People take part in a vigil

People take part in a vigil organized by Medical Aid for Palestinians at Parliament Square, central London to mourn the children killed in Gaza on October 24, 2023.

(Photo: Jordan Pettitt/PA Images via Getty Images)

'Cease-Fire Now': Britons Hold Vigil for 2,300+ Children Killed in Gaza by Israeli Airstrikes

Parents in Gaza have begun writing their children's names on their hands and legs so they can be identified by medical providers.

Mourners at a vigil outside British Parliament on Tuesday wrote on their hands the names of some of the more than 2,300 Palestinian children killed in Israel's bombardment so far, following reports that parents in Gaza have taken to labeling their children's hands and legs so that medical workers will be able to identify them if they become the next victims of a bombing.

"We received some cases where the parents wrote the names of their children on the legs and abdomen," Dr. Abdul Rahman Al Masri, who heads the emergency department at Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital, toldCNN on Monday. "Anything could happen... They feel they are targeted at any moment."

The people gathered at the vigil in Parliament Square in London, organized by Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP), called for "an immediate cease-fire to stop the loss of thousands more young lives."

"Today we mourn the at least 2,000 children that have been killed since Israel's bombardment and siege of Gaza began. A further 5,000 children have been injured and 800 children are missing, believed to be dead under the rubble," said Melanie Ward, CEO of MAP.

One mourner wrote the name of 13-year-old Bayan Shabat, who was one of seven children killed in an airstrike on her home in Beit Hanoun on October 8.

A supervisor at Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital said the writing on children's hands and legs is "a new phenomenon that just started in Gaza."

"Many of the children are missing, many get here with their skulls broken," the supervisor toldCNN, "and it's impossible to identify them, only though that writing do they get identified."

CNN reported that the hospital is one of many where supplies are running perilously low. Doctors are being forced to operate on some children "without the correct dose of narcotics, without the correct dose of morphine," Leo Cans, head of mission in Jerusalem for Médecins Sans Frontières, told the outlet.

"Time is running out for the 1 million children of Gaza who are living an unspeakable nightmare," Ward said. "Their basic needs such as food and water are rapidly running out, and many have been forced to flee their homes as Israel's bombardment and siege continues. Indiscriminate bombing must stop, a cease-fire must be secured, and sufficient aid, including fuel, must be allowed in. World leaders have a responsibility to end these horrors and protect Gaza's children."

The vigil was held a day after Conservative U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak rejected calls from members of the House of Commons for a cease-fire, echoing U.S. officials who have claimed this week that such a demand from Western countries would benefit Hamas.

Laura Rozen of Al-Monitor reported Tuesday that "something of a gap" has emerged between American and European officials at the United Nations Security Council, with France's foreign minister "calling for a humanitarian pause that would ultimately lead to cease-fire" after previously joining the U.S. in supporting Israel's onslaught.

European leaders are debating the question of a cease-fire call this week, Bloomberg's Maria Tadeo reported, as demands for a humanitarian pause grow within the European Union—which the U.K. left in 2020.

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