Four out of five children in Gaza suffer from emotional distress, Save the Children said Wednesday, 15 years after Israel slapped a strict blockade on the Palestinian territory.
Israel imposed the measure in June 2007, as fighters of the Islamist Hamas movement took control of the densely populated enclave. Israel, and Egypt, continue to severely restrict the flow of people and materials in and out.
In a report called “Trapped”, Britain-based Save the Children said the mental health of Gazan children has continued to deteriorate.
Children make up nearly half of Gaza’s population of 2.1 million. Around 800,000 young people in the territory who have “never known life without the blockade,” Save the Children said.
Israel has fought four wars with Hamas since 2007, most recently in May 2021.
Over the past 12 months, Israel has granted more work permits for Gazans seeking better paid jobs inside the Jewish state. It has also relaxed some restrictions on the flow of goods in and out of the territory.
But the blockade remains broadly unchanged, with Palestinians generally barred from leaving Gaza through the Erez crossing to Israel.