They warn of serious psychological damage to children in Gaza


Ramallah, – Children in the Gaza Strip today face worrying psychological damage, beyond the high number of deaths and physical problems caused by the Israeli military campaign, an NGO warned today.

Defense for Children International in Palestine highlighted that the aggression against the coastal enclave, in addition to deaths and destruction, left psychological effects that cannot be erased without treatment.

The group said in a statement that it documented numerous cases of minors in trouble due to attacks from the neighboring nation.

He cited the case of Siwar, a nine-year-old girl, who lost her father and younger brother in an Israeli bombing of her home in the northern city of Gaza.

She remained alone on the ground in the hospital courtyard among the bodies of numerous people for hours, bleeding and unable to speak, the organization said.

The mother explained that she now suffers from nightmares and involuntary urination, and is afraid to go to the bathroom or sleep alone, she has become shy and introverted and does not trust herself.

The organization also told the case of Shadi, 14 years old, who was arrested by soldiers along with his father and older brother during their trips to Al-Shifa Hospital.

The soldiers beat them, forced them to strip completely naked, and forced their mother and sister to flee to the south of the Strip. Although they later released him, his relatives remain detained and he does not know anything about them, so he had to be taken in by an uncle, the institution indicated.

Now, the latter narrated, the young man wakes up suddenly every night and cannot go back to sleep, he has become aggressive and is depressed most of the time.

According to a recent UN Women report, a child is injured or killed every 10 minutes in Gaza as a result of the Israeli offensive.

Last week, Adele Khodr, regional director of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) for the Middle East and North Africa, denounced that the recent attack against the southern city of Rafah and other areas of the coastal enclave further worsened the suffering of hundreds of thousands of children.

“We cannot accept their fate as collateral victims of this conflict that they did not choose at all,” he warned.

It is imperative to silence the guns and respect the rights of the children in Gaza, victims of unimaginable atrocities, they deserve an immediate ceasefire and a chance to live in peace, he stated.

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