The History of Earth­quakes In New York Before the Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

   The History of Earth­quakes In New YorkBy Meteorologist Michael Gouldrick New York State PUBLISHED 6:30 AM ET Sep. 09, 2020 PUBLISHED 6:30 AM EDT Sep. 09, 2020New York State has a long history of earthquakes. Since the early to mid 1700s there have been over 550 recorded earthquakes that have been centered within the state’s boundary. New York has also been shaken by strong earthquakes that occurred in southeast Canada and the Mid-Atlantic states.

Courtesy of Northeast States Emergency ConsortiumThe largest earthquake that occurred within New York’s borders happened on September 5th, 1944. It was a magnitude 5.9 and did major damage in the town of Massena.A school gymnasium suffered major damage, some 90% of chimneys toppled over and house foundations were cracked. Windows broke and plumbing was damaged. This earthquake was felt from Maine to Michigan to Maryland.Another strong quake occurred near Attica on August 12th, 1929. Chimneys took the biggest hit, foundations were also cracked and store shelves toppled their goods.In more recent memory some of the strongest quakes occurred On April 20th, 2002 when a 5.0 rattled the state and was centered on Au Sable Forks area near Plattsburg, NY.Strong earthquakes outside of New York’s boundary have also shaken the state. On February 5th, 1663 near Charlevoix, Quebec, an estimated magnitude of 7.5 occurred. A 6.2 tremor was reported in Western Quebec on November 1st in 1935. A 6.2 earthquake occurred in the same area on March 1st 1925. Many in the state also reported shaking on August 23rd, 2011 from a 5.9 earthquake near Mineral, Virginia.

Earthquakes in the northeast U.S. and southeast Canada are not as intense as those found in other parts of the world but can be felt over a much larger area. The reason for this is the makeup of the ground. In our part of the world, the ground is like a jigsaw puzzle that has been put together. If one piece shakes, the whole puzzle shakes.In the Western U.S., the ground is more like a puzzle that hasn’t been fully put together yet. One piece can shake violently, but only the the pieces next to it are affected while the rest of the puzzle doesn’t move.In Rochester, New York, the most recent earthquake was reported on March 29th, 2020. It was a 2.6 magnitude shake centered under Lake Ontario. While most did not feel it, there were 54 reports of the ground shaking.So next time you are wondering why the dishes rattled, or you thought you felt the ground move, it certainly could have been an earthquake in New York.Here is a website from the USGS (United Sates Geologic Society) of current earthquakes greater than 2.5 during the past day around the world. As you can see, the Earth is a geologically active planet!Another great website of earthquakes that have occurred locally can be found here.To learn more about the science behind earthquakes, check out this website from the USGS.

The Russian and Chinese Nuclear Horns Draw Closer: Daniel 7

Biden-Kadhimi deal allows US to maintain foothold in Iraq

BAGHDAD–Political statement and responses to the meeting of Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi with President Joe Biden in Washington revealed the contours of a US-Iraqi-Iranian tripartite deal that would allow the US to extend the presence of its forces in Iraq under the banner of a non-combat mission.

Iran apparently persuaded Iraqi militias to agree to this formula, in a move that gives support and cover to Kadhimi, in power for little over a year and under pressure from Iran-allied political factions to push US troops from his country.

The announcement of the deal, experts say, would also help Kadhimi complete the transitional period, leading to the October elections, which may bring him back to power with American promises of support and assistance, including by reassuring him about the fate of Iraqi funds deposited in American banks.

During the meeting with the Iraqi premier, Biden was holding a piece of paper, possibly intentionally for photographers to capture. That piece of paper revealed Iran’s role in the deal, as it carried two sentences in English, one of which reads: “Iran considering [with] holding back attacks” launched by Shia militias on US interests and forces in Iraq, while the second sentence reads: “US prepares to respond to attacks.”

The second sentence radically contradicts the substance of the deal reached during the Iraqi premier’s visit to Washington, regarding the withdrawal of US combat forces from Iraq and the focus on training, advising and supporting Iraqi forces.

Iraqi sources, who spoke to The Arab Weekly on condition of anonymity, said the US has finally succeeded in obtaining an Iraqi approval to keep its forces in Iraq and get round the Iran-aligned militias’ explicit and unequivocal rejection of any foreign military presence.

Several powerful pro-Iran groups in Iraq Tuesday welcomed Washington’s announcement that did not actually do what they were demanding, which is the departure of the last American soldier from Itaqi soil.

The Conquest Alliance, the political wing of Iraq’s Hashed-al-Shaabi paramilitary network, which is dominated by pro-Iran groups, said it considered Biden’s announcement “to be a positive step towards the full sovereignty of Iraq.”

“We hope that it will materialise on the ground,” it added.

Several other pro-Iran groups in Iraq also reacted positively.

The Imam Ali Brigades lauded “the end of the foreign presence” and said it “thanked the (Iraqi) government for keeping its promises,” while influential Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr also welcomed Biden’s announcement.

US troops were invited into Iraq in 2014, three years after ending an eight-year occupation that began with the invasion to topple Saddam Hussein, by a government desperate to halt a sweeping advance by the Islamic State (ISIS) group.

Iraq’s government declared ISIS defeated in late 2017, but the Sunni extremists retain sleeper cells and still launch periodic suicide attacks.

The US and Iran are both major allies of Iraq and share an enmity towards ISIS. However, Tehran also considers Washington its arch foe and has long pressed for a withdrawal of US troops from its neighbour.

Pro-Iran armed factions stand accused of carrying out around 50 rocket and drone attacks this year against US interests in Iraq.

Since last year, the principal role of the remaining US troops, now totalling 2,500, after drawdowns under Biden’s predecessor Donald Trump, had already been to train, advise and support the Iraqi military in its fight against ISIS.

Biden’s announcement therefore indicated little major change of policy.

Iraqi researcher and political analyst Hamid al-Kafaei considered that the formula of the US-Iraqi deal indicates that the aim is to reassure pro-Iran factions.

In a statement to The Arab Weekly, Kafaei questioned the phrasing of the deal, which reads “ending the combat mission of the American forces,” explaining that “except for the air cover provided by the international coalition to Iraq during the war on ISIS, there were no US combat operations against terrorist groups on the ground. The US and international intervention has been limited to training, advice, and intelligence.”

Though several Iraqi Shia militias welcomed the US-Iraqi deal, others voiced their rejection, with Nasr al-Shammari, the deputy secretary-general of Harakat al-Nujaba, one of the most extreme factions of the Hashed-al-Shaabi, saying in a television interview that he totally rejects any presence of US troops in Iraq.

The Americans are changing the title of their presence in Iraq to deceive public opinion, Shammari said, adding, “What benefit is there to changing the title of the ‘occupier’ to ‘advisor’? American troops are on Iraqi soil, what difference does it make under what name and under what pretext this military presence is?”

Shammari also threatened to “continue targeting US forces in Iraq even after reaching the deal.”

The Chinese nuclear horn grows exponentially: Daniel 7

U.S. concern over China nukes buildup after new silos report

A report on Monday said satellite images showed China was building a new field of silos near Hami in the eastern part of its Xinjiang region.

ReutersJuly 28, 2021, 4:21 AM MDT

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon and Republican congressmen on Tuesday aired fresh concerns about China‘s build-up of its nuclear forces after a new report saying Beijing was building 110 more missile silos.

An American Federation of Scientists (AFS) report on Monday said satellite images showed China was building a new field of silos near Hami in the eastern part of its Xinjiang region.

The report came weeks after another on the construction of about 120 missile silos in Yumen, a desert area about 240 miles (380 km) to the southeast.

“This is the second time in two months the public has discovered what we have been saying all along about the growing threat the world faces and the veil of secrecy that surrounds it,” the U.S. Strategic Command said in tweet linked to a New York Times article on the AFS report.

The State Department in early July called China’s nuclear buildup concerning and said it appeared Beijing was deviating from decades of nuclear strategy based around minimal deterrence. It called on China to engage with it “on practical measures to reduce the risks of destabilizing arms races.”

Republican Congressman Mike Turner, ranking member of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces, said China’s nuclear build-up was “unprecedented” and made clear it was “deploying nuclear weapons to threaten the United States and our allies.”

He said China’s refusal to negotiate arms control “should be a cause for concern and condemned by all responsible nations.”

Another Republican, Mike Rogers, ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, said the Chinese build-up showed the need to rapidly modernize the U.S. nuclear deterrent.

A 2020 Pentagon report estimated China’s nuclear warhead stockpile in “the low 200s” and said it was projected to at least double in size as Beijing expands and modernizes its forces. Analysts say the United States has around 3,800 warheads, and according to a State Department factsheet, 1,357 of those were deployed as of March 1.

Washington has repeatedly called on China to join it and Russia in a new arms control treaty.

The report on the new silos comes as Assistant Secretary of State Wendy Sherman is due to hold arms control talks with Russia in Geneva on Wednesday.

Sherman was in China earlier this week for talks at which Beijing accused Washington of creating an “imaginary enemy” to divert attention from domestic problems and suppress China.

Beijing says its arsenal is dwarfed by those of the United States and Russia and it is ready to conduct bilateral dialogues on strategic security “on the basis of equality and mutual respect.”

Babylon the Great still has foothold in the Iraqi Horn:

Biden-Kadhimi deal allows US to maintain foothold in Iraq

BAGHDAD–Political statement and responses to the meeting of Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi with President Joe Biden in Washington revealed the contours of a US-Iraqi-Iranian tripartite deal that would allow the US to extend the presence of its forces in Iraq under the banner of a non-combat mission.

Iran apparently persuaded Iraqi militias to agree to this formula, in a move that gives support and cover to Kadhimi, in power for little over a year and under pressure from Iran-allied political factions to push US troops from his country.

The announcement of the deal, experts say, would also help Kadhimi complete the transitional period, leading to the October elections, which may bring him back to power with American promises of support and assistance, including by reassuring him about the fate of Iraqi funds deposited in American banks.

During the meeting with the Iraqi premier, Biden was holding a piece of paper, possibly intentionally for photographers to capture. That piece of paper revealed Iran’s role in the deal, as it carried two sentences in English, one of which reads: “Iran considering [with] holding back attacks” launched by Shia militias on US interests and forces in Iraq, while the second sentence reads: “US prepares to respond to attacks.”

The second sentence radically contradicts the substance of the deal reached during the Iraqi premier’s visit to Washington, regarding the withdrawal of US combat forces from Iraq and the focus on training, advising and supporting Iraqi forces.

Iraqi sources, who spoke to The Arab Weekly on condition of anonymity, said the US has finally succeeded in obtaining an Iraqi approval to keep its forces in Iraq and get round the Iran-aligned militias’ explicit and unequivocal rejection of any foreign military presence.

Several powerful pro-Iran groups in Iraq Tuesday welcomed Washington’s announcement that did not actually do what they were demanding, which is the departure of the last American soldier from Itaqi soil.

The Conquest Alliance, the political wing of Iraq’s Hashed-al-Shaabi paramilitary network, which is dominated by pro-Iran groups, said it considered Biden’s announcement “to be a positive step towards the full sovereignty of Iraq.”

“We hope that it will materialise on the ground,” it added.

Several other pro-Iran groups in Iraq also reacted positively.

The Imam Ali Brigades lauded “the end of the foreign presence” and said it “thanked the (Iraqi) government for keeping its promises,” while influential Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr also welcomed Biden’s announcement.

US troops were invited into Iraq in 2014, three years after ending an eight-year occupation that began with the invasion to topple Saddam Hussein, by a government desperate to halt a sweeping advance by the Islamic State (ISIS) group.

Iraq’s government declared ISIS defeated in late 2017, but the Sunni extremists retain sleeper cells and still launch periodic suicide attacks.

The US and Iran are both major allies of Iraq and share an enmity towards ISIS. However, Tehran also considers Washington its arch foe and has long pressed for a withdrawal of US troops from its neighbour.

Pro-Iran armed factions stand accused of carrying out around 50 rocket and drone attacks this year against US interests in Iraq.

Since last year, the principal role of the remaining US troops, now totalling 2,500, after drawdowns under Biden’s predecessor Donald Trump, had already been to train, advise and support the Iraqi military in its fight against ISIS.

Biden’s announcement therefore indicated little major change of policy.

Iraqi researcher and political analyst Hamid al-Kafaei considered that the formula of the US-Iraqi deal indicates that the aim is to reassure pro-Iran factions.

In a statement to The Arab Weekly, Kafaei questioned the phrasing of the deal, which reads “ending the combat mission of the American forces,” explaining that “except for the air cover provided by the international coalition to Iraq during the war on ISIS, there were no US combat operations against terrorist groups on the ground. The US and international intervention has been limited to training, advice, and intelligence.”

Though several Iraqi Shia militias welcomed the US-Iraqi deal, others voiced their rejection, with Nasr al-Shammari, the deputy secretary-general of Harakat al-Nujaba, one of the most extreme factions of the Hashed-al-Shaabi, saying in a television interview that he totally rejects any presence of US troops in Iraq.

The Americans are changing the title of their presence in Iraq to deceive public opinion, Shammari said, adding, “What benefit is there to changing the title of the ‘occupier’ to ‘advisor’? American troops are on Iraqi soil, what difference does it make under what name and under what pretext this military presence is?”

Shammari also threatened to “continue targeting US forces in Iraq even after reaching the deal.”

Israel and Hamas war crimes outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

Israel and Hamas attacks in May could be war crimes, says rights body

HRW report focuses on three Israeli strikes that killed civilians during Gaza war

Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas carried out attacks that could amount to war crimes during the latest round of hostilities in the Gaza Strip, a report from Human Rights Watch has found.

The international rights watchdog’s investigation, published on Tuesday, focused mainly on three Israeli airstrikes that killed scores of civilians in areas where “there were no evident military targets”.

Palestinian militant groups were also guilty of breaching international humanitarian law by indiscriminately targeting civilians with more than 4,000 unguided rockets and mortars aimed at Israeli population centres, HRW said. A separate report into the actions of Hamas and other Palestinian militant groups is expected next month.

Some 254 people were killed in Gaza, a coastal enclave ruled by Hamas, during the 11-day war in May – the fourth large-scale military operation Israel has launched on the area since the militants seized control in 2007.

At least 67 children and 39 women died, according to the Gaza health ministry. Hamas has acknowledged the deaths of 80 combatants, while Israel has claimed the number is much higher. Several Palestinians also died when rockets fired by armed groups fell short and landed in the strip. Thirteen people were killed in Israel: 12 civilians, including two children, and a soldier.

Both sides’ long track record of failing to investigate violations related to Gaza showed an urgent need for an international inquiry, HRW said. The group called on the international criminal court to include the most recent fighting in its ongoing investigation into rights violations in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which opened in March.

“Israel and the Palestinian authorities have shown little or no interest in addressing abuses by their forces, so global and national judicial institutions should step up to break the vicious cycle of unlawful attacks and impunity for war crimes,” the organisation’s associate crisis and conflict director, Gerry Simpson, said in a statement.

The New-York based group said Israel had denied its investigators access to the Gaza Strip. The report relied on local field researchers, satellite imagery, expert reviews of photos of munitions fragments and 30 interviews with witnesses and victims’ relatives conducted remotely.

It found that in three conspicuous cases “Israeli forces carried out attacks in Gaza in May that devastated entire families without any apparent military target nearby”.

The attacks included a series of strikes on 16 May on a central street in Gaza City, which destroyed three apartment buildings and killed 44 civilians; a 10 May explosion that killed eight people, including six children, near the town of Beit Hanoun; and a 15 May airstrike in the Shati refugee camp that killed 10 people, including two women and eight children.

HRW said it found no evidence that any of those killed in the three strikes investigated were combatants, and there was no proof of military activity at any of the sites.

In a statement, the Israeli Defence Force said the strikes had been aimed at military targets and that it took numerous precautions to avoid harming civilians.

“While the terror organisations in the Gaza strip deliberately embed their military assets in densely populated civilian areas, the IDF takes every feasible measure to minimise, as much as possible, the harm to civilians and civilian property,” it said.

HRW also accused Israel earlier this year of committing the international crimes of committing the crimes of apartheid and persecution – the first major international rights body to level such allegations.

After decades of warnings that an entrenched hold over Palestinian life could lead to crimes against humanity, the organisation said it had found that the threshold had been crossed.

Israel’s foreign ministry accused HRW of a “longstanding anti-Israeli agenda” in response, and said the report was a “propaganda pamphlet” that had “no connection to facts or reality on the ground”.

Iran is NOT Bluffing About Its Enriched Uranium Stockpile: Daniel 8

Rafael Grossi, the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, speaks to the media about the agency’s monitoring of the Iranian nuclear program in Vienna on May 24.

Is Iran Bluffing About Its Enriched Uranium Stockpile?

Tehran’s numbers don’t add up. They seem to be exaggerated to pressure Biden for sanctions relief.

July 28, 2021, 12:04 PM

U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan has attributed the Biden administration’s push for talks with Tehran to the need to “put Iran’s nuclear program in a box.” Iran has added urgency to the White House’s efforts by announcing ever greater nuclear advances in recent months.

But what if Iran is bluffing?

Tehran recently made largely unnoticed but remarkable claims about rapid progress to the brink of nuclear weapons capability, which we detailed in a recent report for the Jewish Institute for National Security of America. While these Iranian claims are certainly concerning, they are likely overstated for tactical effect. Tehran may be using the numbers in an attempt to raise the pressure on the Biden administration—and win sanctions relief in exchange for limiting its nuclear activities.

On Jan. 4, Iran resumed enriching uranium to 20 percent purity—not yet weapons-grade but far above the 3 to 5 percent needed for use in civilian power plants—after having agreed to stop enrichment and get rid of its entire stockpile in 2014. Five months after restarting enrichment, on June 15, Iran announced it had stockpiled 108 kilograms of the material. Though still short of the roughly 155 kilograms needed to produce enough weapons-grade uranium for one bomb, the June number was significantly more than the 63 kilograms reported by International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors just 24 days earlier on May 22.

Tehran’s claim, if accurate, implies a new breakneck campaign to cross the threshold of nuclear weapons capability as early as mid-July. This would be no trifling matter. Because 20 percent enrichment represents nine-tenths of the effort to achieve weapons-grade purity, the prospect of Iran accumulating 155 kilograms of uranium at this enrichment level was serious enough for then-Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to define it as Israel’s red line at the United Nations General Assembly in 2012. Iran often came close to that red line but never dared to cross it. Until, it seems, now.

All this strongly suggests Iran is overstating its stockpile of enriched uranium, which it can do because it has effectively kicked out international inspectors.

At first blush, this news might reaffirm U.S. and European officials’ desire to reenter the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action quickly and roll back Iran’s worrisome stockpile, at least until 2031, when the deal would allow Iran to enrich however much uranium to whatever level it desired.

But Iran’s claimed stockpile is highly implausible. Between Jan. 4, when Iran resumed enrichment to 20 percent at its deeply underground Fordow facility, and May 22, it produced somewhere between 14 and 17 kilograms per month, depending on whether one believes Tehran’s data or the IAEA-verified numbers. These rates would put Iran on pace to cross Netanyahu’s red line by late September or early October, respectively. Both these enrichment rates are already significantly higher than the peak of 8 kilograms per month reached at Fordow prior to the 2014 agreement to stop enrichment.

For Tehran’s stockpile to have jumped to 108 kilograms between May 22 and June 15, however, would have required Tehran roughly to double or even triple its Fordow enrichment rate overnight, to either 37 or 54 kilograms per month, depending on whether one believes Iran’s or the IAEA’s numbers. This is well above what the site’s limited number of rudimentary centrifuges can handle. Other scenarios for making such a massive leap—suddenly installing a huge number of advanced centrifuges or using an undisclosed facility—are equally improbable.

Iran’s incredible claim is further undermined by its July 6 decision to produce enriched uranium metal from the enriched uranium gas produced by the Fordow centrifuges. On the one hand, this announcement is deeply troubling because Iran will be gaining mastery of yet another step on the path to a nuclear warhead. On the other hand, this move increases the time Iran still needs for making a bomb because making the metal does require drawing down its stockpile of 20 percent enriched uranium.

All this strongly suggests Iran is overstating its stockpile of 20 percent enriched uranium. It can do so because, since February, it has effectively kicked out international inspectors who could verify its nuclear program.

The question is why Tehran would want to exaggerate like this. One reason is that the Biden administration has proved particularly susceptible to pressure from Tehran’s ticking nuclear clock. A sudden increase in Iran’s stockpiles might inject new urgency into the plodding—and seemingly stalled—Vienna negotiations.

Tehran might also have been testing the intentions of the new leadership in Jerusalem. The stockpile announcement with its likely exaggeration came less than 48 hours after the official formation of the new Israeli government, a tenuous coalition whose approach to Iran’s nuclear ambitions—and how that approach would differ from Netanyahu’s—remains to be seen.

Ultimately, no matter whether Tehran has taken a massive nuclear leap or is boldly exaggerating its achievements, it underscores growing Iranian confidence that it can threaten to step right up to the nuclear red line without any real pushback from the United States. For U.S. President Joe Biden to fulfill his promise that Iran will “never get a nuclear weapon on my watch,” his administration must flip these dynamics on their head.

U.S. officials should note Netanyahu’s success: Tehran conspicuously avoided crossing his red line, fearing Israeli military action.

Neither Iran’s deceptions nor its sense of impunity can go unchallenged. U.S. diplomats need to publicly question inconsistent Iranian claims while pressing Tehran to adhere to its nonproliferation obligations and allow full access for international inspectors. Washington should explain that Tehran’s current ambiguity about its enrichment activities will ultimately prove dangerous: It raises uncertainty and reduces risk tolerance among those determined to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons capability.

While resisting Iranian pressure to make concessions, the United States must also build more effective counterpressure. If, despite Iran’s deceptions, the White House feels compelled to continue negotiations toward what will necessarily be an even weaker deal than in 2015, it should set a firm and timely deadline and communicate the consequences of further Iranian intransigence.

In this, U.S. officials should note Netanyahu’s success: Tehran conspicuously avoided crossing his red line, fearing Israeli military action. Beyond publicly endorsing and supporting Israel’s freedom of action to continue defending itself, the Biden administration should make clear that the United States also has viable alternatives to diplomacy for preventing a nuclear Iran.

Washington cannot “put Iran’s nuclear program in a box” without first putting Tehran in a box. That means calling its bluff and refusing to give in to its nuclear brinkmanship.

Trauma is constant for children outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

Trees have been planted in honor of the Abu Hatab family, bombed by Israel during its May attack on Gaza. Omar Ashtawy APA images

Trauma is constant for Gaza’s children

Isra Saleh el-Namey The Electronic Intifada 28 July 2021

Ahmad is 8.

At that age, children can feel increasingly confident, their creativity can blossom, they can become more aware of what is happening in the world.

Over the past eight years, Ahmad has been exposed to a world of both horror and joy. He has already lived through two large-scale Israeli attacks on Gaza: one in the summer of 2014, the other in May this year.

On 15 May, Israel bombed the Abu Hatab family’s home in Beach refugee camp without warning. Of the 10 people killed in that incident, two were mothers and eight were children.

Ahmad was a neighbor and friend to some of those children. He cannot understand why they were wiped out so violently.

“We used to play together in the yard,” he said. “We played football and hide and seek. Why will we never see them again?”

Both during and after the May attack, Ahmad has encountered trouble sleeping at night. When he gets to sleep, he often has nightmares.

Triggering painful memories

The term “post-traumatic stress disorder” is widely used to describe the psychological effects of war or disaster. Yet the term may not be applicable to Palestinians who have been attacked repeatedly and oppressed without pause for many decades.

Dr. Yasser Abu Jamei from the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme points out that each Israeli attack triggers painful memories of previous attacks. Healing thereby becomes more difficult.

“Gazans are not in a post-traumatic condition but in an ongoing condition that needs deeper attention,” he wroteduring the May offensive.

In 2020, the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme assisted more than 3,200 children, according to Abu Jamei.

“It is two months since Israel’s latest attack ended,” he told The Electronic Intifada. “We don’t yet have the final figures for how many children we are assisting because of that attack. But I can tell you that the numbers are big. And they will be bigger than those for last year.”

There has been a discernible increase, he confirmed, in problems associated with childhood stress since the May offensive. Such problems include hyperactivity, disobedience toward parents, nightmares, aches in joints and panic attacks.

The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor states that before the May attack, approximately 33 percent of Gaza’s children required support because of trauma resulting from previous Israeli violence. The proportion of children who are traumatized has risen to more than 90 percent following the May offensive.

Israel killed 63 children during the attack. Eleven of those children had been receiving psychological support from the Norwegian Refugee Council.

Muhammad, 11, vomited frequently in the two weeks after the May attack. His weight dropped considerably.

“The area near us was bombed very heavily,” said Muhammad’s father. “My son was terrified. He started to deteriorate gradually.”

As a result of trauma care, Muhammad’s health has subsequently improved.

Sharing fears

Dr. Sami Owaida from the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme has counseled Muhammad. Encouraging children to express themselves is vital, Owaida noted.

“We notice sometimes that children avoid speaking about the traumatic experiences that they went through,” he said. “Our task is to urge them to speak about their experiences and to share their fears. We have to respect children’s thoughts and feelings so that we can dispel their fears.”

Reaching out to their mothers or fathers for comfort is literally impossible for some. More than 240 children lost one or both parents during the May attack, according to the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor.

Turning to teachers is not a viable option in many cases, either.

Schools in Gaza remain closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This situation makes dealing with trauma all the more difficult.

“Children need to spend time together,” said Owaida. “In school, they are with their peers. They can talk and express themselves better for that reason.”

The importance of having a good time cannot be exaggerated for traumatized children. Much therapy is based on enabling children to have fun.

“Children need to play,” said Owaida. “That is how they release the negative energy inside them.”

Isra Saleh el-Namey is a journalist from Gaza.

The names of children mentioned in this article have been changed to protect their identities.