Israeli forces kill 11 children in Gaza already being treated for trauma

Gaza children killed by Israeli bombings
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Israeli forces have killed 11 Palestinian children who a Norwegian organisation was treating for trauma. The news comes as any sign of an end to the violence in Gaza and the occupied territories seems further away.

Trauma piled on top of trauma

On Tuesday 18 May, the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) issued a statement. It said:

11 of over 60 children killed by Israeli air strikes in Gaza over the last week were participating in its psycho-social programme aimed at helping them deal with trauma.

All of the children between 5 and 15 years old were killed in their homes in densely populated areas along with countless other relatives who died or received injuries.

It documented the details of the children it was helping who were killed by Israeli airstrikes. For example, the NRC said they included:

Lina Iyad Sharir, 15, who was killed with both of her parents in their home on 11 May in Gaza City’s Al Manara neighbourhood. Her two-year-old sister Mina sustained third-degree burns and remains in critical condition.

Some of the corporate press has reported on the story.

Read on...

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‘Losing lives’?

Sky News‘s Mark Austin read out the names and showed pictures of three of the children. He said that:

The misery of this conflict is only made worse when we see so many children losing their lives to a fight they have no hand in.

Of course, Austin’s use of language meant that Israeli forces were subtly absolved of responsibility for the 11 children’s deaths; “losing their lives” would imply someone dying after fighting a terminal illness, not being blown to bits by a country’s military.

NRC secretary general Jan Egeland was less obtuse. They said:

We call on Israel to stop this madness: children must be protected. Their homes must not be targets. Schools must not be targets. Spare these children and their families. Stop bombing them now.

Meanwhile, in the occupied territories the death toll continues to climb.

Gaza: no justice, no peace?

On Wednesday 19 May, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian journalist. Al Jazeera reported that Yusef Abu Hussein was the first reporter to be killed during Israel’s current assault on Gaza:

Israeli warships were also bombing Gaza:

Meanwhile, as Israeli forces killed at least 217 Palestinians – 63 of them children – the UK government has come out in support of Israel:

Egeland summed up by saying:

As an urgent measure, we appeal to all parties for an immediate ceasefire so that we can reach those in need and spare more civilians… But the truth is that there can be no peace or security as long as there are systemic injustices. The siege of Gaza needs to be lifted and the occupation of Palestinians must end if we are to avoid more trauma and death among children and new cycles of destruction every few years.

But with a ceasefire looking unlikely in the short-term, it seems that Israeli forces will continue to massacre Palestinians, and Hamas will continue to kill Israelis – both currently without an end in sight.

Featured image via the Norwegian Refugee Council – screengrab 

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  • Show Comments
    1. No surprise that The Conservative Friends, Labour Friends and Liberal Friends of Israel would back the ongoing genocide of Palestinians, given that they are taking the shekel to lobby in the HoC and HoL on behalf of The Knesset. I am ashamed to be British. I am ashamed that I have no power to unseat the leeches we have in parliament who support the murder of unarmed citizens. 🇬🇧🇺🇸🇮🇱🐂💩❤️🇵🇸

    2. As an international-news consumer since 1988, I’ve found in this callous world that a very large number of people, however precious their lives, can be considered disposable to a nation. And when the young children of those people take notice of this, tragically, they’re vulnerable to begin perceiving themselves as disposable thus without value.

      To me, it’s like the devaluation, albeit perhaps subconsciously, of the daily civilian lives lost (“casualties”) in protractedly devastating war zones and sieges; at some point, they can end up receiving a meagre couple of column inches in the First World’s daily news.

      Still, in times like this, it is very important that there be a deeper understanding of one another, even (or perhaps especially) when it’s across battle lines.

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