The Israeli forces have been intensifying their attacks on Islamist militants in Gaza that have cost the lives of at least 212 lives including 60 children. The latter have now joined the list of more than 3000 Palestinian children killed by Israeli forces in the past 20 years, according to the Palestinian Authority’s Ministry of Information. As the violence against Palestinians continues, children have not been spared.
On Tuesday, the Norwegian Refugee Council confirmed that out of the 60 children killed, 11 were undergoing a psycho-social programme aimed at helping them deal with trauma. All these children, aged between 5 to 15 who resided in densely populated areas were killed along with countless others including their relatives and family members.
“We are devastated to learn that 11 children we were helping with trauma were bombarded while they were at home and thought they were safe," said NRC’s Secretary General Jan Egeland in a statement. “They are now gone, killed with their families, buried with their dreams and the nightmares that haunted them. We call on Israel to stop this madness: children must be protected. Their homes must not be targets. Schools must not be targets. Spare these children and their families. Stop bombing them now."
Taking to Twitter, an authority of the NRC wrote, “We sadly confirmed today that 11 of over 60 children killed by Israeli airstrikes in #Gaza over the last week were participating in our programme helping them deal with trauma. All of the children between 5 and 15 years old were killed in their homes."
We sadly confirmed today that 11 of over 60 children killed by Israeli air strikes in #Gaza over the last week were participating in our programme helping them deal with trauma.All of the children between 5 and 15 years old were killed in their homes https://t.co/olwHmvNpWP— Samah Hadid سماح (@samahhadid) May 18, 2021
The official website of NRc has released the names of all the 11 victims and said that the organisation caters to more than 118 schools in the Gaza strip, reachingout to more than 750000 students with their trauma camera programme, called the Better Learning Programme.
The Gaza Health Ministry says nearly 300 Palestinians in the territory have been wounded in the strikes, which began on May 10 as Palestinians launched a barrage of rockets into Israel.
The worst fighting since the 2014 Gaza war was ignited by clashes in Jerusalem in recent weeks between Palestinian protesters and Israeli police focused on the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, a site sacred to Jews and Muslims.
Rockets streamed out of Gaza and Israel pounded the territory with airstrikes early May 12 as the most severe outbreak of violence since the 2014 war took on many hallmarks of that devastating 50-day conflict, with no endgame in sight.
Gaza’s Hamas rulers and other militant groups have fired barrages of hundreds of rockets that at times have overwhelmed Israel’s missile defences, causing air raid sirens and explosions to echo across Tel Aviv, Israel’s biggest metropolitan area, and other cities.
(with inputs from agencies)