Vast Majority Experience War Trauma -- MEDICA - World Forum for Medicine

98 per cent of Gaza’s children experience or witness war trauma. A new study based on The Gaza Child Health Survey shows the debilitating psychiatric and psychological consequences of chronic war for children in the Gaza Strip.

Most children in that area of continuous war have been injured or tortured. They witnessed shooting, fighting and explosions. Their homes have been searched and damaged.

According to John Pringle’s study The Psychological Effects of War on Palestinian Children the following results represent the close relationship between war trauma and psychological problems in children: a child in Gaza who has had a severe head injury has 4 times the risk of emotional disorder. A child who has been severely beaten has 3.9 times the risk of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. A child who has witnessed friends injured or killed has 13 times the risk of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. A child in a refugee camp has 5 times a greater chance of witnessing traumatic events and 4 times a greater chance of direct physical trauma.

“Children comprise 47 per cent of Gaza’s population and are extremely vulnerable,” Pringle points out. “It seems the international community is neglecting them, that somehow Palestinian children don’t deserve the protections guaranteed under the Geneva Convention and humanitarian law. We must remember that where we drop our bombs, plant our landmines, and aim our guns, is where children are born, play, and go to school.”; Source: Queen’s University