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Save the Children warns fresh violence may destroy last vestiges of resilience  

Feelings of depression, hyperactivity, a preference for being alone, and aggression were reported by 95 percent of children in Gaza, new research released by Save the Children has shown.

The combination of these symptoms in unison is consistent with deep psychological distress, with more than 96 percent of their caregivers also saying they recognized all four groups of symptoms in their sons, daughters or grandchildren.

The survey, involving 150 caregivers and 150 children living in Gaza, was conducted before the recent wave of protests in which more than 100 people – including 14 children – were killed in six weeks by Israeli forces.

Findings revealed that children of Gaza were already showing worrying signs of distress including nightmares, which were experienced by 63 percent, as well as difficulties sleeping, reported by 68 percent.



For children, the threat of conflict, the fear of bombs, and the constant insecurity caused by the unstable political situation were the biggest source of stress, with 60 percent of caregivers saying it was taking a toll. Additionally, aircraft sounds were cited as the single biggest source of fear in 78 percent of children.

Boys and girls regularly said that they were “scared” or left feeling “unsafe” by the prospect of war or “bombs being thrown” at them and their families. This led some to fear sleeping at night to “protect them from having bad dreams”.

“I have many horrible nightmares, and a constant feeling of fear that I may be targeted with a bomb or shelled, or injured or killed,” said Samar*, a 15-year-old girl from Gaza who has lived through three wars, remembers nothing but life under blockade and who recently attended the March of Return protests.



“This feeling has gripped me and many other children as well. There are many children who have been psychologically damaged by their fear – they are terrified and this has greatly affected their behavior.” 

Save the Children is deeply concerned that the increasing violence children are experiencing and the growing sense of uncertainty will push their resilience to breaking point.

“When I was at the March and saw people injured I was very upset,” said Samar.“I would cry when I saw innocent children who committed no crime get injured and I cried when I saw dead children. It was heartbreaking and painful. I am still sad – they were just children and I have seen them (injured) – it is a really painful feeling.” 

Despite the huge pressures many children were facing, the research found that most were exhibiting signs of resilience. More than 80 percent said they could speak to family and friends about their problems and 90 percent said they felt supported by their parents.

“Much of children’s security was related to a sense of stability that their families were able to offer, with more than 80 percent of the 150 children interviewed saying they did not feel safe being away from their parents,” said Dr. Marcia Brophy, a Senior Mental Health Advisor for Save the Children in the Middle East.



“However, recent weeks have seen thousands suffer through the injury or death of a father, mother or a relative. Such a loss of family security in an already insecure environment risks pushing children to the brink of a mental health crisis and poses a significant threat to children’s fragile coping mechanisms. This places them athigh risk of toxic stress, the most dangerous form of stress response caused by a strong or prolonged exposure to adversity.” 

Fresh protests are expected to continue until 5thJune, the commemoration of forced displacement that occurred after the 1967 war. More than 1,000 children, and at least 11,000 adults, have already been injured by Israeli forces since the protests began.

“It is too soon to understand the full impact the recent violence has had on children, some of whom have lost a parent or loved one, or had to become carers for those injured in the protests,” said Dr. Brophy. “What we do know is that the break down of family security is one of the key triggers for mental health issues among children in conflict. A whole generation of children in Gaza is balancing on a knife edge where one more shock could have devastating life-long consequences.” 

The last ten years have seen families face a host of difficulties and uncertainties in Gaza. The Israeli blockade, as well as three conflicts, has put enormous strain on the economy and key services.

Almost 90 percent of the 150 caregivers interviewed said that the blockade has had a significant impact on their and their children’s daily lives. Widespread electricity shortages – that have left most families with just a few hours of power every day – were cited as the single biggest negative factor, impacting 60 percent of children.

Children often expressed feeling “angry” when the electricity was cut or said they felt anxious, alone and like “there was no one with them” during the night when the lights were off. Caregivers meanwhile were most concerned by the deteriorating economic situation, with nearly half saying it was their biggest source of stress of fear.

In the last 15 years, the poverty rate has risen from 30 to more than 50 percent while unemployment is up from 35 to 43 percent and now stands at 60 percent among youth. Less than 20 years ago, 96 percent of people had clean drinking water, now 93 percent don’t. Medical and food supplies are also scarce and expensive while permits to leave Gaza for medical treatment are increasingly hard to get.




“Many children in Gaza have known nothing but blockade, war and a growing cycle of deprivation. Their stress and anxiety compounds with every day that they continue to live in uncertainty. And, on top of this, many have been injured or witnessed violence,” said Jennifer Moorehead, Save the Children’s Country Director for the occupied Palestinian territory. 

“They are trying to recover in an extremely challenging situation where there are not enough hospital beds or medicines to treat children properly, where there is no electricity for most of the day and where they are increasingly seeing their parents struggling to make ends meet. 

“The children of Gaza are resilient but they must urgently receive more support to overcome their traumatic experiences. The international community needs to step up its assistance and introduce more mental health and psycho-social support into schools, extra curricular activities and homes.Only by doing this immediate step, as well as focusing on ending the blockade and finding a durable and just solution, will children have a more hopeful future.

6 students killed, 15 schools damaged in Israeli attacks on Gaza

The Ministry of Education in Gaza has announced that 6 school students were killed and 15 schools were damaged in the latest Israeli aggression on Gaza.

The ministry said in a press statement that the martyrs are: Ismail Abdulal, Mohammed Atyya, Amir Ayyad, Muhannad al-Sawarka, Muath al-Sawarka and Wasim al-Sawarka.

It added that 15 schools were partially damaged by nearby airstrikes in different Gaza Strip areas.

The ministry pointed out that hundreds of school students have suffered from panic and trauma as a result of the shelling that targeted homes and civilians.

It called for international human rights organizations to assume their responsibilities toward the Palestinian civilians in Gaza and for holding the Israeli occupation leaders responsible before international courts for their crimes against humanity.

Read more at
https://english.palinfo.com/41943
@Copyright The Palestinian Information Center

Moaz Amarneh challenges Israel with one eye: “I will continue to expose you”

معاذ عمارنة

The scene was hard, everyone ran to the right and to the left in search of a savior, a smell of smoke covered the place, their eyes fixed in the sky, tongues murmuring calls to pray for the Lord of the the universe breaks the anxiety .. To save the offer .. To send periods to the weak …



Then, those who document these moments with the eyes of a press reporter in the country of grandparents go to all the agencies of the world to say the picture, the snapshot and the word that Palestine suffers. Gaza suffers .. His left eye in sacrifice for the homeland .. A sacrifice for His Majesty .. Documentation and expression of the sound of the camera that inhabited his goal (!)



The beginning was to wear Moaz Amarneh (35 years old), his bag in the middle of large gatherings that asked to end the Zionist occupation and the restoration of the Holy Land, did not realize that his eyes, which documented these incendiary events , would be the last moment to see the light of resistance. Even with a goal (!)

In a majestic scene, Maaz wore his camera, which was only documented that day, as the last snapshot to be seen and watched closely before these brutal bullets came from an Israeli soldier.



The band of memories comes back “banned” lightly on the bed of a hospital, where he described his injuries between the mean and critical times, recalling last Friday, who had witnessed the outbreak of some demonstrations rejecting the Zionist aggression in the Surif city, Hebron.

We contacted the Palestinian photographer whose portrait became an overnight icon, voiced by many stars of art and sport and the world over the total rejection of aggression and violence against the son of Palestine, including Cristiano Ronaldo, the Juventus striker who posted his photo a few hours ago. A cloud on his left eye, an expression of solidarity with Muath.

Clashes with the Israeli army came to an end immediately after Friday prayers, “said Moaz, who, for lack of vision completely after that moment, felt nothing but a pain accompanied by a heavy blood also documented by the crimes and violations of the occupation forces. ”



Muath continues to speak
The Israeli army tried to prevent my fellow journalists from transporting me to the hospital or the nearest ambulance, “she said. This can result in heavy bleeding which, in turn, moves to the right eye as soon as it is uprooted.
Moaz’s voice laughs and ends his speech: I will continue to film to expose your violations, and I will not stop telling the truth;

For eight years, the residents of the northern occupied West Bank village of Kafr Qaddum have protested every single Friday, rain or shine, against Israeli land confiscations and the closure of the village’s southern road by Israeli forces.

The villagers have faced their fair share of bullets, tear gas, injuries, and even death. But nothing could have prepared them for what happened on Friday, July 12, when Israeli snipers set their sights on 10-year-old Abdul Rahman Shteiwi.

It was a normal summer Friday in the village. Following the conclusion of the afternoon prayers, residents gathered in the sweltering heat and began their march, as they always did, from the town center towards the nearby Israeli settlement of Kedumim.

They carried posters and Palestinian flags, and chanted slogans demanding that the village’s road be opened.

Abdul Rahman Shteiwi, 10, was shot in the head by Israeli forces in Kafr Qaddum on Friday, July 12, 2019. (Photo courtesy of Murad Shteiwi)

“Our protests are always non-violent. We are armed only with signs and flags,” Murad Shteiwi, head of the popular resistance committee in Kafr Qaddum told Mondoweiss.

“At most, sometimes the young men throw stones in response to the soldiers, but that’s it. Never more than that.”

It wasn’t long, Shteiwi said, before the demonstration divulged into more violent confrontations, with Israeli forces firing tear gas, rubber bullets, and sound bombs into the crowd.

“But this Friday, they were using live ammunition, and they weren’t just firing it in the air. They were firing it at the people,” he told Mondoweiss, adding that there were Israeli snipers targeting people.

All of a sudden, the villagers saw Abdul Rahman fall to the ground, blood spilling from his head. “He wasn’t even at the front of the clashes, there were tons of other young men in front of him. But they aimed at the child on purpose and shot him,” Shteiwi recounted.

After driving Abdul Rahman to the nearest hospital 20 kilometers away, Nablus’ Rafidia Surgical Hospital, he was rushed into surgery, where doctors spent three hours trying to control the bleeding and stabilize him.

Doctors told the boy’s family that he was shot with an expanding live bullet that exploded into more than 100 fragments after it lodged in his head, wreaking havoc on his brain and causing severe damage to three major blood vessels.

“The doctors told us that by the way he was shot, and the kind of bullet he was shot with, it is clear that the soldiers’ intention was to kill. Abdul Rahman was not supposed to live,” Shteiwi told Mondoweiss.

Middle East Eye quoted an Israeli army spokeswoman as saying that soldiers “used riot dispersal means” in the town, when questioned about the shooting of Abdul Rahman.

According to the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), whose activists were present on Friday’s protest, Israeli forces denied the use of live ammunition.

However, the group said in a statement that its activists “found a 5.56 bullet case on the ground where protesters had been standing some 15 minutes before. The case was hot to the touch suggesting it had been fired that afternoon. Dozens more bullet cases were also found by villagers following the protest.”

Shteiwi insists that the shooting was intentional. “The sniper was professional, he knew what he was doing. This could not have been an accident, or just crowd control as they say,” he told Mondoweiss.

‘Indescribable feeling’

Since his surgery, Abdul Rahman was transferred to the Tel HaShomer hospital in Tel Aviv, where he has remained in a coma. His father has remained by his side and has been giving updates to the town on his son’s condition.

Shteiwi, a relative of the family, says that the entire village has been in mourning since Friday, with shops shuttering their doors, and others canceling their weddings.

“Everyone is distraught,” Shteiwi said, adding that Abdul Rahman’s mother had just undergone open heart surgery two weeks before her son was shot. “Just since Friday, we have had to take her to the hospital three times because her health keeps deteriorating,” he said.

Murad Shteiwi is a Kafr Qaddum native, and the northern West Bank coordinator of the popular resistance committee.(Photo courtesy of Murad Shteiwi)

Shteiwi told Mondoweiss that he could not begin to describe the pain of Abdul Rahman’s parents, even though it is one he himself knows well.

“My own son was shot in the leg during protests once,” he said. “The pain of watching your son get shot in front of you, it is indescribable.”

A history of violent suppression

Ever since the villagers of Kafr Qaddum began their weekly marches in 2011, they have been met with violent suppression by Israeli forces.

In the first three years, between 2011-2014, Shteiwi says two residents were disabled for life after being badly injured by Israeli forces.

One man was shot in the mouth with a tear gas canister, fracturing the bones in his face and jaw to the point where he has been unable to speak since. Another, Shteiwi says, was shot in his eyes with a rubber bullet, blinding him.

In 2014, the village was shook when a 75-year-old man participating in the demonstration suffocated and died from tear gas inhalation. He was the first “martyr” from the village.

Before 2014, Shteiwi says that soldiers used rubber bullets and tear gas against protesters. But from 2014-2016, they began employing the widespread use of .22 caliber bullets, or “tutu bullets.”

The Israeli army had long classified .22 caliber rifles as crowd control weapons, but in 2001, they were banned by the Israel military advocate general as a means for crowd dispersal due to the fact that, while small, they can be lethal.

Shteiwi estimates that more than 85 people from Kafr Qaddum were injured with “tutu bullets” between 2014-2016, a large part of them children under the age of 18.

Child hit by teargas canister is taken away at Kafr Qaddum

“After we put so much pressure on the Israelis through the media and the international community, after 2016 they stopped using the tutu bullets as much,” Shteiwi said.

But at the beginning of this year, the villagers noticed the soldiers’ method of “crowd control” take a deadly turn.

“They have started to use live bullets a lot more. Just in january, they shot five guys with live bullets. One kid was shot in the neck and was in critical condition,” Shteiwi said.

In general, he said, soldiers have been shooting live ammunition into the air above the crowds. But on Friday, they were aiming directly at the people.

Why are children at the protests?

Over the years, Shteiwi has been interviewed by countless foreign journalists in regards to the protests in Kafr Qaddum.

One of the most common questions he is asked, when the injury of a child is involved, is “why was the child participating in such activities” that are known to get violent?

Expressing his frustration over such questions, which he says play into the hands of the Israeli occupation, Shteiwi told Mondoweiss: “When people ask why kids are participating, its because they are protesting what they see, what they experience every day under occupation. They feel that they are in a jail, and don’t have basic rights to live. They see that every day, so why wouldn’t they protest?”

“Our message to the international community, is when things like this happen, don’t ask why kids are in the protests, and blame us for what happens to our kids,” he continued.

“Ask instead, what are the circumstances that are forcing children to go protest in the first place? That  is where you will find your answer.”

Israeli warplanes targeted a home in Eastern Gaza killing a pregnant woman and her child.
The Gaza Health Ministry have confirmed the death of, 1 year old, Seba Arar and her pregnant mother Falasteen Arar (37 years old) after Israeli warplanes targeted their home in Eastern Gaza Strip, two sisters were also critically injured in the attack.




In the past 24 hours, Israel has injured upwards of 100 Palestinians and killed 7, in the besieged Gaza Strip.

BELOW ARE THE NAMES OF THOSE MARTYRED:

1. Seba Abu Arar (1 year 2 months old)

2. Falasteen Arar (37 yrs old and pregnant)

3. Raed Abu Tair (19 yrs old)

4. Emad Nasser (22 yrs old)

5. Alaa Al-Boubali (29 yrs old)

6. Ramzi Abdo (31 yrs old)

7. Abdullah Abu Malouh (33 yrs old)




The armed wings of Hamas and Islamic Jihad have responded with the firing of 300 rockets into Israel, no Israelis have been killed.

Israel has used drones, artillery, warships, warplanes, tanks and helicopter strikes against Gaza. The strikes are ongoing and every section of Gaza has been struck, including notably homes and a university, critically injuring scores.

The situation is ongoing.

UNRWA’s closure plan in Jerusalem .. How do refugees hurt?

The girl woke up early in the morning, got up from her bed to wear her planned school uniform in white and green, and wrapped her hair in a ponytail on her back and went to her UNRWA school in the Bab al-Magharba neighborhood of Silwan, south of the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

organized with her colleagues in the morning queue and then proceeded to reveal her fears of the recent decision of the Israeli mayor Nir Barakat to close all UNRWA schools in Jerusalem at the end of the current academic year.


UNRWA’s closure plan in Jerusalem .. How do refugees hurt?

She looked coherent when she knew about herself and said she was currently studying in seventh grade and joined this school in the first grade. But the hushja soon appeared in her voice when she talked about her feelings about the school. “Here is my home and my second family, It is our right to learn in the place we have chosen. ”

“I have learned to read and write and do not belong anywhere else,” Nur said. “The option to attend a municipal school was available, but my parents, as well as my school enrollment, are affiliated with the agency, and I will try to stay there. “sHe said.

UNRWA schools




The three students, together with 50 other students in this school, are studying from the first to the ninth grades and are now threatened with closure, as well as six UNRWA schools in the occupied city, with some 1,800 students studying.

According to the statement issued by the municipality of the occupation, Barakat plans to build municipal schools to accommodate these students, especially those who are educated in UNRWA schools in the Shuafat refugee camp, claiming that it is the only camp in the West Bank that is within the municipal jurisdiction.

There are three UNRWA schools in the camp, two for females and one for males, with a total of 850 students.

We left the Maghrabi neighborhood school in Silwan and went to the UNRWA clinic near Bab al-Sahera in the Old City of Jerusalem. The mayor’s plan is aimed at all the agency’s institutions in the city, and aims to liquidate it and stop its work.

We met with Halima Za’atara (70 years old) with the identity of the West Bank. She was forced to cross military checkpoints to receive free treatment at the Agency’s clinic.

“If I shut down this medical facility, thousands of Palestinians will depend on it for disaster,” Halima said. “I brought my children from a very young age to treatment here and receive vaccinations.

 

Israel to close UNRWA schools in Jerusalem to end refugee ‘lie’

Israel to close UNRWA schools in Jerusalem to end refugee ‘lie’

Israeli Mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat, yesterday announced that he plans to remove the United Nations’ agency for Palestinian refugees from occupied East Jerusalem, accusing it of “operating illegally and promoting incitement against Israel”.

Following the announcement, the Jerusalem Municipality confirmed that UN schools, which serve about 1,800 students, would be closed by the end of the current school year.

The municipality did not provide a specific time schedule for the closures.

Barkat said in a statement that schools, clinics, and sports centres, among other services operated by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in East Jerusalem, will be transferred to the Israeli occupation authorities.



He claimed that bodies were “illegal” and “operate without an Israeli licence”.

The decision, he added, was triggered by the US’ announcement that it had ended all funding to the UN body.

He said that “The US decision has created a rare opportunity to replace UNRWA’s services with services of the Jerusalem Municipality. We are putting an end to the lie of the ‘Palestinian refugee problem’ and the attempts at creating a false sovereignty within a sovereignty.”

Barkat added that the decision was in coordination with the Israeli government.

 

Report us to end all funding for UNRWA

Report: US to end all funding for UNRWA


The Trump administration has decided to “end funding altogether” for the United Nations’ agency for Palestinian refugees, according to a report by Foreign Policy.

Citing “several sources”, Foreign Policy said “the decision was made at a meeting earlier this month between President Donald Trump’s advisor and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.”

“The administration has informed key regional governments in recent weeks of its plan,” the report added.



The purported move comes hot on the heels of an earlier decision to scale backUS financial support for the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).

Prior to the Trump administration’s cuts, the US had been providing UNRWA some $350 million a year, more than a quarter of the agency’s $1.2 billion annual budget.

A State Department spokesperson declined to comment to Foreign Policyon the meeting but said that “US policy regarding UNRWA has been under frequent evaluation and internal discussion”.

Classmates mourn boy shot dead by Israeli troops in Gaza border

Classmates mourn boy shot dead by Israeli troops in Gaza border

KHAN YOUNIS, Gaza Strip

The school friends of Nassir al-Mosabeh sat tearfully in their classroom in Khan Younis on Sunday and mourned their 12-year-old friend who was killed in a protest on the Gaza-Israel border.

Gaza health officials said Israeli soldiers on Friday shot dead seven Palestinians, who were among thousands who thronged to the fortified border as part of weekly protests launched six months ago. Mosabeh was one of those killed.

“I cried for him like I have never cried before. I do not know what the (Israeli) occupation saw in him to kill him? What did he do to them? Did he kill anybody? I do not know what happened,” Mosabeh’s friend, Dia’ Abu Khater said.

Mosabeh’s classmates in the school in the southern Gaza Strip decorated his chair with his picture ringed by red and white flowers and green leaves, the Palestinian colors.

Mosabeh was always at the border to assist medics in the Friday protests, his sister, Eslam, said.

A classmate of 12-year-old Palestinian boy Nassir al-Mosabeh, who was killed during a protest at the Israel-Gaza border fence, reacts in a classroom at a school, in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip September 30, 2018. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa

 




“Nassir always came with us. Everyone in the field hospital knows him and he always helped us. Nassir was our right hand, he would always bring us equipment whenever we needed something. May God bless his soul,” she said.

Israel said it held Islamist group Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, responsible for the violence.

“Hamas continues to orchestrate belligerent activity throughout the Gaza Strip, cynically using Gazan civilians and endangering children by sending them to the security fence as a cover for terror activity,” the Israeli military said in a statement that summarized Friday’s events.

Israel said troops resorted to live fire and an air strike after explosive devices and rocks were thrown at them and to prevent breaches of the border fence. It posted a video clip showing a controlled detonation of many explosive devices.

Gaza health officials said 505 people were wounded on Friday, 89 of them by gunshots.

Two million Palestinians, mainly stateless descendants of people who left what is now Israel 70 years ago, live in the Gaza Strip, which has been controlled by Hamas for more than a decade, during which it has fought three wars against Israel.

Israel and Egypt say the blockade is necessary for security reasons. The World Bank says it has reduced the territory’s economy to a state of collapse, with residents suffering a lack of clean water, electricity and health care.



Slideshow (3 Images)

At least 191 Palestinians have been killed since the Gaza protests began on March 30. The protesters are demanding the right of return to lands that Palestinian families fled or were driven from on Israel’s founding in 1948, and the easing of an Israeli-Egyptian economic blockade.

Reporting by Abed Shanaa; Writing by Ori Lewis; Editing by Peter Graff

Organizing a trip for the children of Gaza

In the Gaza Strip, where Israel is fighting a war against Hamas, the various Israeli clashes and raids have led to the death of many children.

Attacks often target public places that often turn into shelters for civilians, such as schools, hospitals, etc. Beyond the lives lost, tens of thousands of children are injured and some will remain handicapped for life.



Flashbacks, nightmares, agoraphobia: the damage of the war does not spare children

Israel’s occupation of Palestine has a daily impact on children’s lives. The Palestinian Authority is highly dependent on international aid, financial resources are scarce and public services are not up to par.

The consequences of poverty on the lives of children are many: their training is often incomplete because they leave school very early, especially to work and provide for their families.

In Palestine, the infant mortality rate is seven times higher than that of Israel. Indeed, 30% of Palestinian children die before the age of five. The causes of this high infant mortality are varied: anemia, nutritional deficiencies or severe chronic malnutrition.

There are reports that families were stranded by the Israeli army when they wanted to go to a hospital to care for their sick children. Sometimes, if the care is too long, the outcome can be fatal. During the conflict, many hospitals and clinics were also destroyed, depriving children of their right to health.


Organizing a trip for the children of Gaza

SOS gaza children  team decided to take a leisure trip for a number of children

In order to alleviate the psychological suffering of children in Gaza

We do not know yet how much we can make a happy child on this trip, but we hope you will help us make these children spend a special trip



Your generosity gives the children a smile

With  your donation  we will be able to organize a school trip