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Israeli Bomb Strikes Mental Health Recovery Centre in Gaza, Kills 11 Children

By: Prateek Sachdeva
19 May 2021 10:48:20 PM CSMC, Chitkara University, Punjab

The Norwegian Refugee Council on May 18 confirmed that 11 out of the 60 children who were killed by Israeli strikes the previous week were participating in its psycho-social programme aimed at helping them deal with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). All of the children were aged between 5 and 15, Times of Israel reported. 

 

The Norwegian Refugee Council is an independent, humanitarian, non-governmental organisation that protects the rights of people affected by displacement. The refugee council works with 118 schools in Gaza, reaching more than 75,000 students through its Better Learning Program, The Economic Times reported.

 

“We are devastated to learn that 11 children we were helping with trauma were bombarded while they were at home and thought they were safe,” NRC's Secretary-General Jan Egeland said, “We call on Israel to stop this madness: children must be protected.”

 

At least 217 Palestinians have been killed, including 63 children and 36 women, and 1,500 others injured in Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip since May 10, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry, reports CNBC. Meanwhile, Save The Children, a global non-government organization, announced on Sunday that at least 366 children had been injured in the ongoing strikes. On the other hand, 12 Israelis including 2 children have lost their lives.

 

The Israel Defence Force (IDF) described the bombing as “abnormal” and said the civilian casualties were unintended. A spokesman said air strikes had caused a tunnel to collapse, bringing houses down with it, BBC reports.

 

“As an urgent measure, we appeal to all parties for an immediate ceasefire so that we can reach those in need and spare more civilians,” NRC Secretary-General stated, “But the truth is that there can be no peace or security as long as there are systemic injustices. The siege of Gaza needs to be lifted and the occupation of Palestinians must end if we are to avoid more trauma and death among children and new cycles of destruction every few years.”

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