Thursday, August 7, 2014

Gaza conflict hits children especially hard

GAZA CITY — Gazan children picked among the rubble of their former homes during a three-day cease-fire, searching for toys and notebooks that may have survived the four-week bombardment of the coastal territory.
The children are full of questions that no one can answer — mainly, what's next?
"Our house was attacked — where am I going to sleep now? We have no home," said Yasmin, 6, in Gaza City, whose last name was withheld to protect her privacy. "I miss my bed and decorated room, I wish it was still there and our home was not targeted."
Some 40,000 homes have been damaged or destroyed during the month-long conflict with Israel that has displaced nearly half a million Palestinians and killed nearly 1,900 — more than 400 of them children, according to Gaza's Public Works Ministry and Health Ministry.
The United Nations has condemned Israel for its attacks, especially those near U.N. schools being used as shelters, where dozens have been killed in recent weeks. On Sunday, the State Department called on Israel to do "more to meet its own standards and avoid civilian casualties."
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, meanwhile, charged Wednesday that Hamas is engaging in "child sacrifice" by using civilians as human shields.

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