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

Share

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.

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

React Now

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

Recruitment Genius: Transport Administrator / Planner

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...

Austen Lloyd: Corporate Tax Associate - London

Excellent Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - HIGHEST QUALITY INTERNATIONAL FIRM - A...

Austen Lloyd: Senior Law Costs - London City

Excellent Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - EXCELLENT FIRM - We have an outstandin...

Austen Lloyd: In-House Solicitor / Company Secretary - London

Excellent Package: Austen Lloyd: IN-HOUSE - NATIONAL CHARITY - An exciting and...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

If I were Prime Minister: Every privatised corner of the NHS would be taken back into public ownership

Philip Pullman
 

Errors & Omissions: Magna Carta, sexing bishops and ministerial aides

John Rentoul
Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee