During three days of violence in early August, until a ceasefire was reached on August 7, the Israel Defense Forces conducted about 147 airstrikes against targets in Gaza while Palestinian militants launched about 1,100 rockets and mortars at Israel.
Summary Security Council On August 8, Tor Wennesland, Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, reported that 46 Palestinians had been killed and 360 wounded, and 70 Israelis wounded.
A heavy loss for children
17 Palestinian children were among those killed in Gaza in August, and the conflict is taking a heavy toll on all young people living in the Strip, said Adele Khodr. UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa, in a statement welcome the ceasefire.
“For many children, this is the fifth conflict in 15 years,” noted Ms. Khodr. “Many are living with the long-term psychological effects of frequent exposure to violence.”
After visiting a family in Gaza whose home was severely damaged in the conflict, Lynne Hastings, the United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator for the Occupied Palestinian Territories, said that “the humanitarian situation in Gaza is deteriorating and this latest escalation will only make matters worse. We stand ready to work with all parties to ensure that humanitarian needs are met.”
Living ‘in a state of despair and psychological breakdown’
Speaking at a workshop organized by the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), Dr Yousef Shahin, head of UNRWA’s Disease Prevention and Control Programme, said, The Agency’s mental and psychological health support program aims to provide treatment. over 87,000 cases, is one of the most important such programs in the Gaza Strip.
“We are currently investigating the cases, and if psychological support is needed, we will open the case, monitor and treat. Common symptoms include depression and epilepsy, there are also other cases related to chronic diseases of physical, psychological origin”.
65% live below the poverty line
For his part, Dr. Sami Owaida of the Gaza Mental Health Program attributed the psychological challenges faced by residents of the Gaza Strip due to the Israeli occupation and blockade of the Strip, which lasted for more than 15 years. “More than 65 percent of Gaza’s population lives below the poverty line and more than 60 percent is unemployed.”
Dr Ghada Al Jadba, UNRWA Health Program Head, who said that people in Gaza live “in a state of despair and psychological deterioration due to deteriorating economic, social and political conditions”.
“The conflict in May 2021 [in which much of Gaza City was destroyed, and hundreds were killed or injured]resulting in a psychological shock, in addition to dealing with power and water cuts, high rates of poverty and unemployment – all factors that lead to the already deteriorating health and psychological well-being of residents. people of Gaza”.
More than two million people live in the Gaza Strip: there is only one mental health hospital, with a capacity of 50 beds, serving five governors in the Strip.