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War through the eyes of children

Source: World Vision - UK - Fri, 30 Nov 2012 12:11 GMT
Author: World Vision
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Photo by Mohammed Awad.

Israel’s recent military operation in the Gaza Strip, “Operation Pillar of Defense,” resulted in the death of 163 Palestinians, between 29 and 32 of which are estimated to be children, and injuring over 1,000 more people.

Six Israelis were also killed due to rocket fire. World Vision talks to ten sponsored children in North Gaza trying to return to a life of normalcy, in order to understand what war looks like through the eyes of a child.

Photo by Suzan Al Wahedi.

"I hate the war," says 13-year-old Hayat. "I wish we could live in peace like other people. I imagined that missiles would tear my body into small parts and then felt my body trembling from fear. I am afraid. I don’t want to die." During the recent Israeli operation, Hayat’s home was partially destroyed by Israeli shelling.

Photo by Suzan Al Wahedi.

"I was afraid and I hid next to my mom when I heard the sound of the missiles," says 11-year-old Enass. "I felt that all of us will die. When we knew that my father was wounded in his foot, my brothers and I cried. I love my father, and I don't want him to die. My cousin died, and I felt sad. I wish I could live and be safe and that war does not come again. Enass’s father was injured when shrapnel was lodged in his leg causing nerve damage. Enass’s cousin was also killed by shelling from the recent Israeli military operation.

Photo by Suzan Al Wahedi.

"My brothers and I were so scared," remembers 13-year-old Reem. "We were sitting and sleeping next to my mum. They bombed the area behind my house, and our windows and doors broke. I wish Palestine was free and that I could live safely like the rest of the children around the world." During the recent Israeli military operation, Reem’s family’s agricultural lands were bombed by shelling.

Photo by Suzan Al Wahedi.

Eleven-year-old Mohammad describes how he felt during the shelling. "I felt afraid when I heard the sounds of the missiles," he says. "I was crying and running towards my parents. I wasn’t able to sleep. They killed many children and people, and my cousin has died too. I felt sad that not even the birds survived the missiles." The windows in Mohammad’s home were broken and the water tanks on the roof of their home were destroyed as a result of shelling.

Photo by Suzan Al Wahedi.

Little 7-year-old Zakarya says, "I was afraid and could not sleep. I didn’t like watching TV because I don’t want to see children with blood. I was crying most of the time, especially after our house was ruined and we lost everything. I lost my computer, my computer games, my bed. I have nothing now." Zackarya’s home was completely destroyed during the Israeli military operation "Pillar of Defense."

Photo by Mohammed Awad.

According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA), the operation left over 350 Palestinian families in Gaza displaced as a result of damaged homes and over 20,000 currently without water supply due to destroyed pipelines.

Photo by Mohammed Awad.

During the Israeli military operation, "Pillar of Defense," 298 homes in the Gaza Strip were destroyed, according to reports by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA).

Photo by Mohammed Awad.

World Vision Jerusalem-West Bank-Gaza works with 117 communities in the occupied Palestinian territory with its programs impacting the lives of more than 200,000 children. World Vision works with communities in Gaza to help improve families’ livelihoods. Through its work, World Vision seeks to ensure that all children are cared for, protected and participating, to increase hope and vision for a brighter future.

Photo by Suzan Al Wahedi.

"The planes were bombing everywhere," describes 12-year-old Wegdan "On television, I saw pictures of children and women who died. I felt then that I was going to die like them. I was really sad and cried a lot. I wish I could live safely." Wegdan’s cousin was killed by the shelling while walking outside at night during the recent Israeli military operation in the Gaza Strip.

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