August 11, 2014
A study conducted by Unicef, the UN agency for children, following Operation Pillar of Defence in 2012 found that 91% of children reported sleeping disturbances during the conflict; 94% said they slept with their parents; 85% reported appetite changes; 82% felt angry; 97% felt insecure; 38% felt guilty; 47% were biting their nails; 76% reported itching or feeling ill; and 82% were either continuously or usually in fear of imminent death.
… This time, says Zeyada, it is likely to be worse. “Any child above six years old has now been exposed to three wars. We are talking about a traumatised generation. They will perceive the world as dangerous, and they will have a lot of frustration and anger. And a desire for revenge.” The current war, he says, is “more intensive, more brutal” than the past two. The two main pillars of Palestinian society – family and religion – have been relentlessly targeted. Scores of families have suffered multiple deaths; thousands of homes and dozens of mosques have been destroyed.
Harriet Sherwood is the Guardian’s Jerusalem correspondent. She was previously foreign editor and home editor