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From the Guardian article "Childhood in ruins":

The shelling of the Abu Elaish family was unusual in that it caught the attention of the Israeli public, but what Ghiada continues to endure 12 months on is shared by many of Gaza’s 750,000 children – half of its population.

More than 1,400 Gazans were killed in the 23 days of the Israeli assault, including several hundred children. The actual number is in dispute. The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) documented 313 deaths, almost 40% of them less than 10 years old. Other Palestinian groups say the toll was much higher. More than 1,600 children were injured.

But the 23-day war is only part of the story. The long history of Israeli assaults on Gaza, and the two-and-a-half-year-long blockade of the territory after Hamas took power, has exacted a toll on almost every aspect of children’s lives: schooling, housing, leisure time, what they eat, what they wear, how they see the future.

A Gaza Community Mental Health Programme (GCMHP) survey earlier this year found that about 75% of children over the age of six were suffering from one or more symptom of post-traumatic stress disorder. Almost one in 10 ticked off every criteria.

The article ends with the following statistics:

The 23-day war in numbers

Statistics from the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme

• 1,420 Palestinians killed, 446 of them children

• 5,320 injured, 1,855 of them children

• 4,000 houses destroyed

• 16,000 houses damaged

• 94.6% of children aged six-17 heard the sound of sonic jetfighters

• 91.7% of them heard shelling by artillery

• 92% saw mutilated bodies on TV

• 80% were deprived of water or electricity

• 50.7% left home for a safer place

• 25.9% report one symptom of PTSD

• 39.3% report more than one symptom

• 9.8% report full criteria of PTSD

Statistics from the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights

• 1,414 Palestinians killed during the conflict, including 313 children, of which: – 31% girls, 69% boys

– 15% under 5; 23.3% 5-10; 62% 11-17

– 73% died from bombs; 19.8% from artillery shells; 5.4% shot; 1.5% from white phosphorous

• 5,300 Palestinians injured, including 1,606 children

• 36 UN schools damaged

• Approximately 20,000 homes completely or partially destroyed

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About Adam Horowitz

Adam Horowitz is Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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