Gaza’s Traumatized Children

By Sameh A. Habeeb – Gaza

Having nowhere to hide even inside UN-run schools, the latest Israeli target, more than 215 children have been killed so far in Israel’s ongoing military offensive against the sealed off Gaza Strip.

But for many, that’s not the worst part of the nightmare.

Having lost a father, mother, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, friend or neighbor, about every child in the bombed-out costal enclave has been traumatized and will keep physical and mental scars for years. has interviewed several children to talk about their feelings regarding Israeli onslaught.

Huda, 7 
I hate this war and I hear that Israel will come to our house soon.

I always get nightmares of rockets hitting my house. I dreamt of my father being killed by one of the rockets and my mother got her neck racked.

In the nightmare, I was searching for my brothers who were taken far away by the Israeli tanks.

I’m unhappy and I want to play again in my house. I hope no bad things happen.

Abed, 3 
I don’t like darkness. It’s when the sounds of bad things come out.

Ahmed Elwan, 6 
We are afraid. I saw many children killed.

Rockets came near my house. My younger sister cried and my mother also. My dad was in my grandmother’s house.

I don’t want to be afraid but I want to be strong man for my mother and sister.

Nasim Udawn, 14   
I’m used to the sound of bombings, but this time it gets louder and louder.

I live in Al-Shati refugee camp in Gaza where some houses around us were destroyed. Many people were killed. Our own home was hit by shrapnel.

The problem is my brother, Nader, who started to suffer from involuntary urination. He gets up crying when he hears the sound of missiles.

Zeyda Nima, 12 
I am not afraid of the bombings or the rockets, no of course, but my siblings are.

I don’t care for these sounds but my sister was taken to the hospital because she is not hearing very well now because of the air raids and bombings.

Yehia, 5 
The young boy was too traumatized to speak. His mother, Zinat, said that since the beginning of the Israeli attacks, he has been suffering from involuntary urination out of fear of the bombings.

Yehia also suffers from nightmares every night.

Muhammad Jmasi, 6

I get scared from the sound of bombings when it comes near my home.

I go to my Dad and he tries to comfort me. But, when my dad is not around, my brothers and I become very afraid.

I want to play again with my friends on the street and I want to have new ball to play soccer.

– Sameh A. Habeeb is a correspondent for IslamOnline in Gaza. (

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