Children paying highest price in Gaza Israel conflict

Save the Children is calling for an immediate end to the conflict in Gaza and Israel as the number of child casualties mounts.

Monday 19 November 2012

Families in Gaza who are used to living in very difficult conditions are now running out of food and water.

Hospitals are running out of supplies and more than 1.7 million people – half of whom are children – have been trapped in their houses for days, with power cuts lasting up to 18 hours a day.

In Israel, rocket attacks have forced children into shelters and led to the closure of schools across the south of the country.

Save the Children has launched an emergency response to the escalating violence.

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As soon as it is safe to do so, our teams will distribute food parcels, water and shelter materials to families, and vital medicines to hospitals, the aid agency said.

It will also set up child spaces with specially trained staff and counsellors to help children cope with their experiences and support basic education to re-start.

Fear is unbelievable

Alex Schein, Save the Children’s Country Director said: “The escalation of violence on top of an already fragile situation is extremely dangerous for children.

"They are being deeply affected by what they have experienced, and many could need specialist care and support.

“The fear among adults is unbelievable so you can imagine what it’s like for children.”

Trapped at home for days

“It is a dangerous and terrifying time for children,” said Osama Damo, one of the Save the Children’s team in Gaza.

“Most families have been trapped at home for four days, unable to leave to find basic supplies. With so many children already malnourished and suffering from anaemia; the impact on children’s health is potentially devastating.

“There is no clean water so children are going to have to start drinking the polluted tap water soon which is going to cause more severe health problems. When they fall ill their parents can’t take them to hospital.”

Photo: REUTERS/Suhaib Salem