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How children are bearing the brunt of the attacks in Gaza

Published: Saturday, July 26 2014 7:30 a.m. MDT

Updated: Sunday, July 27 2014 11:59 p.m. MDT

A girl holds a candle and a poster with a picture of an injured Palestinian child during a protest in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Friday July 25, 2014. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Friday that more work was needed to reach a deal between Israel and Hamas for a seven-day truce in the Gaza war. Israel's defense minister warned that the military may soon broaden its ground operation "significantly." (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

Nasser Nasser, AP

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Full of horrific details and graphic photos, stories of the most recent Hamas-Israel war have been flooding the news media since the most recent violence began on July 15. The conflict's death toll has reached 836, including 800 Palestinian deaths and 36 Israeli deaths, according to the New York Times as of July 25. And among those affected, the most vulnerable are children.

a'In this besieged strip of land, close to two million people live so densely packed that any strike — be it from the air, the sea or on land — will kill someone more than the intended target. And that someone too often is a child," Mashable's Jon Snow writes.

Of those who have been killed, UNICEF reports that at least 192 are children. Plus, more than 1,780 families' homes have been destroyed and tens of thousands of Palestinians are displaced, UNICEF reports. And more than 80 schools in Gaza are damaged from the conflict.

And for children who are not injured or killed? The psychological damage done reaches all 72,000 children living in Gaza who, Save the Children reports, will be in "desperate need of counselling and support after losing close family members, suffering injuries and seeing their homes destroyed."

U.N. official Jens Laerke told a news briefing in Geneva Tuesday, "There is literally no safe place for civilians."

Because of this, the humanitarian crisis is growing out of the conflict is great. As more than 1.2 million people who live in Gaza have limited access to water and power, and supplies of fuel and food are short, Laerke said. Plus, Mashable's Snow reported that hospitals in Gaza City suffer "a chronic shortage of pain relief."

Nonprofit organizations have operations in Gaza and Israel that aim to help war victims, especially children, to recover and cope with the atrocities they face among the violence.

Doctors Without Borders has sent additional staff and resources into a Gaza City hospital and have a clinic in the city as well.

Muslim Aid is on the ground in Gaza and provides health care, emergency response and long-term support for food security and education. Currently, Muslim Aid has partners in Gaza to "procure urgently needed ambulances, medical equipment, blood units, life detector devices and a fire brigade to respond to the crisis," according to the website.

Save the Children is one of the largest nonprofits in the West Bank and Gaza, and the organization has ongoing programs that offer training and schooling to help beneficiaries get employed. It also has programs helping children cope with the psychosocial stress of living in conflict. Save the children also has a program targeting early childhood education for children in Nazareth.

amcdonald@deseretnews.com

Twitter | @amymcdonald89

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