Research paper on Effect of War on the Health and Life of Children

Effect of War on the Health and Life of Children

The consistent war between Israel and Palestine has been accompanied with constant infringement of the rights of citizens. The occupation of Palestinian territory by Israel has resulted in the violation of both the rights of the Palestinians and Israelites. In fact, so many citizens from both countries have died during the war. Children have been victims of this violence and have paid heavily during this war. The Gaza, which is a well known area and the West Bank area are the most affected regions in this war (Peleg, & Waxman, 2011). With 53% of the 4 million people residing in this region being children, it is not surprising that children have been the most affected group of individuals in this war in comparison to adults. Apart from death and physical injuries, many of these children suffer psychologically due to the violence acts they have been exposed to. Such psychological effects have mainly been caused by the direct violence that they have witnessed. Psychological trauma has also come from the severe suffering of other people that they know directly during the war.

Effects of the War on the Health of the Children

Due to the exposure to the war, many Palestinian and even Israelite children have become affected psychologically. The war has placed them at a disadvantage because of the mental and physical state that they live in as a result of the exposure to war for many years. These children live in such disadvantaged situations and this has been attributed to the war that has lasted for many years now.

Impact on the physical health

The onset of the Israel-Palestine war in Gaza, has resulted in many adverse effects for the health sector. Consequently, many children who reside in this region suffer from different illnesses due to the incidental physical influences of the war. In the long run, many children have succumbed to their illnesses and physical injuries. Besides the destruction of the hospitals and health facilities, many doctors and nurses have been casualties of war and died during this time, while those who have survived have fled the region (Peleg, & Waxman, 2011). This has caused the health of the people in this war-torn zone to be continually exposed to danger and become susceptible to many diseases including malaria, cholera, and diarrhea. Despite the fact that these diseases are easily treatable and their treatment is cheap, the prevailing conditions in the region have led to a general absence of facilities that can deal with such illnesses.  Infectious diseases that are caused by the poor conditions that surround the region also continue to ravish the children. These diseases come as a result of unsafe water, poor sanitation, and lack of housing facilities. Additionally, the war has also interrupted immunization programs within the area resulting in an alarming rate of the spread of such contagious diseases in these war prone areas. Inevitably, such diseases have claimed the lives of many children.

Rape and sexual violence are some of the vices that have been reported and they are happening as a result of the ongoing war between the Israelites and the Palestinians (Cook, 2006). As a matter of fact, these two inhumane acts are now commonly used as weapons of this particular war. In many cases, such acts have resulted in an increasing number of young women and girls getting children from war-related crimes perpetrated against them. There are yet others who have been injured so badly to the extent that they will never be able to bear children in the future. The rape victims that have given birth have had many difficulties trying to raise children as single parents and as such, most of the babies that they give birth to end up dying. Moreover, these girls have ended up contracting sexually transmitted infections and eventually succumbed to their related illnesses.

Malnutrition is yet another problem that children in this war torn region are experiencing. High levels of malnutrition and anemia have been reported among these children and food aid is urgently and desperately needed in this area (Levy, & Sidel, 1997). Despite this, there is very limited supply of food in this area with the insecurity issues escalating the situation and making it impossible for humanitarian organizations to access and supply food in the region. The war has also led to the annihilation of industries, infrastructure, and jobs putting a huge economical strain on the affected families. As a result, most parents are unable to look after their children. Most of these parents and guardians cannot provide them with basic needs or sufficient food. In fact, the findings of a recent survey conducted in Gaza and the West Bank region revealed that an estimated 37.9 per cent of the children were suffering from anemia while 2.5 % suffered fromsevere malnutrition. Further results also indicate that about 9 % suffered from chronic malnutrition effects and apart from this, there was an increase in the rates of anemia as well as malnutrition since the year 2000 (Peleg, & Waxman, 2011).

The ongoing war between these two countries has resulted in the disability of many children in Israel and Palestine who now suffer as victims. Due to the prevailing conditions in the region, majority of such victims have grossly insufficient access to the treatment services. In fact, the situation is so dire that some of the children have been forced to wait up to about 10 years before getting basic treatment, such as the fitting of a prosthetic limb. It is rare for most of the children that survive during the war to receive prostheses, which can help them to maintain the continued growth of their affected limbs(Peleg, & Waxman, 2011). Moreover, the Palestine-Israel war has caused many children to suffer a wide range of injuries while in some other cases, the children have been negatively affected by the weapons used in the war. For instance, the use of landmine explosions has been a major cause of injuries to many innocent children.

Impact on the mental health

There has been widespread exposure of children to the conditions of terror as well as horror during the experiences in the Israel-Palestine war. It is such situations that have resulted in many children enduring the effects of posttraumatic stress disorders (Kuriansky, 2006). In addition, there have been very high depression rates as well as high anxiety amongst the war affected children owing to the severe losses and disruptions of their lives. In fact, the continued exposure of such children to more concentrated violence both within the region and the refugee camps, has prolonged their depressions and exacerbated the matter.

Due to the experience of the unresponsiveness from the nearby environments of war have caused many children to lose the perception and meaning as well as essence of their lives within this environment (Levy & Sidel, 1997). There are some of the affected children who have been forced to completely change part of their moral structure and began engaging in things they did not uphold before such as lying, stealing, and selling sex in order to survive. In addition, some of the children have also experienced a dismantling of their moral structure and have been trained to kill and later on joined the military forces hence becoming a part of the war. There are yet other children in this region who have lost their community and entire culture to the war and this has caused some to be reconstituted in refugee camps as well as diaspora situations.

Effects of the War on the Lives of the Children

The war between Israel and Palestine has caused a lot of pain and misery among many  innocent children in the region. Some of these children have ended up being trained and forced against their will to join the army (Kuriansky, 2006). There are others who have been used as shields during the war and ultimately majority of the children have been exposed to all the health problems that have been discussed above. Many of these children have succumbed to the diseases and conditions caused by the war.



Cook, B. A. (2006). Women and war: a historical encyclopedia from antiquity to the present. Santa Barbara, Calif. [u.a.: ABC-Clio.

Kuriansky, J. (2006). Terror in the Holy Land inside the anguish of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Westport, Conn.: Praeger.

Levy, B. S., & Sidel, V. W. (1997). War and public health. New York: Oxford University Press.

Peleg, I., & Waxman, D. (2011). Israel’s Palestinians: the conflict within. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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