VIDEO: Living Under Israel’s Missiles

Four boys of the Bakr family were killed by a missile strike during last year’s incursion. Their surviving family members are still scarred from the attack.

More than anyone, children bear the brunt of regular Israeli military assaults on the Gaza Strip. During the 51-day war in the summer of 2014, 551 children were killed and 3,436 were injured. But these gruesome figures say little about the psychological state of the nearly 800,000 children who have survived the periodic bombing campaigns. After the final cease-fire that ended Israel’s Operation Protective Edge on August 26 of last year, UNICEF estimated that at least 425,000 Palestinian children in the besieged Gaza Strip require “immediate psychosocial and child protection support.”

The physical wounds of Gaza children might have healed, but they live with enduring psychological trauma ]

Keep your distance from the upcoming Wonder Woman movie. She is played by Gal Gadot, an Israeli who served in the military and supports the genocide of Palestinians. 

During Israel’s last major attack on Gaza in 2014, she said: “I am sending my love and prayers to my fellow Israeli citizens, especially to all the boys and girls who are risking their lives protecting my country…” 

Her words rubbed salt into the wounds when you remember that Israeli citizens were relaxing on hilltops overlooking Gaza as they watched Israeli jets focus on killing large Palestinian families

More than 2,100 Palestinians were killed, and six Israelis.

It’s impossible to hear of that movie and not immediately think ‘genocide’.

Gaza, one year on: 10 facts

A year has passed since the beginning of the assault on Gaza. In 51 days, over 2,200 Palestinians lost their lives and 11,200 were left injured. “Operation Protective Edge” was one of the most deadly attacks on Gaza and reduced entire neighbourhoods of the Strip to rubble. Today, the media spotlight has moved on, but Palestinian families are still living among the rubble of their destroyed houses, with little food, no electricity and no running water.

1.       Thousands of people are still homeless

  • 100,000 people whose houses were destroyed during the conflict are still without homes
  • Less than 1% of the construction materials required to rebuild houses has entered Gaza and at this rate, it will take decades to rebuild.

 2.       The children of Gaza are paying the highest price

  • More than 1,500 children lost one or both parents.
  • 1,000 out of the 3,000 children injured in the Gaza assault have life-long disabilities.
  • The vast majority of children suffer from severe emotional distress and trauma – the UN estimates that 373,000 children need psychological support.  

 3.       The health sector has been left shattered

  • 73 hospitals & healthcare facilities were damaged or destroyed during the assault.
  • 16 healthcare workers were killed, 83 ambulance drivers and volunteers were injured.
  • The total cost of the conflict to Gaza’s health care system is estimated at $50 million.
  • Medicines are at zero stock levels.
  • The destruction of Al-Wafa hospital has left Gaza with no rehabilitation centre and 1,000 disabled children without care.

 4.       Food insecurity is a major issue

  • Food insecurity was at 57% before the conflict. It now affects 73% of the population.
  • An estimated 80% of the population relies on humanitarian aid, mainly food assistance.
  • 10% of children under 5 in Gaza suffer from stunting or malnutrition.

 5.       Access to clean water is extremely difficult

  • 95% of the water is unfit for human consumption.
  • Lacking the money to buy bottled water, families often don’t drink for long periods.
  • At the beginning of 2014, only a quarter of Gazan households had access to running water every day, and only for a few hours at a time. The assault only made the situation worse, due to the severe damage to infrastructure.

 6.       Constant shortages of electricity

  • The only power plant was destroyed during last year’s assault and is now running at half capacity due to shortages in fuel with critical public service installations facing power cuts up to 18 hours per day.
  • Electricity deficit increased by almost 20%, reaching about 65%.

7.       Overwhelmed water supply and sewage systems

  • Theses electricity shortages, along with restrictions on the import of construction material, pumps and spare parts, have left Gaza’s water supply and sewage systems completely overwhelmed. 
  • Up to 90 million litres of partially-treated sewage are being discharged into the Mediterranean Sea on a daily basis. 
  • Experts deem Gaza’s current waste disposal operations unhealthy, causing a serious threat to public health.

 8.       Unemployment is at its highest

  • Gaza’s unemployment rate is 43% overall and youth unemployment rate is 67%, one of the highest in the world.
  • 40,000 people employed in the agriculture and fishery sector have been affected

 9.       A destroyed economy

  • Thousands hectares of cropland, including agricultural infrastructure (i.e., greenhouses, irrigation systems, livestock shelters, and fishing boats) were destroyed during the attack.
  • 963 enterprises in the manufacturing sector were hit during the assault.
  • The 8 years blockade has completely destroyed the economy, having put severe restrictions in place preventing goods from leaving Gaza.

 10.   Academic achievement is dropping

  • 30% of education facilities sustained damage or were destroyed during the assault.
  • Traumatised children have weakness in memory and decreased concentration. They absorb less material, lack a desire to learn and also lack proper conditions to study.
  • University students struggle to cope with the loss of their peers and the lack of opportunities after graduation.

Please send a letter to the UK Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs today.

It only gets better.

Countries that are full of wealth and space reject Syrian refugees and yet these children welcome them so easily among their homes in Gaza.

“The companion who is the best to Allah is the one who is best to his companion. And the neighbor that is the best to Allah is the one that is best to his neighbor.” (Tirmidhi #50)

Full video here