Gaza bombardment will cause years-long suffering for children: NGO

Years of suffering ahead for Palestinian children in Gaza, says Save the Children
1 min read
22 May, 2021
Round-the-clock bombing has compounded Palestinian children's trauma, Save the Children said.
Palestinian children have grown up amid bombardment and a crushing blockade [Getty]

Eleven days of non-stop bombardment in the Gaza Strip has compounded existing trauma in Palestinian children, paving the way for years of suffering if adequate treatment is not provided, Save the Children said on Friday.

At least 65 children were killed in Israeli airstrikes and shelling of the densely populated enclave this month.

Gaza's overwhelmingly young population - nearly half are aged under 14 - has been exposed to a crippling blockade, sporadic attacks, and four all-out military campaigns since 2008.

Previous research by Save the Children has shown the traumatising effects of Israeli bombing on children in the Gaza Strip.

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A majority of children had nightmares and were wetting the bed a year after the 2014 assault on the enclave, and as many as 89% of parents said their children were consistently afraid.

Three years later, a quarter of children in Gaza - 290,000 - were found to need continuous psychosocial support.

A majority of caretakers reported at that time that children were terrified of aircraft and bombing sounds and feared the threat of war and death. A majority of children reported feeling scared to be alone.

The 2019 report also found high levels of stress, sleep deprivation, depression, grief and speech problems among children.