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Friday, Oct. 31, 2014

How children are bearing the brunt of the attacks in Gaza

Compiled by Amy McDonald, Deseret News National Edition

Published: Sat, July 26 7:30 a.m. MDT

 A girl holds a candle and a poster with a picture of an injured Palestinian child during a protest in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Friday July 25, 2014. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Friday that more work was needed to reach a deal between Israel and Hamas for a seven-day truce in the Gaza war. Israel's defense minister warned that the military may soon broaden its ground operation \

A girl holds a candle and a poster with a picture of an injured Palestinian child during a protest in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Friday July 25, 2014. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Friday that more work was needed to reach a deal between Israel and Hamas for a seven-day truce in the Gaza war. Israel's defense minister warned that the military may soon broaden its ground operation "significantly." (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

(Nasser Nasser, AP)

Full of horrific details and graphic photos, stories of the most recent Hamas-Israel war have been flooding the news media since the most recent violence began on July 15. The conflict's death toll has reached 836, including 800 Palestinian deaths and 36 Israeli deaths, according to the New York Times as of July 25. And among those affected, the most vulnerable are children.

a'In this besieged strip of land, close to two million people live so densely packed that any strike — be it from the air, the sea or on land — will kill someone more than the intended target. And that someone too often is a child," Mashable's Jon Snow writes.

Of those who have been killed, UNICEF reports that at least 192 are children. Plus, more than 1,780 families' homes have been destroyed and tens of thousands of Palestinians are displaced, UNICEF reports. And more than 80 schools in Gaza are damaged from the conflict.

And for children who are not injured or killed? The psychological damage done reaches all 72,000 children living in Gaza who, Save the Children reports, will be in "desperate need of counselling and support after losing close family members, suffering injuries and seeing their homes destroyed."

U.N. official Jens Laerke told a news briefing in Geneva Tuesday, "There is literally no safe place for civilians."

Because of this, the humanitarian crisis is growing out of the conflict is great. As more than 1.2 million people who live in Gaza have limited access to water and power, and supplies of fuel and food are short, Laerke said. Plus, Mashable's Snow reported that hospitals in Gaza City suffer "a chronic shortage of pain relief."

Nonprofit organizations have operations in Gaza and Israel that aim to help war victims, especially children, to recover and cope with the atrocities they face among the violence.

Doctors Without Borders has sent additional staff and resources into a Gaza City hospital and have a clinic in the city as well.

Muslim Aid is on the ground in Gaza and provides health care, emergency response and long-term support for food security and education. Currently, Muslim Aid has partners in Gaza to "procure urgently needed ambulances, medical equipment, blood units, life detector devices and a fire brigade to respond to the crisis," according to the website.

Save the Children is one of the largest nonprofits in the West Bank and Gaza, and the organization has ongoing programs that offer training and schooling to help beneficiaries get employed. It also has programs helping children cope with the psychosocial stress of living in conflict. Save the children also has a program targeting early childhood education for children in Nazareth.

amcdonald@deseretnews.com

Twitter | @amymcdonald89

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1. aceroinox
Farmington, UT,
July 26, 2014

As tragic as this is, one would think Hamas would stop its attacks on Israel. This isn't rocket science. It's a very simple solution: once they stop, the war is over. If you want to peel back more layers of that onion, Google "Dennis Prager middle east problem". He gives an accurate and comprehensive overview of the situation, but it still boils down to Hamas stopping its attacks and thereby ending the war.

2. CA. reader
Rocklin, CA,
July 26, 2014

Where is the article about the effect of the rocket attacks on Israeli children?

3. Screwdriver
Casa Grande, AZ,
July 26, 2014

Israel's right wing is ridiculously blood thirsty. Any serious look into the problem shows that Israel is not the innocent party they claim to be.

Poor, poor Israel....

4. wrz
Phoenix, AZ,
July 27, 2014

@aceroinox:
"As tragic as this is, one would think Hamas would stop its attacks on Israel."

Hamas' stated goal is to do away with Israel. It's been that way almost ever since Israel was formed as a nation.

@Screwdriver:
"Israel's right wing is ridiculously blood thirsty. Any serious look into the problem shows that Israel is not the innocent party they claim to be."

Please spell it out for us... how Israel is not innocent. Inquiring minds wanna know. I think Hamas fired (rockets) first in the current conflict.

5. JWB
Kaysville, UT,
July 27, 2014

As a great person said, "We will only have peace with the Arabs when they love their children more than they hate us.” The fighting within that area, from the crescent to Egypt has been one big war area for thousands of years. This includes all people and wives and children.

We want peace but it does require a defense posture to have peace. Peace does not come without sacrifice of a nation. Israel knows that more than most nations and people.

We are fortunate to have peace in our nation with very few attacks over the years on our sovereignty. However, wars of political words have become commonplace and attending sports events and movies are still more important than being involved in politics or even a freedom of voting. We come to believe that land developers are our politicians and speak for us.

Our freedoms come with a price and not just from money. After july 24th, we should appreciate what the Pioneers sacrificed for us as with the founding people in 1500 to 1800 and later did for us. This is a special place in the USA.