Common Grounds

The missing children of Gaza

July 02, 2024

Source: Jews for Justice for Palestinians


Save the Children reports on the missing Gaza children:

The missing children of Gaza

Children sitting amidst the rubble of their home after it was targeted by Israeli airstrikes in Deir Al-Balah in the central Gaza strip, 14 May 2023


Countless children are missing in Gaza.



"The unknown is every parent’s worst fear. Thousands of families in Gaza face the trauma of waiting for news that isn’t coming. This type of loss is known by psychologists as "ambiguous loss" and is considered the most stressful type.


Israeli parents whose loved ones continue to be held hostage are also experiencing this type of loss.


Families are being denied closure – and will continue to hope that the missing person will return. Coping and grieving – processes that are essential for emotional recovery – are put on hold. It could lead to chronic hyper-vigilance, sorrow, anxiety or depressive symptoms, suicidal ideation, addiction, or abuse.\


Families and friends are denied the right to mourn, honor their loved ones, and bury them properly.


To make matters worse, the family’s loss may go unmarked in the eyes of the law, meaning that if peace does come, they may never get accountability.



Thousands are presumed dead beneath the rubble. Others have been harmed beyond recognition by explosives, buried in unmarked or mass graves, or gone missing in the chaos of conflict. We may never know what happened to some of these children. But every one of them had a story, a family, and dreams stolen from them.


What’s happening?


Since October, Gaza has faced relentless violence, which has killed over 37,000 people, including thousands of children. It follows an attack in Israel by Palestinian armed groups that killed over a thousand people, including at least 33 children. Thousands of children in Gaza are trapped beneath the stones of their towns, homes, and schools – structures flattened by Israeli bombs and destroyed by military operations.


Many children have been detained and “disappeared” by Israeli forces. Some thrown into unmarked or mass graves or maimed beyond recognition. Others have been separated from their families and caregivers, at risk of exploitation.


Imagine you’re a parent in Gaza right now, desperately trying to find your child. If you even attempt to clear what was once your home with your bare hands, you risk your life to missiles, bullets and unexploded bombs.


Two Israeli children are still reported to be held hostage in Gaza. Their condition is unknown, and their loved ones are living with the uncertainty of not knowing if their children are alive.


More in the report ….


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