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January 08, 2009

Childhood Nightmares

By: Bernard Chazelle

Every child is afraid of the dark. Darkness means the fear of nightmares. And what is the worst conceivable nightmare for a child? This:

Four exhausted children have been discovered cowering in a house next to the [dead] bodies of their mothers by staff of the International Committee of the Red Cross, which today accused the Israeli military of "unacceptable" delays in allowing medics safe access to injured Gazans.

The Red Cross workers found the small children, who were so weak they could not stand, sheltering next to the bodies of their mothers in a house in Zeitoun, southeast of Gaza City. Another man was found alive, but again too weak to stand. At least 12 bodies were lying on mattresses.

— Bernard Chazelle

Posted at January 8, 2009 05:28 PM

In my dictionary, people terrorising children, causing severe psychological trauma and killing them are MONSTERS.

It is difficult to imagine ( and we will NEVER KNOW-- like in Jenin), what the REAL NUMBER of casualties is or will be as no independent reporters are allowed and destroyed homes are being bulldozed and one will always wonder, how many were buried alive under them.

Total disregard for human life is described here where in spite of knowing the location of the UN school, the Israeli soldiers never took care to avoid deaths.
"Nothing accidental about attack on school"

Almost 50% of children in Gaza suffer from moderate PTSD.

Between 2000 and 2007, A total of 971 children have been killed in Israeli-Palestinian conflict violence, representing 18% of the total number of conflict deaths. Children are protected, in a number of legal instruments, including the Convention on the Rights of the Child, against arbitrary loss of life, even in armed conflict.
Of the overall number of children killed, 88% were Palestinian and 12 % were Israeli.The trend of child deaths mirrors the total rate: the number of Israeli children killed has declined markedly while that of Palestinian children remains high.!OpenDocument

Very very sadly, in the wars waged by adults, children suffer the most ( and Palestinian children's lives count for less ). I wonder when these traumatised children grow up to be adults, what kind of hell they will go through.

Posted by: Rupa Shah at January 8, 2009 07:09 PM

I simply can't begin to imagine how terrified these children were and it is almost certain they will have nightmares for years to come. Forget about the issues involved in this catastrophe, the inhumanity of the Israeli forces simply can not be denied.

Posted by: Robert Della Valle at January 8, 2009 07:25 PM

I posted a comment a few minutes ago ( has gone to the moderator ). But after reading the following article, I wonder, how the ISRAELIS WILL EVER BE ABLE TO FORGIVE THEMSELVES?!

"A Third Intifada? Riding on Fire"
Beit Hanoun, Gaza.

Posted by: Rupa Shah at January 8, 2009 07:35 PM

Psychological trauma has been inflicted on the Palestinian children since the occupation and it gets only worse. Wonder what goes through a child's mind when stopped at a checkpoint at gunpoint by the IDF soldier.

During the months of July and August of 2002, a study was done and children were allowed to be their own spokespersons.

Almost half of the children (48%) had personally experienced violence owing to the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict or had witnessed an incident of such violence befalling an immediate family member.

The stress suffered by Palestinian children was accentuated by the widespread feeling that parents could no longer fully meet their needs for care and protection. This feeling was shared by more than half of the children (52%), especially the somewhat older children in the sample (59%).

Under such circumstances, it was difficult to remain a carefree child. It was therefore not surprising that nine out of ten parents reported symptomatic traumatic behavior amongst their
children, ranging from nightmares and bedwetting, to increased aggressiveness and hyperactivity, as well as a decrease in attention span and concentration capacity. A minority of parents(approximately 5-8%) reported that their children had become fixated on thoughts of death and revenge.

This is nothing but loss of a generation.

In spite these conditions, the children were resilient and were involved specifically in educational activities as that was the only hope for a better future.

Unfortunately, call to the IDF soldiers to stop the war crimes will not be heeded. Yes, some will quit but the military culture is so ingrained in the Israeli society, it will not be easy and unless Isreli leaders suddenly develop a conscience and decide what is happening is wrong, this will continue.

Posted by: Rupa Shah at January 8, 2009 09:27 PM

How many terrorists have been created in the last couple weeks? I guess we'll find out...

Posted by: Evelyn Day at January 8, 2009 09:45 PM

YOUR TAX DOLLARS bombing Gaza all the way to Baghdad and beyond.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at January 8, 2009 10:42 PM