#Article (Archive)

Stop For the Sake of the Children

Jan 16, 2009, 5:54 AM

The statement of UNICEF with regard to the war in Gaza reminds us all of the true cost of this terrible conflict. UNICEF Director Ann M. Veneman says, "Over 300 children have been killed and more than 1,500 wounded, since the beginning of the Gaza crisis on 27 December 2008 as at 13 Jan, 2009. Each day more children are being hurt, their small bodies wounded, their young lives shattered.

These are not just cold figures. They talk of children's lives interrupted. No human being can watch this without being moved. No parent can witness this and not see their own child."

This is the unfortunate truth. Children are watching their parents, siblings, grandparents and friends dying before their eyes and this will come back to haunt them for the rest of their lives. The chances are that these children will never recover emotionally from the trauma they are now experiencing. Many of them will be so consumed by hatred as a result of what they have seen that they will forever hate those who caused them the pain. This perpetuates the awful cycle of violence that has consumed this part of the Middle East for over 50 years. We have been extremely, and rightly, critical of Israel in these pages in recent days but we also now beg Hamas to stop firing rockets at Israel. Stop giving the Israelis an excuse to slaughter women and children. We beg them to adhere to the UN resolutions and respect a ceasefire, purely and simply for the sake of their children. If they do not then the Israelis will continue their genocide and soon there will be no Palestinian children left unaffected. It may already be far too late for that but this is no excuse not to try. Both sides have been blinded by their hatred and rage, we pray that somehow, soon, they will see the light and end the bloodshed.