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Palestine: Israel bombs Gaza, withdraws negotiators from Cairo

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US: Ferguson curfew lifted, Obama appeals for restraint

Iraq: Obama says Mosul Dam retaken from extremists with US help

Palestine: Palestinian female detainee denied family visits since her arrest in 2012

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Palestine: Israeli army detonates two homes in Hebron, seals one with concrete blocs

Palestine: Six Palestinians kidnapped by Israeli forces in West Bank

Syria: Airstrikes kill 31 terrorists in Raqqa city

Palestine: Body recovered in Shujaiyya a month after ‘massacre’ by Israel

Palestine: Hamas says Israel stalling on agreement as Gaza death toll hits 2016

US: Curfew imposed for second night in Ferguson, Missouri

Palestine: Palestinian arrested filming Israeli settlers throwing stones in W Bank

Israel: 5 of 64 Israeli soldiers killed in Gaza invasion were killed by ‘Friendly Fire’

More than four million Syrians homeless due to conflict: UN report

11th Sep 2013

A third of Syria’s housing stock and thousands of schools have been destroyed during the conflict, forcing some 4.25 million people to abandon their homes and 2 million children to drop out of class, UN data and statements said on Tuesday.

The homeless are mostly women, children and the elderly who fled their homes with no personal effects and are staying with other families, who are themselves surviving on very limited resources. More than 2 million more have left the country.

Nearly 200,000 others are in overcrowded communal centers without clean water, electricity or sanitation, according to a report by Chaloka Beyani, the UN independent expert on the rights of internally displaced people.

It said 1.2 million houses have been destroyed in the conflict that began in March 2011. According to UN estimates, more than 100,000 people have been killed in the past two and a half years in Syria.

More than 3,000 schools have been damaged or destroyed and almost 1,000 more are being used to house displaced people, UN children’s agency UNICEF said.

UNICEF says 2 million children have dropped out of school and a total of 4 million children are affected by the conflict, including 1 million who are now refugees.

“Parents say their children are experiencing frequent nightmares, they are behaving recklessly and aggressively and their drawings are often angry, violent and full of images of bloodshed, explosions or destruction,” UNICEF spokeswoman Marixie Mercado said.

The psychological damage means children can lose the ability to connect to others, Jane MacPhail, a UNICEF expert working in Jordan’s Zaatari refugee camp, said in a statement.

“Basic feelings can stop and children find themselves unable to think ahead or remember recent events,” she said.

Many children, especially girls, do not go to school due to a climate of insecurity and fear of attacks, Leila Zerrougui, UN Special Representative on children and armed conflict, said in a report to the UN Human Rights Council.

“In addition, armed groups have interfered in school curricula,” she said in the report, without elaborating.

The fighting has also damaged civil infrastructure. A pipeline taking water to 1.3 million people in Hama and parts of Homs has been out of action since being damaged in heavy clashes almost a month ago.

“The pipeline is not fixed yet. There is lots of work under way to get water to people through trucking and other ways,” UNICEF’s Mercado said.

(Reuters, Al-Akhbar)


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