One quarter of Gazan children still require psychological support and counseling services to overcome the devastating psychological impact on children of the 2014 Israeli war on Gaza Strip, announced a UN body.
According to the United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the 51-day Israeli aggression on the coastal strip had a devastating impact on the children who showed fundamental changes in their behavior as a result of the psychological distress they had suffered from the Israeli aggression.
OCHA said in its report that the most common changes included bedwetting, unusual crying/screaming and displays of aggressive behavior, particularly in boys. “Two years on, the consequences of the aggression are still being felt and continue to take a heavy toll on children and their well being, including their mental health,” reads the report. “Children had engaged in acts of violence, including bullying, violence towards siblings and vandalism to infrastructure.”
It was estimated that the Israeli war left 373,000 Palestinian children in urgent need of direct psychological support, based on the number of children affected by grave violations.
“Currently one in four children in Gaza still require psychological support,” reads the OCHA report. “As part of a joint strategy to link humanitarian and development programming, significant effors are being made to strengthen child protection systems for the benefit of the most vulnerable children and families in Gaza.”