In Israel and Gaza, following the atrocities of 7 October 2023 and the ensuing war, children cannot fail to wonder, “Am I next?”. Adults are at a loss for reassuring words. Armed conflict damages the physical and mental health of children.

War disrupts the social determinants of health as well as the healthcare systems designed to maintain it. The economic instability, damaged living conditions, and limited access to essential services caused by war lead to malnutrition, food insecurity and desperation, all of which increase susceptibility to disease. Displacement and violence expose children to physical and psychological trauma, with potential life-long consequences. Disruptions in learning further jeopardize their wellbeing and development. Fear of the other leads to dehumanization.