- Palestinian children in Gaza suffer devastating impact of ongoing conflict, experiencing fear and trauma from constant bombings and destruction.
- Conflict shapes lives of Palestinian children, causing them to lose their carefree innocence and become accustomed to war and death.
- Gaza residents face worsening conditions as the region is under a “complete siege,” with shortages of electricity, food, water, and medical supplies, leaving them trapped in a conflict zone.
- A Palestinian father-of-6 says his youngest kids would scream and cry when they first heard bombs, but now they’re ‘numb’ and sit in the corner instead of playing (businessinsider.com)
A Palestinian man living in Gaza City has spoken about the devastating impact of the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas on his youngest children. The man, a university professor and father of six, described how the constant bombings, death, and destruction have taken a toll on his children’s well-being. Since the Hamas attack on Israel last Saturday, Israel has launched numerous air strikes on the Gaza Strip, resulting in the destruction of mosques and neighborhoods, and the displacement of hundreds of thousands of residents.
The man, named Refaat Alareer, explained that the impact of the bombings gradually affected his children. Initially, they would cry and scream in fear whenever they heard a bomb, but over time, they became numb and indifferent, expecting the worst at any moment. They began asking questions about war, death, and their own safety, losing the carefree innocence of childhood.
Alareer’s older children, aged between 14 and 21, are also affected by the conflict and have been confined to their apartment since it began. The youngest children have not been allowed to go outside due to safety concerns. Alareer expressed his frustration at how war has become a defining marker in their lives, shaping their memories and experiences.
Despite the difficult circumstances, Alareer mentioned the resilience and solidarity of the Palestinian people. He observed that despite dwindling food and water supplies, he has not seen anyone hoarding more than necessary. He emphasized that they suffer equally, finding a form of unity in their shared hardships.
The situation in Gaza has worsened due to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s declaration of a “complete siege” on the region. The Gaza Strip has been cut off from essentials such as electricity, food, water, and medical supplies. The crossings to leave Gaza have also been closed, leaving approximately 2 million residents trapped in the conflict zone.
Another resident, Ahmed Abu Artema, described the deteriorating conditions in Gaza, including the scarcity of food and water. He expressed concern for his separated family and the constant danger they face due to the lack of electricity and internet access. Artema shared his feelings of helplessness, witnessing the ongoing violence and loss of life.
As the conflict between Israel and Hamas continues, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) have targeted Hamas sites in Gaza, resulting in the destruction of mosques, residential areas, and refugee camps. The Gaza health ministry has reported over 1,000 Palestinian deaths and more than 5,000 injuries, while the IDF claims that more than 1,200 people have been killed in Hamas’ attack in Israel.