Nine out of ten children in the Gaza Strip suffer some form of conflict-related trauma after the Israeli military attack ended over a month ago.
In a new report, the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor documented the suffering of the two most vulnerable groups in the besieged Strip; women and children. The report, entitled One War Older, said that around 50% of the two million people in the Gaza Strip are children under 15 years, and 49% are female.
The organization indicated that During Operation “Guardian of the Walls” in the Gaza Strip, Israel carried out disproportionate attacks against densely populated residential neighborhoods with the majority (75%) being children and women.
In addition to the large numbers of deaths and injuries among children and women, Euro-Med Monitor said that 241 children lost one or both parents as a result of the bombing, about 5,400 children lost their homes (completely destroyed or severely damaged), and 42,000 children had their homes partially damaged.
The report comes after more than five weeks of field research by Euro-Med Monitor’s team, which documented hundreds of cases of direct targeting of civilian homes that contained large numbers of women and children in the Gaza Strip.
Seventy-two thousand children were internally displaced to UNRWA schools or relatives’ homes during the Israeli attack, while more than 4,000 children remain displaced today.
Mariam Dawwas, a field researcher at Euro-Med Monitor, said that she and the field team documented hundreds of cases of direct targeting of civilians in their homes in the unprecedented, large-scale and ferocious attack on the Gaza Strip.
Dawwas, who was displaced with her child after Israeli fighter jets targeted her apartment building, said:
“There is not much difference from the three previous military attacks on Gaza, except for one thing; Today I was among those whom I documented and photographed. I ran with them and screamed in search of my little daughter and left my home after an Israeli fighter jet targeted the building.”
“Today, my 3-year-old daughter Sophie and I are still trying to live normally while going through PTSD like the vast majority of Gaza residents” she added.
The report also indicated that nearly 2,500 pregnant women due to give birth in the next three months could suffer complications in childbirth, likely as a direct or indirect effect of the attack.
Sixty-six children were killed in the Israeli bombing of Gaza in 11 days, while at least 470 children and 310 women were injured.
Last May, the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor issued its first report on the Israeli military attack on Gaza, entitled “Inescapable Hell”, which documented cases of mass targeting families and infrastructure. A further report on the economic losses incurred by the besieged Strip as a result of the attack is due to be issued in the coming days.