Children at risk in the Gaza conflict
In Gaza, children are deeply affected by violence
© UNICEF/Gaza/El Baba|
9 year old Salah Hajjaj (center) stands with a cousin and sister on the roof of what remains of their home, in Gaza City. The house was partially destroyed in a blast that killed Salah’s father and uncle as they gathered belongings.
UNICEF is on the ground helping children and reporting on their situation.
The ceasefire on August 26 left 539 children and injured 2,956, leaving many struggling with life-long disabilities and psychological trauma.
At the six-month marker of the ceasefire, huge efforts have been made to ensure that students return to safe, clean, and well equipped schools with supportive teachers, and counsellors. The first week of schooling was devoted to structured psychosocial support and recreational activities to help ease the transition back to learning. The conflict left 258 schools and kindergartens damaged, including 26 schools that are beyond repair. ‘Investing in education is an investment for the future,’ says UNICEF-State of Palestine Special Representative, June Kunugi. ‘Without increased support and commitment to their education and protection, an entire generation in Gaza could be lost. It is our collective moral obligation to prevent this,’ she adds. Read more about children's return to school
Read more about UNICEF's action in the region.
Adolescents make positive changes in their community
Khan Younis, Gaza, 15 April 2015 - The Adolescents Make Difference’ initiative reached 1,000 adolescents across the Gaza Strip, with trainings on life skills, including critical thinking, innovation, cooperation and communication. It equipped them with emotional and physical wellbeing skills, and encouraged their positive engagement with the community around them.
Japanese grants help turn Palestinian schools into child-friendly environments
Al-Khader, State of Palestine, 18 March 2015 - With funding from Japan, UNICEF rehabilitated 10 schools in some of the most vulnerable areas of the West Bank, in partnership with the Palestinian Ministry of Education and Higher Education. One of these schools was Muna’s Al-Khader Basic School for Girls, located in a village home to some 12,000 Palestinians, close to Bethlehem.
VIDEO: Gaza’s children: Six months after the ceasefire
GAZA, STATE OF PALESTINE, 25 Feb 2015 - 11-year-old Samar Barakat and 6-year-old Rosol lost their home in a blast during last year’s hostilities. The sisters, their mother and three other siblings now live with their grandfather. The girls still struggle to cope with the loss of their father who was killed during a blast that hit a United Nations-run school where their family was sheltering.
GAZA, STATE OF PALESTINE, 12 February, 2015 - Nearly six months after a fragile ceasefire took hold, more than 100,000 people, half of them children, continue to live in schools, temporary shelters, damaged buildings or inadequate housing, exposing them to the inclement weather.
Violent sandstorm blowing across Gaza as temperatures drop
To answer children's needs for drinking water and water for domestic use in Gaza
UNICEF is supporting Gaza’s CMWU in carrying out urgent repairs of critical infrastructure damaged by airstrikes and shelling, like this water network in Rafah, south Gaza. UNICEF and partner NGOs are also supporting water tankering that will benefit 10,500 people in Gaza City and 50,000 people in the Middle Area of Gaza for one month. 3,000 jerrycans have also been distributed to displaced families staying in public schools.
Photo credit: ©CMWU
Perspectives, actions and accounts of UNICEF's team and partners in the region working on the behalf of children
UNICEF provides emergency support to get Gaza’s children back in school
"Children have suffered appalling losses as a result of the conflict,” said Pernille Ironside, UNICEF’s Chief of Gaza Field Office. “That’s why it’s so vital that we get as many children as possible back into school immediately, so the healing process can begin in a more familiar environment.”
Photo essay: Drawing a future Gaza
Yosef Al Yazir, 6, believes the best thing in Gaza is his family and wishes to see no more death or dead people. He remembers the last conflict, but states that this one is much worse. “There are a lot of children killed,” he said. Fifty days of intense violence that killed more than 500 children and injured 3,300 in Gaza ended with a ceasefire on 26 August, but children’s drawings of a future Gaza illustrate that psychological wounds are only beginning to heal.
In Gaza, children go back to school after a devastating summer
GAZA, State of Palestine, 16 September 2014 – Half a million students have returned to school this week, with memories still fresh of 50 days of violence that engulfed the coastal enclave this summer and delayed the start of classes by three weeks.
Perspective: Survival in Gaza: how one UNICEF staff member survived 50 days of violence
BEIT HANOUN, Gaza. September 2014 - The entire front of Bassam Nasser’s house has disappeared; a tank shell has left a large hole in the roof and his flatscreen tv has been put out of action – apparently by a piece of shrapnel. But as he takes me on a tour of Beit Hanoun, the neighbourhood on the north-eastern fringe of the Gaza strip where he lives with his wife and six children, it is immediately apparent why Bassam – a UNICEF driver since 2001 – counts himself a lucky man.
Perspective: UNICEF provides emergency support to get Gaza’s children back in school
UNICEF is playing a key role in urgent preparations for the new school year in Gaza. The resumption of classes in 395 government-run schools was delayed as a result of the brutal 50-day conflict with Israel that ended in a ceasefire on August 26th.
Video: What are we doing for children in Gaza?
In this video, UNICEF State of Palestine's Gaza field office chief Pernille Ironside outlines the current efforts underway for the children of Gaza
Photo essay: UNICEF is in Gaza
State of Palestine, 2014: Children have been killed and injured, lost family and friends, and had their homes severely damaged or destroyed. Children view the destruction in the town of Rafah
Read more about the situation in the State of Palestine on the UNICEF dedicated Tumblr page
Perspective: “This is not a life” – Gaza residents struggle to cope in the wake of destruction
GAZA, State of Palestine, 14 August 2014 - With shortages of food, water and electricity, much of the population of Gaza is in desperate need of help. Together with partners, UNICEF is distributing food vouchers, hygiene kits, jerry cans and blankets to displaced families.
Interview: Top questions/answers from UNICEF’s "Ask Me Anything" with Gaza field office chief
Pernille Ironside took to Reddit to answer questions about the impact of the current conflict on the children of Gaza, and UNICEF’s humanitarian response.
Perspective: A long path to recovery for children in Gaza
Many of the youngest survivors of the latest conflict in Gaza are in desperate need of treatment – not only for serious physical injuries, but also for psychological wounds that may take even longer to heal.
Perspective: Reality of Gaza destruction haunts families and children amid ceasefire
GAZA, State of Palestine, 28 July 2014 - More than one fourth of Gaza's residents were displaced during the latest conflict. The three-day ceasefire allowed families to visit their homes, but many had to return to collective shelters when the full extent of the damage to their houses became apparent.
Perspective: UNICEF on Gaza, Israel: “Outrage has become commonplace”
NEW YORK, 30 July 2014 - “Another school in Gaza has come under fire, killing more children in a conflict where such an outrage has become commonplace.
Perspective: No safe place for children in Gaza
GAZA, State of Palestine, 28 July 2014 – As the hostilities enter their twenty-first day, the number of children dying is growing. More than 1,000 Palestinians have been reported killed so far, of whom around 230 were children – more than 10 a day. The youngest child killed was only 3 months old.
Perspective: Children bear the brunt of renewed fighting in Gaza
GAZA, State of Palestine, 14 July 2014 – In Gaza City’s al-Shifa hospital, two 5-year-old children lie in bed. Noureldin and his cousin Kinan were both seriously injured by shrapnel after an airstrike flattened the family’s home on Tuesday night. Noureldin’s mother had just put the boys to sleep in a bedroom when the missile struck, killing her and her husband, reportedly a militant, as well as Kinan’s father, sister and grandmother.
Video: PBS News Hour's interview with UNICEF's Pernille Ironside
Gwen Ifill and Ironside, who is in Gaza, discuss the toll the Israeli military offensive is having on civilians, and especially on children. They also talk about the capabilities of UNICEF to provide aid without safe humanitarian access.
Video: Bombardment leaves Gazans at risk of losing water access
Two weeks of heavy bombardment have damaged critical water and sanitation facilities in Gaza, State of Palestine. Some 70 per cent of the population are at risk of being without access to safe drinking water, while over 800,000 people are at risk of contamination from the seepage of broken sewage lines into the water system.
Video: Watch Abdel's story and hear his father ask: "This child is 8 years old and he has already lived through three wars. When he becomes a young man, how many wars will he experience?"
Press releases and statements recently issued by UNICEF:
UNICEF scaling up support and protection to children in Gaza amid fragile cease-fire
GAZA, 16 August 2014 - A ceasefire has enabled UNICEF-supported technical teams to begin repairing critical infrastructure damaged by airstrikes and shelling, including water pipelines and sanitation systems. Up to 110,000 people have been provided with safe water and hygiene supplies, but a sustained peace is needed to reach hundreds of thousands more children who desperately need support to rebuild their lives.
A statement by UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake, 30 July 2014
UNICEF on Gaza: Using or attacking school premises is unacceptable
AMMAN, 25 July 2014 – "Yesterday’s attack on Beit Hanoun Elementary Co-Ed A and D School – the third school hit this week – is proof that much more needs to be done to protect innocent children.
Basic services for children under assault in Gaza
NEW YORK, 18 July 2014 – As the violence in Gaza claims even more young lives and as its toll on children on both sides deepens, basic services for children are under assault, UNICEF says.
Statement by UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake on impact of violence on children in Gaza and Israel
NEW YORK, 13 July 2014 - Children are bearing the brunt of the worsening violence in Gaza and Israel with at least 33 children killed in Gaza in recent days, and hundreds more injured.
Escalating violence in the Gaza Strip and Israel threatens devastating harm for children - UNICEF
NEW YORK, 10 July 2014 – The escalating violence in Gaza and Israel threatens devastating harm for children on all sides, UNICEF said today, urging restraint to protect all children.
UNICEF Statement on violence against children in Jerusalem and the West Bank
NEW YORK, 2 July 2014 – “The justified outrage at the killing of a Palestinian teenager in Jerusalem today, and that seen at the funerals yesterday of three young Israelis murdered in the West Bank, are a reminder that we must never become accustomed to such attacks against children, anywhere, in any way, and at any time.
For further statements, visit the press centre.
Read more Gaza information and updates in Arabic
Gaza information in French:
À Gaza, la réalité des destructions hante les familles et les enfants pendant le cessez-le-feu
Jérusalem, le 7 août 2014 – Alors qu’un cessez-le-feu de 72 heures approche de sa fin à Gaza, les familles s’efforcent de faire face aux conséquences de 28 jours de violence et de destruction qui ont laissé quelque 65 000 personnes sans abri
Les enfants sont les plus touchés par la reprise des hostilités à Gaza
L’escalade de la violence à Gaza et Israël constitue une menace physique et mentale gravissime pour les enfants des deux côtés. Ils risquent d’en subir les conséquences à vie dans la mesure où leur sentiment de sécurité est ébranlé.
Press releases (Communiqués de presse)
Déclaration concernant l’attaque d’une école de l’UNRWA à Gaza par Maria Calivis, Directrice régionale de l’UNICEF pour le Moyen-Orient et l’Afrique du Nord
AMMAN, 25 juillet 2014 – L’attaque d’hier contre l’école élémentaire A et D de filles et garçons de Beit Hanoun – la troisième école touchée cette semaine – est la preuve qu’il faut faire plus pour protéger les enfants innocents.
Déclaration du Directeur général de l'UNICEF Anthony Lake sur l’impact de la violence sur les enfants de Gaza et d’Israël
NEW YORK, 13 juillet 2014 - Les enfants sont les premières victimes de l’escalade de la violence à Gaza et en Israël. Ils sont au moins 33 à l’avoir payée de leur vie à Gaza au cours des derniers jours, sans compter les centaines de blessés. Aucun enfant ne devrait avoir à subir les conséquences terrifiantes d’un tel déchaînement de violence.
La recrudescence de la violence dans la bande de Gaza et en Israël présente un danger catastrophique pour les enfants, déclare l’UNICEF
NEW YORK, 9 juillet 2014 - La recrudescence de la violence dans la bande de Gaza et en Israël présente un danger catastrophique pour les enfants de toutes les parties, a déclaré l’UNICEF aujourd'hui, en exhortant que l’on fasse preuve de retenue pour protéger tous les enfants.
Gaza information in Spanish:
La realidad de la destrucción en Gaza sacude a las familias y a los niños en medio de la tregua
JERUSALÉN, 7 de agosto de 2014 – A medida que la tregua de tres días llega a su fin en Gaza, las familias están tratando de superar las consecuencias de 28 días de violencia y destrucción que han dejado a por lo menos 65.000 personas sin hogar.
"La indignación se ha convertido en un lugar común"
Declaración del Director Ejecutivo de UNICEF Anthony Lake
No hay lugar seguro para los niños en Gaza
GAZA, Estado de Palestina, 28 de julio 2014 - A medida que las hostilidades entran en su vigésimo primer día, el número de niños que mueren es cada vez mayor. Más de 1.000 palestinos han sido abatidos hasta el momento, más de 10 al día, de los cuales alrededor de 230 eran niños. El niño muerto más joven tenía sólo 3 meses.
Los niños sufren las peores consecuencias de la reanudación de los combates en Gaza
La creciente violencia en Gaza e Israel constituye una amenaza devastadora contra la salud física y mental de los niños de todas las partes involucradas, con posibles consecuencias de por vida, ya que aumenta la sensación de inseguridad de los menores.
Comunicado sobre el ataque a una escuela de UNRWA en Gaza atribuible a Maria Calivis, Directora Regional de UNICEF en Oriente Medio y Norte de África
AAMMAN, 25 de julio de 2014 – Los ataques de ayer contra la Escuela de primaria Beit Hanoun Co-Ed A y D – la tercera que es atacada esta semana– es una prueba de que es necesario hacer mucho más para proteger a los niños inocentes.
Declaración del Director Ejecutivo de UNICEF Anthony Lake acerca de las consecuencias de la violencia sobre los niños de Gaza e Israel
NUEVA YORK, 13 de julio de 2014 - Los niños son los más afectados por el empeoramiento de la violencia en Gaza e Israel, con por lo menos 33 niños muertos en Gaza en los últimos días y centenares más heridos.
La escalada de la violencia en la Franja de Gaza y en Israel amenaza con producir daños devastadores para los niños, dice UNICEF
NUEVA YORK, 10 de julio de 2014 – La escalada de la violencia en Gaza y en Israel amenaza con producir daños devastadores para los niños de ambas partes, dijo hoy UNICEF, y pidió que actúen con moderación para proteger a todos los niños.
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© UNICEF/NYHQ2014-0973/El Baba|
In the State of Palestine, women, men and children find refuge in a school shelter run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in the town of Rafah in southern Gaza.