The four children lost their ability to control urination due to the fear they underwent when Israeli army jets bombed a home near theirs in the Jabalya refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip during the "Warm Winter" military campaign three weeks ago. The four children still remember the terrifying night when they woke frightened up to the sound of a thundering explosion in the area and found that the glass of their home's windows had fallen onto their bed.
Thousands of Palestinian children have experienced what Hawash's four children are undergoing. Aish Samour, director of the Psychiatric Hospital in
Samour adds that the scenes and images of death, destruction, tanks, ambulances, children bombed, bulldozers uprooting trees, the funerals of the killed, and planes that drop missiles over homes and the smoke rising from them -- all of which are shown on television as well as witnessed in the events that take place around them -- seriously affect the psychological and nervous conditions of Palestinian children.
According to a study conducted by the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme, each Palestinian child has been exposed to more than nine shocking events. The study says that 95.6 per cent of children have seen images of the wounded and killed, and 95 per cent have been affected adversely by hearing the sounds of explosions as a result of shelling. Further, a total of 60 per cent of children have undergone moderate psychological shock.
Matters are made more complicated by the fact that due to the
[Excerpt of an article by Saleh Al-Naami, Al-Ahram]