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Psychologist Waddah al-Shaer explained that children who survive the bombings will live with deep psychological problems for many years.
Abdul Rahaman, a Palestinian child survivor of an Israeli airstrike that killed the rest of his family members, has become numb to anything around since he was sent to al-Shifaa hospital a couple of days ago, said his aunt Wafaa in the war-torn Gaza Strip.
Behind the door of the pediatric clinic, cramped with kids screaming and crying due to pain from injuries, tight-lipped Abdul Rahaman lay on a bed with his eyes wide open in a trance. Sometimes, a teardrop or two fell down his face.
The boy used to be an active child in the six-member family until he was critically wounded and orphaned in an Israeli strike that leveled the family's house in the al-Shatea refugee camp.
"Abdul Rahaman was stuck with his cousin among two walls and was critically wounded in his legs, stomach, and arms. When the civil defense teams tried to rescue them, they found that his cousin was dead while he was still alive," Wafaa said.
���� There is still NO PROOF Hamas beheaded a single Israel baby.
���� In Gaza however, I’ve now seen multiple videos of Palestinian babies BEHEADED by ISRAELI BOMBINGS.
Since then, completely baffled by the attack, the boy has not closed his eyes nor spoken any words to anyone. Occasionally, mumbling voices were heard, as if he was calling for his parents and siblings. Up to now, no one has the heart to tell him that he has lost his mother, father, and three sisters.
"I don't know how I can tell him what happened. The doctors said he was suffering from severe shock. He is the youngest kid, and he will not bear it," she said.
Malak, 9, was not luckier than Abdul Rahaman. As a child from an already displaced Palestinian family in the Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza, she was injured in the hip and legs and lost her mother and siblings in an Israeli airstrike that took place over their heads while they were sleeping.
After being hospitalized, the girl asked about her parents many times, but no one had an answer for her, said her uncle Mohammed.
"I do not know how to help my brother's daughter deal with this tragedy... There are no answers in war, only unprecedented, harrowing scenes of bloodshed and destruction," the 39-year-old father of three said.
"About half of Gaza's population are children... most of those injured in the intense attacks in Gaza are children and women," explained Waddah al-Shaer, a Gaza-based psychologist.
The complete siege on Gaza, home to more than 2 million people, and intensive Israeli airstrikes claimed to be targeting Hamas strongholds have made this Israel-Gaza conflict the most intensive and violent war civilians could ever experience in the enclave, according to the psychologist.
Currently, there is no safe place for them due to continuous Israeli bombings, said al-Shaer, adding that for many years to come, a child survivor has to live through psychological problems left by such a traumatic experience. He urged the international community to pressure Israel to stop its military escalation in Gaza.
The Israeli airstrikes were triggered by a large-scale Hamas attack on Israeli military targets and towns on Oct. 7. The death toll in Gaza has risen to 5,087, including 2,055 children, 1,119 women, and 217 elderly people, in addition to 15,273 injuries.
Loujain, 11, had no time to take any of her toys and personal belongings when her family escaped from the collapsed building. The girl said that since then, she has been unable to sleep, fearing nightmares of war and explosions.
It was a short moment of fun when Loujain was playing with her sister Juliet and other displaced children in the hospital courtyard before the sound of a new round of explosions made all the kids rush into the arms of their mothers. Still, Juliet said afterward that she dreams of becoming a doctor to save more lives.