Gaza children begin school amid devastation caused by Israeli violence
By Mohammed Asad
More than 50,000 Palestinian school children showed up for the first day of classes at more than 125 schools in the Gaza Strip in Palestine, weeks after Israel abruptly ended its vicious military assault and violence against the civilian population.
Children were forced to gather in buildings amid the rubble of the devastation caused by Israel’s terrorism.
Israel attacked the Gaza Strip on July 8 and the military invasion lasted 51 days. During the more than seven week violent assault, Israeli soldiers killed more than 2,200 people including more than 500 babies, infants, children and teenagers.
Israel has been accused of committing war crimes as many of the civilians were intentionally targeted by Israeli soldiers and murdered in cold blood. Israel asserted the high civilian fatality rate was caused because Hamas used civilians as human shields but in realityIsrael used the close proximity of militants defending themselves against Israel’s terrorist assault as an excuse to destroy thousands of civilian homes and the civilian infrastructure in several major population centers in Gaza.
Nearly all of the schools in the Gaza Strip suffered damage and thousands of civilians homes, including 24 schools, were completely destroyed.
A bigger challenge, Ministry of Education officials said, is coordinating the registration of children whose families were forced to flee their homes by the Israeli military terrorism and violence during the assault. Coordinating the registration of children who are now living in temporary shelter has been challenging, officials said.
The school season started two weeks late because of the Israeli assault. To further complicate the inauguration of the school year, Israel’s military occupation forces, which falsely claim they do not control the Gaza Strip, refused to allow the Palestinian Minister of Education’s Khawla al-Shakhshir to visit the schools and direct the delayed opening of the schools. Schools in the West Bank had officially begun two weeks earlier.
Many children suffered enormous stress and fear as a result of the 51 days of Israeli terrorism that targeted their homes, destroyed their neighborhoods and killed friends and members of their families.
Israel publicly claims the Gaza Strip is no longer occupied but its soldiers control the entry and exit into the Palestinian territory of civilians and all merchandise. Israeli officials meticulously manage all travel to and from the Gaza Strip in Palestine and frequently denies entry to high-level Palestinian officials to cross between the two occupied territories.
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