Study on 15 years of the blockade of Gaza: Children live in constant fear and complain about…

Save the Children registered association in Germany

Berlin / Gaza City (OTS)

Many children suffer greatly from the blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip for 15 years and have little hope for a better future. This is the finding of the Trapped study published today, in which Save the Children interviewed 488 children and youth as well as 168 parents and caregivers in the Gaza Strip.

The results show that the children’s psychological state has deteriorated significantly since a similar study five years ago. In 2018, only half of them had emotional problems, today it is 80%. They feel anxious (84 percent), stressed (80 percent) and depressed (77 percent). More than half of children and young adults have suicidal thoughts, 60% self-harm.

“The plight of these children is horrific and should be a wake-up call for the international community,” said Jason Lee, Director of Save the Children in the occupied Palestinian territory. “Many fear an outbreak of violence in the future. They can no longer sleep, get wet, some have stopped talking or are no longer able to do the simplest tasks. The causes of this conflict must be addressed and measures taken to protect all the children and families we meet. They deserve a safe life. And dignity!”

14-year-old Amr still remembers the upsurge in violence last year: “I couldn’t sleep at night because I had a nightmare. I was afraid they would bomb our house or our neighbors’ house. My parents calmed me down. I tried to go back to sleep.”

According to the report, parents and caregivers are also under a lot of pressure. 96 percent are consistently unhappy and anxious. In the survey five years ago, they had already stated that they had reached their limits due to the blockade, growing poverty and constant tension. If the situation escalates further – as many feared at the time – they will eventually lack the strength to be there for their care.

14-year-old Amira is still hoping for a better future. “If the blockade were lifted today, I would feel connected to the world again,” she says. “I can do what I really want to do and go where I want. I will study computer science and get a degree in virtual reality design. Here in Gaza, I don’t have that opportunity.”

Violence in Gaza has escalated frequently in recent years. Added to this is the COVID-19 pandemic. Almost half of the population of the narrow strip of land between Israel, Egypt and the Mediterranean coast, numbering about two million, are children. More than 800,000 children do not know daily life without the land, air and sea blockade imposed by Israel.

Save the Children calls on the Israeli government to immediately lift the blockade in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 1860 of 2009. The international community – including the German government – should urge Israel to end the occupation. In addition, all parties must work together to pave the way for a renewed dialogue to find a just solution to help children and families.

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About Save the Children:

In the post-war 1919, British social reformer Eglantine Gibb founded Save the Children to save children in Germany and Austria from famine. Today, what is now the largest independent child rights organization in the world is active in about 120 countries. Save the Children works for children in wars, conflicts and disasters. For a world that respects children’s rights, in which all children live healthy and secure and can grow up and learn freely and independently – for over 100 years.

Media contact:

Save the Children registered association in Germany
Press Office – Silk Zorn
Tel: +49 (0) 30-27 59 59 79-232
Mail: silke.zorn@savethechildren.de

Original content from: Save the Children Deutschland eV, transmitted by aktuell news

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