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Palestinian child killed by unexploded Israeli ordnance in Gaza

Oct. 22, 2014 7:44 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 24, 2014 11:10 A.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- A Palestinian child died on Wednesday after he touched an unexploded Israeli ordnance left over from the most recent offensive over the summer, causing it to explode.

Ministry of Health spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra said that 4-year-old Muhammad Sami Abu Jrad from the northern Gaza city of Beit Hanoun was killed after he came into contact with the ordnance.

Muhammad was severely injured when the ordnance exploded as a result of contact, and passed away after beign transferred to al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City.

Muhammad is at least the 10th person to be killed by unexploded Israeli ordnance, including six in August and three in September.

Watch groups have warned that the ordnance can be a particular threat to children, who often think the bombs are toys.

The Gaza Strip is currently littered with a large number of unexploded Israeli ordnance, a constant reminder of the more than 50-day Israeli offensive that left more than 2,150 dead, 11,200 injured, and more than 110,000 homeless.

Although Gaza police explosives teams have been working across the territory to destroy unexploded ordnance and prevent safety threats to locals, lack of proper equipment due to the seven-year Israeli siege as well as lack of resources more generally have hindered efforts.

Even before the most frequent Israeli assault, unexploded ordnance from the 2008-9 and 2012 offensives was a major threat to Gazans.

A 2012 report published by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights said that 111 civilians, 64 of whom were children, were casualties to unexploded ordnance between 2009 and 2012, reaching an average of four every month in 2012.
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