Wednesday, August 17

Gazan children attempt world record amid blockade

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GAZA STRIP: About 5,000 Palestinian children attempted a world record at hand-printing on a huge cloth measuring 5,400 square metres, as part of the summer camp activities sponsored by the United Nations Relief and Work Agency (UNRWA).

Clad in shirts with “UNRWA Summer Games” written on them, the children rallied at a stadium in Khan Younis refugee camp to display their hand-prints while playing and having fun, in an effort to overcome the unfavourable circumstances in the blockaded Gaza Strip.

UNRWA stages numerous summer camps, offering amusement and cultural activities for about 250,000 Palestinian children in an attempt to help them surmount the trauma and psychological stress they are highly exposed to due to the blockade and frequent air and land attacks by Israel.

The UNRWA’s acting director of operations in Gaza Strip, Christer Nordahl, praised the Palestinian children for their abilities and skills, and noted that Gazan children deserved to be number one at the top of the world.

“I have no doubt that the children of Gaza will succeed as they always do when given the chance,” said Nordahl.

Amal Abed Al-Wahed, a UNRWA summer camp supervisor, said that the Palestinian children proved their creativity by making a remarkable success of the few opportunities they had.

Praising their tenacity, Amal pointed out that hundreds of children, whose relatives or friends were killed by Israel, had joined the summer camp activities.

“We are trying our best to make our children enjoy their time during their school holidays. We want to convey a message to the world that Palestinian children are ingenious,” the female supervisor said.

Student Sayed Nabhan, 13, was happy to take part with his friends in the hand-printing exercise.

He believed that such innovative work would attract the attention of the world towards the Gazan children.

“We need the world to care about us. The children here deserve to be rewarded, not to be punished,” Sayed voiced.

In similar activities, thousands of children in the narrow enclave attempted to break world records at playing football and flying parachutes early this month. They are due to attempt another world record at flying kites by the end of July.

UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness said that about three quarters of a million children in the barricaded Gaza suffered from a collective punishment.

According to the statistics centre in Gaza Strip, 50 per cent of the Gaza population is under 18 years of age.

“The blockade must end, and there should be full accountability for the breach of international law,” Gunness observed. – Bernama