- Reports of children involved in World Vision programs being killed and injured in Gaza as a result of the ongoing violence.
- World Vision urges both parties to commit to a cease-fire to protect all children caught in the conflict and to engage in meaningful dialogue to ensure these cycles of senseless violence do not continue.
JERUSALEM (July 16, 2014) – Reports from Gaza of children involved in World Vision programs being killed as violence continues are horrifying, says World Vision.
The international humanitarian agency is urging both parties to commit to a cease-fire to protect all children caught in the conflict and to engage in meaningful dialogue to ensure these cycles of senseless violence do not continue.
Barrages of rockets fired from the Gaza strip, while not directly resulting in any fatalities, have terrified civilians across Israel. The intense air strikes from the Israeli Air force have killed 36 children to date and injured hundreds of innocent civilians.
According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), more than 75 per cent of all casualties in Gaza have been civilians. These civilians, because of the blockade of Gaza, cannot escape the carnage. They have nowhere to go.
“Typical of the innocent blood spilt is Saher, a 5-year-old boy who took part in World Vision’s ‘Children Participation and Learning Project’ in Gaza who was tragically killed by an Israeli air missile while playing inside his home,” says Alex Snary, National Director of World Vision’s work in Jerusalem, West Bank and Gaza. “The video and pictures of Saher lying, cradled in the arms of his anguished father are too graphic and beyond shocking.”
“Saher also participated in a children’s event by the beach in Gaza a few weeks ago. He and the other children flew kites carrying messages of peace and hope for the future. Saher was smiling and enjoying flying his kite in the sky of Gaza, dreaming of a better future. We gave him some joy and laughs, but unfortunately we could not protect him from this tragic end,” adds Snary.
“Even for the young generation who has a desire for peace, there is no hope to flourish in this environment of extreme violence and trauma,” says Snary.
UNOCHA reports that at least 25,000 traumatized children in Gaza are in need of psychosocial support. World Vision is preparing to implement an emergency response, which includes creating Child Friendly Spaces and providing the much needed psychosocial counselling for children as soon as the security situation allows.
World Vision calls on both parties to fulfil their responsibility of protecting children and civilians.
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World Vision is a Christian relief, development and advocacy organization dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender. Visit our News Centre at worldvision.ca