’Why did you let me get hurt?’ Conflict and siege threaten Gaza’s young minds
Publisher: World Vision
Date: April 2009
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Generations of Gaza’s children have had to face day after day of poverty, insecurity and fear. Boys and girls there view the unfettered access to the basics of life—food, water, sanitation, healthcare, safety—as luxuries.
This report calls on everyone involved in this conflict to protect and improve the psychosocial wellbeing of both Gazan and Israeli children. This includes prioritising all children’s need for peace and security, as well as ensuring access to basic rights like food, education, shelter and water. It also appeals to the international community and the Israeli Government to reconsider restrictions that
impact children’s mental health. These include restrictions on allowing humanitarian agencies
to train teachers and build playgrounds for the children of Gaza; on the access of Arabic speaking
psychosocial support professionals; and even on toys, paper, paint and crayons used in psychosocial support programmes. Such interventions are badly needed. However, to live healthy and productive lives, what the children of Gaza and neighbouring Israeli communities need most is normalcy:
childhoods free of fear, insecurity and violence. This requires a lasting political solution to the grievances on both sides.