ISLAMABAD, June 16 ( Alliance News): The non-governmental organization says four out of five children in Gaza are suffering from depression due to the 15-year blockade imposed by Israel on Palestinian land.
Save the Children, a British non-governmental organization (NGO), said children in Gaza were suffering from emotional distress, according to a report by the foreign media.
Israel imposed the blockade in June 2007 after Hamas militants seized the densely populated region. Israel and Egypt also severely restrict the movement of people and goods.
In a report titled “Trapped”, the British-based group said the mental health of Gaza’s children was deteriorating.
The report says that since 2018, the number of symptoms of depression, grief and fear has increased from 55% to 80%.
Jason Lee, Save the Children’s director of the Occupied Palestinian Territories, said the children we spoke to for the report were living in a state of constant fear, anxiety, sadness and grief, waiting for the next wave of violence and Feeling sleepy or unable to concentrate.
He said it was “surprising” that the physical evidence of the children’s suffering, such as getting wet in bed, not being able to speak or not completing basic tasks, was a matter of concern to the international community. About half of Gaza’s 21 million people are children.
Save the Children said there are about 800,000 young people in the area who have “never seen life without a blockade.”
Open air prison Israel says the blockade is necessary to protect its citizens from Hamas operations.
Hamas is a militant group that has been blacklisted by Western countries as a terrorist organization.
Over the past 12 months, Israel has issued more work permits to Gazans seeking better-paying jobs within the Jewish state and eased some restrictions on the movement of goods in and out of the region.
However, the blockade remains largely in place, with Palestinians generally barred from entering Israel from Gaza via the Erez crossing.
Residents of Gaza also face major obstacles in getting to Egypt via the Rafah crossing.
“Israel, with the help of Egypt, has turned Gaza into an open-air prison,” Human Rights Watch said in a statement on the anniversary of the blockade.
Omar Shakir, director of Human Rights Watch for Israel and Palestine, told AFP that young people face blockades because they did not know about Gaza before the blockade.
He said that they have been forcibly restricted and they are not being given opportunity to interact and engage with the world.