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Children share their experiences of the recent Israel-Gaza violence

Children share their experiences of the recent Israel-Gaza violence
Copyright یورونیوز
Copyright یورونیوز
By Nial O'Reilly
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"The houses were falling down on people," said one 11-year-old. "We lost hope. Some people ran away and the paramedics told us to run to the hospital."


A process of rebuilding and recovery is unfolding in Gaza and Israeli towns hit by the recent outburst of violence.

But the healing of victims -- on both sides -- will take longer. Most were in the Palestinian territory, and many were very young.

Dana Sehwail is 11-years-old and living in Bait Hanoon, north of the Gaza Strip. She told Euronews about her experience. 

"We were at our home and I heard explosions all around, near to the farm and the Omar mosque. Then the glass was falling and the houses were falling down on people. We lost hope. Some people ran away and the paramedics told us to run to the hospital."

Amal is 12-years-old and from the same city as Dana. She said she was getting ready for celebrations at the end of Ramadam but they didn't happen. 

"I prepared my clothes, my toys and all my things for Eid. But on the day of Eid, I couldn’t wear them or leave my home to celebrate Eid. We couldn’t have fun or enjoy Eid, there was just the sound of explosions, and we didn’t feel safe."

As the conflict intensified some children sought refuge with relatives.

Maram Abu Odah is 11 years old and living at Beach camp, west of Gaza City. "During the war, my father sent me and my brother to my uncle’s home and two of my cousins came to our home. I was very scared there. For me, it's not the same as when I am with my father and mother. They could make me feel safe. They think if this house is bombed at least some members of the family will survive, and maybe they can help the others."

Experts fear the long term effects on young minds of sustained exposure to such extreme violence

"If you, with already seven years of life have already experienced four wars it's difficult not to feel like in the future the only thing that I have to wait for is another war to happen, and something to hurt me and something to hurt my parents and the people around me," said Dr Juan Paris, a psychiatrist with Doctors Without Borders. "So it very much affects the possibility to develop in a positive way."

More than 200 Palestinians died in the 11-day conflict, including at least 63 children. On the Israeli side, two of the 10 people killed were children.

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