Children of Gaza Tell Their Stories: ‘We Play with Those Who Remained Alive’ – PHOTOS

Palestinian children in the UNRWA shelter in the Nuseirat refugee camp in Central Gaza. (Photo: Mahmoud Ajjour, The Palestine Chronicle)

By Abdallah Aljamal – Gaza

The Palestine Chronicle spoke to several children in central Gaza. They told us about the war, the ceasefire, and their friends who died – or stayed alive.

A temporary truce was established between the Palestinian Resistance in Gaza and the Israeli army. 

The truce extended from Friday, November 24 to 27, with possible extensions. 

That was enough time for millions of people to come out of their shelters seeking some urgent food or clean water. 

Gaza City is out of fuel and the aid entering from Egypt is hardly enough to keep people alive. 

The children of Gaza, the most affected group of people in the ongoing Israeli genocide, are beyond traumatized, yet continue to cling to their childhood, even under these extraordinarily violent conditions. 

We spoke to some of them. 

‘We See a Few Smiles’ 

“The ceasefire terrifies us. We fear that the war will start again and continue bombing Gaza, as it did during the 47 days before the announcement of the small truce. We want a complete halt to the Israeli war on Gaza,” said 12-year-old Abdullah Abu Zeina, expressing the harsh experience he and all the children of the Gaza Strip have endured.

Abu Zeina added, “The small truce and break from the sound of bombs has brought us some reassurance. We began to see smiles on the faces of children, and I returned to play with my friends. We no longer sleep in fear of the bombing. We want to live in safety and peace.”

 “Children play on the rubble of destroyed homes.”

 ‘We Try to Forget’

The child Yazan Dweidar said, “We were so happy when we learned about the ceasefire, but we are afraid of the return of war. We try to forget the war, but all the surroundings make us feel uneasy. Destruction is everywhere, and displaced people are everywhere.”

Dweidar continued, “Many of my friends were martyred in the war, and many of them are injured. Now I play with those who are left, and there is no place for us to play except on the destroyed houses, as the streets are filled with rubble and destruction everywhere.”

He added, “I hope the war ends completely and does not return to us again. I don’t know how long the war lasted, but it was long days, and there was heavy shelling everywhere. I hope the war does not return.”

 “Interaction between children in the camps and displaced children.”

‘We Love Life’ 

 Amir Al-Haj, a child and resident of Gaza said, “Next to our house, there are several schools where displaced people from Gaza and the north currently live. There are many, many children, and their situation is very difficult. During this ceasefire, I play with them.”

Al-Haj continued, “All the children, including myself, are afraid of the return of Israeli shelling. We play during these days, but there is no place for us to play except on the houses that the occupation bombed. This is dangerous for us, but we love to play and we love life in safety and peace.”

 “My friend Mohammed Abdul Qader from the displaced people from northern Gaza dreams of returning to his home and the neighborhood where he lived. His constant conversation with me is about his friends and the neighborhood he lived in. He hopes that they are still alive and have not been martyred or injured during the war.”

 “We want to live in safety.”

‘I Dream the War Will End’ 

 Anas Al-Mallahi said, “In every war the occupation launches, my family is forced to evacuate to schools. We have suffered a lot, and the majority of houses in the neighborhood where I live have been completely destroyed.”

“I dream that the war will end, and I dream of living with my family and loved ones in complete peace. I want all the children of the world and the children of Gaza to be well. We do not want war, and we do not want bombing.

 “I hope everyone will help the people of Gaza and stand with them. The occupation must be prevented from continuing the war, and support, food, and all the necessities of life must be provided for the children of Gaza. We want to live in peace.”

Until a humanitarian truce entered into force on Friday, November 24, the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza announced that over 14,854 Palestinians, including nearly 6,150 children, with another 36,000 wounded. 7,000 Palestinians are missing, including more than 4,700 women and children.

(All Photos: Mahmoud Ajjour, The Palestine Chronicle)

Abdallah Aljamal is a Gaza-based journalist. He is a contributor for The Palestine Chronicle from the Gaza Strip. His email is

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