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In Gaza 400,000 Children Need Psychological Care, Caritas Says


Agenzia Fides - published on 09/05/14 - updated on 06/07/17

Years of war leave scars on local population.

Jerusalem – The ceasefire may have ended Israel's Operation Protective Edge and Hamas militants' firing of rockets into Israel, but a new battle is beginning.

Caritas Jerusalem, quoting a United Nations report, says some 400,000 children and young adults need psychological care to alleviate the effects of the three conflicts which have affected the people of Gaza in the past six years.

“Boys and girls…represent the part of the population which suffers most the consequences of armed conflict. The majority experience the separation of families and develop a pessimistic vision of life,” the organization says. 

Psychological assistance to help boys and girls overcome the traumatic consequences of armed warfare represents one of the principal fields of action promoted by Caritas to help the people of Gaza. Since August 22, the aid agency's psycho-social team has been at work – with the help of numerous volunteers – in districts and buildings where most refugees are to be found, organizing individual and group activities for boys and girls, helping them give vent, in non-destructive ways, to anger and a sense of oppression accumulated during the conflict. 

Meanwhile, the Associated Press reported that a senior leader of Hamas on Friday rejected Israel's demand that the group be disarmed as a condition for ending the long-running blockade of the Gaza Strip and permitting the opening of an air and seaport there.

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