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Children scarred by Gaza violence as entire families lost
Published Monday 21/07/2014 (updated) 06/08/2014 12:27
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Paramedics carry a child into a hospital in Rafah, southern
Gaza, following an Israeli airstrike.(AFP/Said Khatib)

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Children are suffering from the devastating consequences of escalating Israeli violence in the Gaza Strip, with entire families lost in single airstrikes and severe physical injuries likely to require long-term medical treatment.

UNICEF estimates that 121 children have been killed since Israel's assault began on July 8, with the death toll in Gaza now standing at over 500 Palestinians.

In the past 24 hours, 28 children were killed - among them 20 in Gaza City's besieged Shujaiyeh neighborhood alone.

Over 80 of those killed are 12 or younger. An estimated one-third of all civilian casualties are children, UNICEF says.

"This is the highest number (of child deaths) since Operation Cast Lead. It is a huge toll, and rising, and more worryingly, 76 children were killed in the past three days," Ivan Karakashian, from Defense for Children International - Palestine Section, told Ma'an.

On July 16, four children aged nine to 11, were killed by Israeli military shelling while playing on a beach in Gaza City, one of the territory's few open and free spaces accessible for children and adults alike.

Days later, three children aged seven to 10 were killed while feeding ducks on the roof of their Gaza City home.

On Monday, five members of the al-Yaziji family, nine members of the al-Qassas family, 11 members of the Siyam family at least 26 members of the Abu Jami family were killed in Israeli airstrikes.

"There is no safe place for children at this moment, no safe havens to escape to. Israel says it is carrying out targeted operations, precision strikes, but it is very difficult to see that when you look at the mounting casualties of women and children," Karakashian says.

With over half of Gaza's population under 18, children have the highest likelihood of being killed by Israeli military attacks.

Karakashian says nearly all children in Gaza are in a state of "shock and horror," barely able to process the psychological trauma they have witnessed.

"One day children have a large family and the next day they are orphans. The practical implications of this will affect them forever. Children grow up in a environment where they realize they have no security in their own homes. Even their bedrooms are not safe anymore."

A wounded boy receives treatment at al-Shifa hospital, in
Gaza City, on July 18, 2014.(AFP/Mohammed Abed)

'Never seen it this bad'

Monica Awad, a spokeswoman for UNICEF, told Ma'an that 72,000 children are in need of immediate psycho-social support, but the five teams available in Gaza are facing severe restrictions on movement amid the threat of being targeted by Israel's military.

Over 904 children have been injured since Israel's military operation began. Shrapnel wounds, severe burns, and the loss of limbs account for a high rate of critical injuries which will require long-term attention and severely impact the victims' future quality of life.

Awad says that children are also suffering severe psycho-social distress and are afraid, angry, crying and constantly clinging to their parents.

Maintaining a secure family life has become an impossible task, with 2,200 family homes destroyed or damaged and 100,000 people displaced and seeking refuge in UNRWA facilities.

Adults are also overwhelmed by trying in vain to protect their loved ones.

Over 1.2 million people are not getting access to water due to damaged pipes and insufficient electricity, Awad says, and children are at the highest risk of water borne diseases.

Children who have been orphaned face a horrific process of dealing with their loss as the shock of war gradually wears off, with most having to rely on humanitarian assistance for future survival.

"It's clear from the insane amount of children killed over the past three days that children are bearing the brunt of Israel's offensive," Karakashian, the DCI official, says.

"To be honest, we have never seen it this bad for children."
1 ) Mel / USA
21/07/2014 20:42
O my Lord!!Dear children!Our arms are around you,our songs & lullabies are LOUDER& stronger than Israel's Drones,F16,Tank missiles. You children will prevail when racist,bigotted,pedocidal Zionism collapses in on itself! We are with you PALESTINE,never give up,never give in & RISE above the stink of Zionism.
Israel!You are COWARDS,ON A PAR WITH NAZI's! Your Zionist brutality will be yours,& Israel's,downfall.You stand alone in your criminal shame.You are NEGATED by your barbarity&hatred!

2 ) David / USA
21/07/2014 21:22
This is terrible tragedy brought upon the people of Gaza by their ELECTED GOVERNMENT. The people of Gaza should be going after every member oh Hamas with pitchforks and axes. Haniyeh, in his multi-million dollar estate on the beach, should be their primary target.

3 ) Alison / UK
21/07/2014 22:59
Words fail. We demonstrate against what is happening, write letters and emails to MPs, send aid to MAP and other NGOs, pray, but our wretched government stays silent and the criminal slaughter goes on. Every life is important. There is no relative value of one above another based on age, sex, religion or race but children are totally innocent. What does all this death, injury, suffering and devastation produce? PEACE, RECONCILIATION??? What a joke!

4 ) Jo?o / Brazil
21/07/2014 23:28
None of this death and destruction would be happening if did not Hamas intentionally place its tunnels in population centers or fire rockets from their midst. Nor would it happen did Hamas desire peace instead of building tunnels intended for staging kidnapping and murder among Jewish communities near Gaza. If you want a culprit, look to Hamas!

5 ) @ Mel-1 & Alison-3 / USA too
21/07/2014 23:42
The whole world should cry for Palestinian children's suffering, and The whole world should also CURSE HAMAS for causing it all, and As David-2 writes, "the people of Gaza should be going after every member oh Hamas with pitchforks and axes", for causing it all !!

6 ) Tom / US
22/07/2014 01:35
The world can see Israel for the monster it is!

7 ) Tatiana Peace / Slovakia
22/07/2014 02:04
Israel has been created by terror in 1947-48,when the members of Hagana, Irgun,Stern& Lech-jewish terrorist organizations have massacred DEIR YASSIN village in order to start forced expulsion of Palestinians from their houses and bombing of the KING DAVID HOTEL in Jerusalem, where these jewish gangs massacred British, Palestinians - Christian&Muslims and Jews as well. From these terrorist organizations they have created the israeli occupation army (IDF),which continues in ethnic cleansing today

8 ) Mick Breen / Ireland
22/07/2014 02:57
Hamas is the democratically elected government of Gaza & their efforts to protect their people pose very little threat to israel....israel are intent on committing genocide on the people of Gaza, it is obvious that there is no wish on the israelis part to share Palestine with the Palestinians....Gaza is essentially a concentration camp, 'slow genocide' was the israeli plan....this is all happening in Palestine which should belong to Palestinians....they are the only victims, 66yrs of brutality!

9 ) Faris / USA
22/07/2014 07:59
It is genocide Palestinians are suffering they don't want to Share the land the want to kill every last Palestinian to get it this is not humanity this monstrosity I hope the worlds governments notices what monsters they're helping now and to stop it

10 ) Randi / NJ
22/07/2014 08:14
i have one question for everybody? we were all born after they got a country out of persecution. in our collective lifetime (except for Mick) why is it that no one world leader ever got off his ass and taught the Israelis' anything sensible before 06? US funds the IDF teaches no skills I's are selfish and could care less about P's lives...and on and on. What?

11 ) Children? look at the real / statistical distribution of
22/07/2014 09:08
death in gaza https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10203731522505059&set=p.10203731522505059&type=1 most dead are 18-28!! and ALL MALES if it was children then half of them would be girls!!!!

12 ) Nad / UK
22/07/2014 10:19
Those who believe that this is the fault of Hamas for building tunnels, which by the way is their only lifeline, and that it is the Hamas who does not want peace are obviously barbaric zionist lovers. It is the zionist entity that does not want peace as it is occupying Palestinian land and they want to take over the whole of middleeast. It will never happen as the zionist as the world will hopefully wake up to these savage barbarians.

13 ) Nad from / UK
22/07/2014 14:51
Israel vacated thousands of Jews frrom Gaza and left it to HAMAS to turn it into Singapore They took the money to buy rockets and build death tunnels you are ill informed

14 ) Mel / USA
22/07/2014 15:03
One solid fact that GLEAMS thru'the dust,smoke,flames of Zionism's 80YRS destruction&war crimes,is that Palestinians KNOW THEIR UNITED ROOTS.Those roots are rock-solid,as steadfast as indigenous Olive Trees.Palestine's pluralistic,collective identity,culture & AWESOME determination is UNBREAKABLE!As much as Zionist Israel tries to smash Palestinian/Gazan rights,dignity,freedoms or murder spouses,children&erase their lives,Palestinians STILL STAND tall,ready to rebuild®roup vs. all the ODDS!:)

15 ) Mel / USA
22/07/2014 15:12
Cont:Scarred or not,& as much as Zionism/Israel tries to separate Palestinians, cast them OUT into the desert/diaspora or kill them; for sure,Palestinian fisherman,farmers,crafts/tradesmen,women,children with dignity,strenght,humility,faith,courage &determination to ride the Zionist-Nazi-imposed tsunami...are STAYING for good! Nothing,excuses Israel's Zionist evil,vicious cruelty,barbarity.And the denials we hear from Israel are the same as those uttered at Nuremburg by those bas***ds too!!!!

16 ) Outlier / USA
22/07/2014 17:50
Hamas is responsible for any scarring, as its escalation of missile firings started the conflict. The Palestinian people deserve better.

17 ) Richard / France
22/07/2014 18:17
Should disable comments on this site for a while since it's full of Zionist trolls from the IDF propaganda wing.

18 ) Mel / USA
22/07/2014 18:32
Imagine my fellow Americans,in Oregon perhaps?
Your Pacific coast occupied by Israeli-Zionist WAR SHIPS.US kids can't swim/play in the sea?U can't take sailing boats OUTmore than 1-3 miles B4 they're missiled?North Or.occupied by tanks,F16s,Apache Helo missiles,apartheid checkpoints?East/South Or.blocked by electric/barbed-wire fences & military SNIPERS shooting your kids&grandparents.SKIES o'er Oregon,filled with screeching F16's-buzzing Drones&Helo MISSILES FALLING,because you're NOT Jews???

19 ) Gypsy / Romania
22/07/2014 23:09
Sickened by ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, just like Bosnia. Need to go roaming for a day or so to feel better, but will come back. Glad IDF trolls having fun, makes me feel better, won't miss anything..Sick bas**rds.

23/07/2014 13:50
The CNN again serves as a loudspeaker for Pallywood. Like the El-Dura hoax, the 4 kids story is a fake. I watched CNN 4 times. There were many people on the beach taking pictures of the 4 kids - how did they get so quickly to the beach? Why were the kids not taken to hospital? CNN said the funeral was within an hour with so many people - how did they get there so quickly? Why was only one "victim" in a sewn shroud? Why was the "blood" the color of fresh blood, not blood exposed for over an hour?

21 ) Maureen / Australia
25/07/2014 03:10
#13 It is those same "thousands of (pretend) Jews" that are pushing the right-wing terrorist Israeli government to commit genocide/ethnic cleansing of ALL of Palestine!

22 ) kate / usa
25/07/2014 20:52
Let's set something straight: these children were injured and killed because Hamas used them as shields. The Israelis don't want to hurt them- never did. They ask for a cease fire every day. Hamas refuses. So don't put them in a bad light. Once again, they did not want to hurt the kids.

23 ) Oz / Israel
25/07/2014 22:49
I wish health good life and prosperity for all the children of Gaza!! please stop supporting Hamas and it's militants!!

24 ) Outlier / USA
26/07/2014 01:54
21., So? Israelis left Gaza. Now look at sad mess Gazans have made of the place. Every Gazan should be proud, because they and their government - through aggression against Israel, through support of Islamic radicals, through unwillingness to recognize Israel, etc. - have caused the disaster they are now experiencing. You cannot teach stupid.

25 ) carine / UK
26/07/2014 15:47
So many new names popping up amongst the usual suspects, spouting the most ludicrous lies - brainwashed and unable to think for themselves. Ah, some people will do anything for money... Kate #22 - open your eyes luv and see what's really going on. No use relying only on MSM for news. Expand your reading to include the internet and 100's of other sources - you'll be surprised how informative they are!!

26 ) Oz / Israel
27/07/2014 06:36
Carine #25: As a former Israeli infantry soldier I tell you that you'll don't know the truth about anything. In the internet and media you'll find alot of disinformation on both sides, I can tell you firsthand what's really going on. politics outside.. Live combat inside an urban areas is very complicated! Mistakes happen all the time even cross-fire between Israeli soldiers, we never hit civilian by intention! All the militant organizations spread among the population -->

27 ) Oz / Israel
27/07/2014 07:16
-> and takes control at private and public places such as: homes, schools, hospitals, and even mosques become a storages for weapons, ammunition, missiles, operations, radio equipmen etc'.. I'd seen it with my eyes! Believe it or not! I can continue on and on about all kinds of things I've seen. Hamas spreading through hatred and extreme sedition amongst the civilians, publicly: in kindergartens, schools, youth movements, media.. Etc'. They doing it officially and with pride! It's not a secret.

28 ) Oz / Israel
27/07/2014 07:42
-> Hamas using the support aid they getting from the: Arab-league, Iran, US and UN for development of weapons, training, and construct assault tunnels. Instead of giving aid for their own population! All for targeting Israeli citizens! When some of their leaders living in wealth abroad in 5 star hotels!! (Israel) on the other hand providing electricity, water and medical operations in Israeli hospitals! If you think I'm a layer.. Check it! If Fatah was in control maybe the siege be over,.. -->

29 ) Oz / Israel
27/07/2014 08:04
-> doesn't know why applying siege at all?! Answer: dozens of suicide terrorists sent to explode among civilians in restaurants, busses and nightclubs. just because we can defend ourselves properly it doesn't means that we want all of this! Hamas dragged all of us to it! I believe there's a solution, we just need to find it! As an Israeli I can tell everyone that no one here love war! I also believe the majority of Muslims also want peace. We must refuse listen to the extremes on both sides

30 ) Mel / USA
01/08/2014 22:40
#23&26-29:oz? Do you realize how you embarrass yourself by your ROBO mantra of sheer sociopathic twisted-empathy,Golda Meir-style. Come back when you have something TRUE to say,or go back &join the IOF & kill innocent children,again? Pick your 'great love' dude &take your false-sympathy back to your Straw Widow outpost of 67YRS ILLEGAL OCCUPATION. You fool!

31 ) Oz / ISRAEL
02/08/2014 23:11
Mel- What you are? KKK? converted to Islam? immigrant? easy to manipulate? Either way it doesn't matter! US recognize Hamas and others like them as terror organizations! You and ones like you are small minority that represents nothing in the US. For now.. most of the American PPL and GOV support IL! For all the good reasons! We have G2G alliance! most of us shares the same perspective on life! You and your bunch is no more of few weeds and bad seeds that CAN'T stain the US flag!! You imbecile!
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