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U.N.: Gaza conflict devastates children

Nov. 23, 2012 at 3:57 PM

GAZA, Nov. 23 (UPI) -- Children in Gaza are suffering physical and psychological trauma from the ongoing conflict with Israel, a U.N. committee says.

The United Nations Committee on Children's Rights said in a statement Thursday that the violence is having a "devastating and lasting impact."

"This impact extends from a large number of deaths and injuries in Gaza to deep trauma and other psychological effects on children on both sides of the border," the committee said. "These experiences may affect them for many years to come, including into adulthood."

The report said at least 26 children have been killed in Gaza since the latest round of rockets and airstrikes began and more than 400 have been hurt. In southern Israel, 14 children have been hurt by Hamas shellfire from Gaza.

Hamas and Israel agreed Wednesday to a cease-fire. The U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East announced Thursday that its schools in Gaza, converted into shelters during the bombing, are scheduled to reopen Saturday. The agency operates 245 schools with 225,000 students.

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