Violance in Gaza takes heavy toll on children caught in fighting

GAZZE (CIHAN)- The violence that had gripped Gaza is taking a heavy toll on children caught in fighting between Israel’s Defense Forces and Hamas.

At least 48 children have been killed in so far 35 of them were less than 13 year old. Another 521 were injured.

Half of the populations in Gaza are children. UNICEF reports that at least 57,900 of them are in need of immediate psycho-social support in Gaza due to the deep emotional impact that the current violence is having on children – those who are not sleeping or who are having nightmares, children who have stopped eating or talking, children who are bedwetting, and children who are exhibiting harrowing signs of mental distress.

Eight-year old Abdel Majed and several of his relatives sustained serious injuries when their house was leveled by an airstrike. He now lays in bed at al-Shifa hospital in Gaza. The Intensive Care Unit is so packed with patients that doctors have to treat some on the ground, or to send the injured back home early, including children, due to a lack of hospital beds.

To help children and parents cope with fear, anxiety and stress, five UNICEF-supported emergency psychosocial teams are visiting homes and hospitals. Operated by the Palestinian Centre for Democracy and Conflict Resolution, UNICEF’s partner since 2002, they provide psychosocial first aid to children who lost relatives, or whose home was damaged.

Since the onset of hostilities, the teams have already carried out 415 visits, reaching 448 children.
Eighty-four schools have sustained damage since the onset of hostilities, and 900,000 people are currently without water supply.

As of today (18 Jul ) United Nations relief and works agency (UNRWA) estimates that over 47, 000 displaced people in Gaza have taken refuge within 43 UNRWA’s facilities, mainly schools