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Gaza’s Children Are Also Being Psychologically Destroyed

March 15, 2024 (EIRNS)—The Save the Children charity has just published a devastating report documenting the terrible toll that Israel’s five months of genocidal warfare against the people of Gaza has taken on Palestinian children, 13,000 of whom have been killed and tens of thousands more wounded. Entitled, “Trapped and Scarred, the Compounding Mental Harm Inflicted on Palestinian Children in Gaza,” the report exposes how “five months of violence, displacement, starvation, and disease on top of nearly 17 years of a blockade have caused relentless mental harm to children in Gaza.”

Jason Lee, Save the Children’s country director for the occupied Palestinian territory, explained in a statement that children in Gaza “were already living with unimaginable distress following 16 years of blockade and successive escalations in violence.” It is unacceptable, he continued, “that any child should contend with the horrors that those in Gaza have lived through. While dodging bombs and bullets, fleeing through streets littered with debris and corpses, being forced to sleep in the open air, and going without the basic food and clean water they need to survive, children in Gaza are going through a period of mass-scale shock and grief.”

Parents and caregivers who spoke with Save the Children said that children’s capacity to even imagine a future without war has virtually disappeared. One mother of four said she “wouldn’t even say their mental health had been deteriorated—it’s been obliterated, complete psychological destruction.” A father reported that “children here have seen everything … we can’t pretend to them anymore. Now they understand and have seen everything. Now, my son can even tell what types of explosives are falling—he can hear the difference.”

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