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July 23, 2021


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Will children paying the ‘price of war’ in Gaza get psychological help?

6 min read

Susie Ashkuntana, a seven-year-old Palestinian, is distracted by her new toys and garments for a short time , but her real possessions are her father, whom she doesn’t allow to disappear from her sight.

And why not … Just two months ago, rescue workers were ready to pull him out of the rubble of his home after hours of diligence . With dusty hair, bruises on her face and a swollen body, Susie’s world was turned the wrong way up when she was taken out.

Susie’s mother and 4 siblings were killed within the May 16 bombing. within the house where she had been twiddling with her siblings until a couple of hours ago, she had recently heard her brother Zain and sister Dana’s cries, sighs and sobs under the rubble of an equivalent house. Only Susie’s father survived the tragedy and she or he not wants to lose her only support at any cost.

A May 16 bombing during a densely urban area of the Gaza Strip killed 42 Palestinians, including 16 women and 10 children. Israeli officials say they targeted Hamas tunnels.

According to Gaza officials, 66 children were killed within the clashes and attacks in 2021.
Susie’s story is a component of a series of stories by the Associated Press, entitled “The Cost of War,” about the four wars in Gaza over the past 13 years.
Susie’s physical wounds have healed, but there’s no cure for the pain that has befallen her soul. There are more survivors like Susie. Suzy’s father, Riyad Ashkuntana, says: “My wife and youngsters are safe now. I’m scared now, so it’s for Suzy.”

Fresh footage from Gaza by the Associated Press shows that schools are closed thanks to the war and therefore the Corona epidemic, and there’s nothing to stay children busy. that’s why they’re seen hovering round the rubble of ash houses all day long.

These children are mostly from the poor class. quite half the population was already living in cosmopolitanism and more people have lost their jobs thanks to the epidemic.

Speaking to the AP, Yasser Abu Jami, head of the Gaza Community psychological state Program, said many of the youngsters look irritable, some are frightened, some are scared of loneliness and a few wet their beds in the dark . These are all symptoms of trauma.

Children structure 48% of Gaza’s population. But there’s just one licensed psychologist in Gaza for these 1 million children. there’s nobody to assist these children get their lives back on target .

These children are familiar with hearing the roar of warplanes, the rumble of air strikes and therefore the rumble of drones within the air, even within the days of the ceasefire, and no place is safe within the days of war. “Life here never returns to normal,” says Abu Jami.

Susie’s father, Riaz Ashkuntana, says that before the attack, Susie wont to walk to high school , buy fruit and vegetables together with her sister Dana, and now she doesn’t want to be separated from her father for a flash . She has difficulty lecture people and spends hours playing games on her mobile . “It’s as if with losing her mother, Susie has lost the art of living within the world and communicating with people.”

There is an identical story of the Egyptian family. it had been May 10, six o’clock within the evening. The family was cultivating wheat within the fields adjacent to their range in the Beit Hanoun area near the Gaza-Israel border. While expecting the large iftar, the youngsters were twiddling with the youngsters within the neighborhood.

Batool al-Masri, 14, was entertaining her two-year-old cousin, Yazan, when a loud explosion occurred.

Batool’s father, Mohammed Atallah al-Masri, says it’s not known whether the rocket came from Israel or Hamas. But in a moment , eight people, including six children, died.
Unaware of her wounds, Batol kept trying to save lots of her little cousin, who died in her own hands.
Batool survived, despite suffering a head injury, but his eight-year-old brother Qasim also survived, but Qasim’s cousin and ally Marwan and his older brother Ibrahim were also killed within the attack. Qasim and Marwan lived together at every moment, even at college . They were inseparable, on the other hand death separated them.

Batool and Qasim’s 10-year-old sister Raheef and 21-year-old brother Ahmed were also killed within the incident, while 22-year-old brother Hamuda lost an eye fixed . Ahmed was to urge married every week later.

Batol and Qasim’s father say that after the attack, Qasim is not any longer a toddler . he’s lecture himself. At night, he’s afraid to travel to the toilet out of fear, when Batol is irritated. She looks scared within the evening. Often cries She wakes up in the dark and has no interest in eating.

“What he saw was horrible, these are innocent children,” says his father.
See also another story of the irony of fate.

It was the month of May and therefore the day was Eid … rather than twiddling with their Eid and new toys, the youngsters of the Abu Ma’ad family were running from one place to a different for his or her lives.

The family was preparing for Eid when the airstrikes began. An eight-month-old pregnant mother ran faraway from home together with her four children when her house in northern Gaza collapsed ahead of her eyes.

In the chaos, eight-year-old Maya Abu Maad broke up together with her mother. Seeing the terrified girl alone, someone put her during a passing ambulance. For subsequent fifteen minutes, the girl was separated from her mother, sitting during a car together with her life-threatening injuries.

Six hours later, Maya’s family found her. Maya’s six-year-old brother, Uday, who has never seen such scenes before, is during a state of intense fear and shock. Maya was a confident girl before the May events. She loved to wear clean clothes, have her hair done and beautify herself.

Today, his family has taken refuge during a UN school. Maya repeatedly asks to travel home but her father, who may be a driver, cannot afford to rebuild the house. Maya spends the entire day quietly watching videos on Tik Tak in an effort to flee her new reality.
Maya and Uday’s father says that their children, who wont to be happy all the time, are not any longer an equivalent . within the videos, I see people living happily and ask these inquiries to which I even have no answers.

These babies now awaken in the dark and cry and appearance irritable during the day.

The recent tensions in Gaza are nothing in need of the return of a nightmare for the 14-year-old Lama. within the 2014 war, when Israeli forces entered Bethlehem, the lama took refuge together with her family during a UN school. Even there, death didn’t leave his family behind. One night, Israeli shelling killed 13 people, including three of his younger cousins.

In 2014, 2,100 Palestinians were killed in these clashes and attacks.
Lama’s father says that she looks good but is lost, and since then her school grades are bad.

The Lama had not yet recovered from the trauma of the previous events that in 2020, while sleeping together with his mother and sisters at his grandmother’s house in the dark , doomsday fell on him once more . this point the walls of the house collapsed during this Israeli missile attack. After browsing countless pieces of glass, sharp metal parts and bare wires, he was finally admitted to a hospital.

Now the lama is usually on the side of her parents and isn’t able to separate.
Suzy, Batol, Qasim and Lama and countless children like them wont to live happily in their parents’ yard. Today either they’re not during this world and if they’re then their lives aren’t an equivalent as before.

The loss of a beloved , the loss of a home, and therefore the unexpected bombings have left an indelible mark on their lives which will never fade. Memories of the past, the present state of helplessness and therefore the refore the uncertainty of the longer term have robbed them of the radiance of their eyes and the peace of their hearts.
The AP’s effort is a component of a series called ‘The Cost of War’, which seeks to portray the consequences of war on human life through its autobiographies.

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