Gaza’s children are homeless and face food shortages

On the list of his dreams, big in his eyes, and small in the eyes of those around him, Hafez (15 years old) wrote his dream of life on a plastic piggy bank, inside which he used to save his daily expenses in an amount not exceeding a quarter of a dollar, hoping to buy a bed that he would put in the corner of his room and plan the rest of his dreams on it. .

Hafez’s dream is no longer achievable, for one reason only, that he no longer owns that house in which he will put his new bed, after the child and his family joined the list of displaced people, following the Israeli army’s destruction of their residential homes, in the military operation “Protective Arrow”, which ended May 13, after five days of military fighting.

Fourth Exodus

On May 11, Hafez left his house barefoot, to the sounds of his mother and father’s wailing, and the child was displaced from his house to the neighbors’ homes, watching from their windows his residential building collapsing due to an Israeli missile. This was the fourth displacement of the minor.

1,180 children in Gaza are homeless due to the recent Israeli military operation (Independent Arabia – Maryam Abu Daqqa)

This displacement was not the first, when Hafez was five years old, he was displaced for the first time with his family from the Shaja’iya neighborhood after the Israeli army launched a major attack there during the fighting in 2014, and despite his young age at the time, he still remembers the sounds of screaming. His mother and neighbours, who fled in a large truck at the time.

At the time, the child believed that this was the first and last displacement he experienced, and he did not expect that escaping from his safe house would be the only way for him to survive in any military operation launched by Israel against the Gaza Strip. .

duplicate scene

Most of Gaza’s children who are Hafez’s age experienced four major military operations carried out by Israel in Gaza. Therefore, most of them are experiencing displacement for the fourth time, which negatively affected their psychological and social health.

read more

This section contains related articles, placed in the (Related Nodes field)

Hafez says, “After the destruction of our house, for the first time, I fled with my family, and after the fighting ended, at that time, we moved to live in another area that we think is quiet, but it seems that fleeing from the house and its destruction follows us wherever we go.”

The reason for displacement caused health problems for Hafez, as his father, Adam, says, “When we were displaced during the 2021 fighting, and as a result of escaping from the lava of the shells and the horror of the scene of displacement, he suffered psychological trauma, and as a result, he had involuntary urination, which he continued to suffer from for some time.”

reduce food

Hafez currently lives with the neighbors, and eats from their food. Since the military fighting, his father has not worked for a single day, and he usually receives his salary for the days he works. Because of his unemployment, he has become dependent on debts to buy basic necessities and help the neighbors.

Data from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) indicate that 80 percent of the displaced families borrowed money from the first day of fleeing their homes to manage their conditions, and more than 85 percent of the families bought their food with debts, and more than 40 percent of them had a reduced rate of return. their food consumption by half.

OCHA shows that the displaced live in residential conditions that suffer from a lack of security and safety conditions for children, and do not preserve dignity and privacy, which calls for international intervention to provide shelter for them, and if this does not happen, then within days the displaced will be homeless.

According to the United Nations World Food Program (WFP), 40 percent of Palestinian families in the Gaza Strip are below the poverty line, and 70 percent of them depend on food aid that reaches them.

The children of Gaza experienced the fourth displacement in the last ten years (Independent Arabia – Maryam Abu Daqqa)

And the official of the United Nations World Food Program, Samer Abdel Jaber, says that with the beginning of next June, they will not continue to provide food aid due to the reduction in support for them, and this will make the displaced vulnerable to serious food loss.

Reasons for displacement

According to the Director General of the Social Protection Department at the Ministry of Social Development, Riyad Al-Bitar, as a result of the military fighting in Gaza, there are 459 homeless families, including more than 2,515 people, including 1,180 children, 688 women, and 97 elderly people, in addition to three people with disabilities. disability.

Al-Bitar said, “Israel’s policy of demolishing homes in its recent military operation is the reason behind the displacement of a large number of their homes. Usually, Palestinian families consist of an average of six individuals, most of whom are children, and this also made the number increase.”

He added, “We have not opened any shelter for the displaced, despite the large number of them, and all of them have been sheltered, albeit temporarily, with relatives and neighbors, despite the difficult conditions of the population.”

Al-Bitar confirms that this shelter situation is temporary, and will not last for two weeks, after which these displaced persons will be “homeless,” noting that they need urgent intervention in order to provide an independent rental allowance until the reconstruction of their homes, and that government agencies in Gaza cannot secure that.

Psychological problems

Al-Bitar points out that the sounds of planes and explosions terrified the children, and left deep psychological effects on them, and according to the follow-up, they created a state of panic, fear and terror among women, pointing out that because of the heavy raids, a number of children lost their lives because of fear.

5. jpg

The children of Gaza became homeless after the recent Israeli bombing (Independent Arabia – Maryam Abu Daqqa)

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) estimates that all Gaza children over three years of age need psychological treatment, which is confirmed by Samar Attia, a psychotherapist specializing in child behavior, saying that they “have not recovered from the psychological effects, and some of them may be living in a state of post-traumatic stress disorder.” trauma for more than five years.

Attia adds, “The accumulation of trauma generates within them a complex psychological state, and in most cases the treatment is temporary, especially since children live in environments that are unable to provide adequate psychological treatment, and therefore it is difficult for a child to establish a sound upbringing far from the war in the Gaza Strip, and what we do It’s just an attempt to promote proper psychological treatment.”