As well as killing hundreds of Gaza's children, Israel has destroyed the lives of thousands more

Two days ago I met some of the children whose lives have been completely ruined by Israel. We cannot forget them


As with all wars, the war in Gaza is being measured by its dead. According to a UN report published three days ago, nearly 1800 Palestinians have died in this latest war on Gaza, 377 of them children (although by now, the numbers will already be a bit higher).

There are several campaigns and initiatives to humanize these latest victims of Israeli aggression, in an attempt to make sure that they are not just numbers to fall into the chasms of history but rather human beings with names and stories. 

But we must also measure this war by its injured, lest we forget about Gaza when the bombing stops. The UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has also reported that nearly a third of the 9000 who have been injured are children.

READ MORE: Israel-Gaza conflict: Names of 373 children killed by bombing released in charity plea for permanent ceasefire

Here we must be clear, these injuries are not scrapes and bruises. These are serious, life altering injuries, including amputations, the loss of eyes, and brain damage. And all in the name of Israel’s war against Hamas terrorists.

Just two days ago I visited St Joseph’s hospital in my neighborhood in East Jerusalem and I saw no terrorists. Instead I saw children with truly terrible injuries.

One, was a 14 year-old girl who was crying out in pain from a seriously infected leg. In Gaza, the hospital had put a cast on it but the soft tissue had become infected. The staff at St Joseph were trying to save her leg. We were subsequently told by the nurses that the girl’s mother had died in a bombing but she had not been told yet.

Many of the children had vacant hollow eyes, staring at the walls oblivious to their many East Jerusalemite visitors. Our visit with simple presents seemed futile, especially as most of them would be returning to Gaza after receiving the care that they needed. How could we hope to alleviate their suffering even for a moment when on the horizon is their return to an apocalyptic prison?


Then there was Ahmed, a boy of 17 with seemingly paralyzed legs after being bombed on the doorstep of his house. I gave him a notebook and some pencils. He immediately began drawing something. I asked to see it, it was a heart with an arrow through it. He then folded the paper up several times and placed it under his pillow.

We talked to his mother, offering her what felt like empty words of solidarity. One of my companions said; “we’ve seen what you are going through on TV”. Ahmed looked up and said to us; “You’ve seen it on TV. We see it with our own eyes.”

An OCHA assessment is that 373,000 children are in serious need of physco-social support. Children like Ahmed who have seen their parents, siblings or cousins die before their very eyes. This trauma will no doubt last a lifetime.

So let us remember that the casualties of this war on Gaza are not just those who were brutally killed by Israeli Occupation Forces. They are also those who are left behind. Those who suffer from injuries that Gaza could barely cope with before and most certainly can’t now.

When this assault is over, their lives will remain impossibly difficult. They will need aid in the form of doctors, medical supplies and material to rebuild infrastructure. But most importantly they will need to be granted basic human rights if they are ever to recover. Rights that can only come with an end to the siege of Gaza and occupation of Palestine.

If Israel wants peace, it must talk to Hamas
Israel-Gaza conflict: What has Israel achieved in 26 bloody days?

React Now

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Project Implementation Executive

£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Chiropractic Assistant

£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive - Midlands

£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...

Day In a Page

Read Next

Errors & Omissions: how to spell BBQ and other linguistic irregularities

Guy Keleny

South Africa's race problem is less between black and white than between poor blacks and immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa

John Carlin
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own