Gaza children return to school following Israel offensive

Gaza children return to school following Israel offensive
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As the ceasefire holds between Israel and Palestinian militant group Hamas, tens of thousands of children have returned to school in the Gaza Strip.

According to one aid agency, students at several schools spent the first day talking about their experiences during the eight days of cross-border fighting.

More than 156 Palestinians including nearly 30 children were killed. Over 400 were injured.

UNESCO says the frequent explosions and scale of the destruction has left many children emotionally scarred.

Alexy Makhlof, Head of UNESCO office in Gaza, said: “I think the psychological trauma for the kids is very, very serious here in Gaza. It comes back and back so practically it repeats itself and it’s an extremely sad story so recovery not only (about) the buildings but of the soul.”

At Al Shojaia primary school – one of 245 in Gaza run by the UN – several buildings were damaged by Israeli strikes.

Experts say the territory needs more than 400 additional schools to cope with population growth.

Over half of Gaza’s 1.7 million residents are under 18, making it one of the youngest societies in the world.

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