Called the world’s largest open-air prison for good reasons, B’Tselem earlier explained reality for its long-suffering people as follow, saying:
The Strip “is the scene of a humanitarian crisis that has nothing to do with natural causes.”
It’s entirely because “of official Israeli (cruel, inhuman and degrading) policy.”
What can go wrong did go wrong by Israeli malicious intent.
Along with enforced isolation, restrictions and overall deprivation, Israeli regimes attack the Strip at their discretion for invented reasons.
Around 2.1 million Gazans, including over 930,000 children, are virtual Israeli hostages.
Along with chronic unemployment and underemployment, impoverishment, food insecurity and extreme deprivation, most Gazans have limited access to healthcare.
It’s been in a state of collapse for years because of Israeli apartheid viciousness.
Shortages of everything abound, including healthcare facilities, doctors, nurses, meds and equipment.
Rarely do Israeli authorities allow Gazans out of the Strip for vitally needed medical treatment unavailable internally.
According to UNICEF, around 1.5 million Gazans, including 700,000 children, have limited access to healthcare — because of hardwired Israeli policy.
Malnutrition and lack of access to safe drinking water are major problems.
A new Save the Children (STC) report, titled “Trapped: The impact of 15 year of blockade on the mental health of Gaza’s children” explained the following:
One crisis after another followed the imposition of Israel’s 2007 politicized blockade of the Strip.
Since 2018, STC found that “the psychosocial wellbeing of children, young people and their caregivers declined dramatically to alarming levels.”
Asked about their daily lives, Gazan children, adolescents and youths described “a perpetual state of fear, worry, sadness and grief.”
From one day to the next, they await “the next round of (Israeli) violence to erupt” — what’s taking ahorrendous toll on their physical and emotional lives.
They shared “vivid memories of bombings they experienced, recalling how their homes and schools were destroyed, and their loved ones killed.”
“They also spoke of how the blockade affects every aspect of their lives and shapes their hopes and aspirations for the future.”
They’re tormented by “fear, nervousness, anxiety, stress, anger, violence, death, nightmares, poverty, war and the occupation, including the blockade.”
“When asked what would make them feel better, they spoke about their desire to experience feelings like courage, joy, strength, calmness, safety and security, love and optimism.”
“Most of all, they want to enjoy their lives and have freedom to pursue their dreams like other children around the world.”
In cahoots with Egypt, Israel transformed Gaza into an open-air prison in flagrant breach of international humanitarian law.
STC found that over half of Strip children considered suicide.
Around 80% of Gazan children endure emotional stress.
A traumatized 11-year-old said every night before going to bed, she “stare(s) at my ceiling and sincerely prays it won’t fall on my head,” adding:
“I keep seeing the same dream over and over again about the time when my brother and I used to sleep near the door so that we would escape faster if the home was targeted.”
STC found that nearly 80% of caregivers reported an increase of bedwetting among children, adolescents and youths.
Nearly 60% of caregivers provided evidence of speech, language and communication difficulties among Gazan young people.
Nearly all Gazan children and young people are unhappy and fearful of what may happen without notice.
According to STC’s Jason Lee:
“(C)hildren we spoke to for this report described living in a perpetual state of fear, worry, sadness and grief, waiting for the next round of violence to erupt, and feeling unable to sleep or concentrate,” adding:
“(P)hysical evidence of their distress – bedwetting, loss of ability to speak or to complete basic tasks – is shocking and should serve as a wakeup call to the international community.”
Other STC findings strongly suggest that the psychosocial well-being of Gazan young people will continue deteriorating to more alarmingly low levels than already if things don’t change.
“Five years ago, caregivers (told STC that) blockade, chronic poverty and insecurity push(ed) their (ability) to support their children to its absolute limit,” the “Trapped” study found, adding:
The ability to cope “would most likely be utterly destroyed in the event of another conflict,” what came for 11 horrific days in May 2021.
STC’s latest “findings show that (what) caregivers predict(ed) c(ame) true.”