By Sardar Khan Niazi
The besieged Gaza Strip is mourning the 16 children killed in Israel’s latest devastating attack. The Israeli attack, which continued from August 6 to August 8 killed 47 Palestinians, including children, and injured hundreds of others.
During their tiny lives, children experience the terror and loss of war after war, with no chance of a peaceful childhood.
Israel launched a new offensive on the beleaguered Gaza Strip, which is still reeling from the May 2021 war that killed more than 260 Palestinians and destroyed thousands of homes, buildings, and businesses.
As if 15 years of crippling siege was not enough, in an operation named Truthful Dawn, the Israeli regime once again rained bombs on the already weighed down Gaza Strip in a three-day offensive.
Year after year the Gaza Strip has been laid open to horrifying operations in which thousands were killed, hundreds of thousands were injured and essential infrastructure was totally destroyed.
With so many attacks, the UN forecast has proved right that Gaza will become unlivable. Up till now, more than two million Palestinians continue to live there. Most of them do not live there by choice. Recent polls assess that some 40 percent of those residing in Gaza will leave if they can, as they do not see a future for themselves in Gaza.
Life has not been easy for Palestinians in Gaza for many years, but with every war, every operation, and every assault by the Israeli leaders, the living conditions are becoming harder and harder.
The health facilities, which have long been suffering because of the blockade will soon, come to a virtually complete halt due to the electricity breakdowns and reduction of fuel for the generators. To be sure, in addition to this latest belligerence, the Israeli regime has kept all the crossings into Gaza closed, inhibiting the entry of fuel and other essential goods.
Although the bombs have stopped falling on Gaza subsequent to an Egypt-brokered truce between Israel and the Palestinian group Islamic Jihad, the impacts of this latest attack will continue for a long time, like all the other Israeli attacks before it.
Individuals in Gaza are continuously trying to recover from preceding attacks, offensives, and operations while fearing the next ones. In addition, they have no way of recovering from the many physical and mental injuries they have sustained.
Without a doubt, a number of international NGOs and UN agencies are trying to document the never-ending mental health crisis in Gaza. Yet many of the methodologies and theories they use are not working.
This is because these organizations and agencies are trying to understand and address this crisis using Western concepts that cannot be applied to the reality on the ground in Gaza. The notion of Post-traumatic stress disorder, for example, is inapplicable to the experiences of Palestinians, because the trauma they experience from the settler-colonial reality is tedious, continuing, and unceasing.
Moreover, this condition of endless strain and suffering goes beyond generations in Gaza and the wider Palestine. Undeniably, the distress experienced by Palestinians in Gaza did not start last week, last year, or even in 2006 when the Israeli regime first laid siege on the Gaza Strip for electing a government it did not like. It started when the Zionist movement first set its eyes on Palestine as the land in which to embark upon its settler-colonial plan.
It was that plan, which has resulted in the enormous and continuous dispossession of the Palestinian people that created the world’s largest open-air prison that Gaza is nowadays. With an air, land, and sea blockade by Israel, life in Gaza has become ugly, and the humanitarian situation is alarming.