Over the past two months around 750,000 children and youth of Israel, who live in cities which have been targeted and hit by rockets, have been forced to spend their summer holidays in bomb shelters instead of spending their time in summer camps or at the beach. The traumatic experiences of war time, the constant fear, day and night, from flying Hamas rockets will have a long-term effect on them.
Unfortunately almost all the south's children have grown up with anxiety and are traumatized. Since their birth they have lived with fear. They find it difficult to fall asleep. Many of them are afraid that Arabs will break into their homes and kidnap them.
Just a week ago, Israel’s President, Reuven Rivlin, hosted children from the Gaza area kibbutzim (Nahal Oz, Kfar Maimon and Kfar Aza) for a day of fun at his residence. Various entertainment activities were organized for the children who attended.
President Rivlin met the children and praised them for their courage. He told the children, "In recent days, you have been the heroes of our nation and I know that it is not easy.”
The President continued, “Just like you, I experienced wars during my childhood. Jerusalem was under siege and our enemies were firing canons at us. We were forced to go down into the shelters just like you do, but we all knew that we were in our own country and were fighting to establish our own state. Since that time, we have established the State of Israel and we have an army of heroic soldiers, some of whom are your brothers, sisters and parents.”
The President added, "I hope that there will be a time when we will no longer need to fight for the existence of our state so that we and our children can live in peace in our country."
By: Ora Shapiro