By Dr. Nurul Ashikin Mabahwi

1. As of May 16th, 2021, the death count in Gaza reached 150 casualties, with more than 1,000 injuries. What saddens me the most is that the casualties include at least 41 Palestinian children. As the violence is escalating between Israel and Gaza, the situation is becoming more terrifying for women and children. It is indeed heartbreaking to believe that nobody is taking a serious consideration of the mental and emotional effects for the women and children in Palestine.

2. Women and children, who are the innocent victims of this ugly war. The Palestinian children have to constantly fear for their own lives and safety, every second of the day.

3. This does not even come near to the horrendous effects of nightmares and
agoraphobia amongst the children, as what has been reported by UNICEF. The mental health especially among the children is not something we should ignore.

4. The UN, who has pledged for the Declaration on the Protection of Women and Children in Emergency and Armed Conflict, needs to take all necessary measures to urge Israel to spare women and children in the war. International communities should play their role, especially in highlighting Israel's violations of International Human Rights Law and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. With political will and international pressure, we could at least spare the women and children from the war.

5. I hope we continue to raise awareness on Palestinian issues, especially on women and children rights. Although we may not be there physically to protect the victims, we can at least leverage on the internet to spread awareness of the severity of this issue and consistently pressure Israel. The war needs to end. Leaders need to be accountable. Women and children need to be protected!