 6.

Twenty children have been orphaned from both parents and 96 children from one parent. The document also indicates that 42 children were taken hostage in the Gaza Strip and two children are still being held captive by Hamas – Kfir (1) and Ariel (4) Bibas. The parents of 15 of the abducted children are also still being held captive by Hamas.

Further, a national survey found that 84% of parents reported that their children are suffering from emotional distress; 64% reported fear; 62% reported anxiety. A full 43% of parents reported that their children suffer from panic from sudden noises at a higher level in comparison to routine times, 36% reported that their children had a greater level of separation anxiety, and 34% reported that their children had difficulty falling asleep.

In addition, in October-December, there was a 28% increase in calls to the 118 hotline for violence and sexual assault, compared to the same period in 2022. From October to December, thirteen investigation files were opened against adults for criminal offenses against minors in hotels. Twelve of the cases were opened for violent offenses, and one was opened for sexual offenses. (INN / VFI News)

“God, we ask that You protect all your children and take special care of the ones who suffer daily because of the war. We pray for their physical and emotional healing, as well as for protection from any type of abuse. Unfortunately, in times of crisis, offenders exploit the vulnerable on a bigger scale. We pray that You prevent such awful cases of violence, that You bring back the two children still held by Hamas, and that You console the families of the children who were murdered by the terrorists. We offer our sincerest condolences to all of these families and we humbly pray that all children will grow to know Your Love and that their innocence will be restored.”

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