UN goodwill ambassador Mia Farrow visits bombblasted children in Gaza Israel

United Nations (UNICEF) Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow ended a six-day mission to the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel over the weekend, in which she focused on the suffering of children traumatized by conflict.“The children talked to me about the violence, their fear and their dream for peace,” the United States actress said on a visit to the Israeli town of Sderot, just a few kilometres from Gaza’s northern border, where she met with school children and a group of parents whose children had been killed or injured by Palestinian rocket-fire in recent years. She also met with parents and children living in a nearby kibbutz, and with the Israel National Committee for UNICEF, one of 36 such non-governmental organizations (NGOs) worldwide that advocate for children and raise funds to support UNICEF’s workLast week, Ms. Farrow spent two days in Gaza where she witnessed first-hand the hardships children still face nine months after the three-week war between Israel and Hamas. “The children appear traumatized,” she said then. “The teachers say that when they hear a loud noise they look to the sky and cry out and weep. They don’t know what the future holds. They deserve better.”The fighting killed more than 1,400 people, including at least 350 children, and injured over 5,000 people, among them 1,600 children.“Children here are deeply traumatised and terrified of what will happen next,” she said. “Homes, hospitals, schools and whole communities have been devastated. This is unacceptable and defies the principles of human rights, in particular the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and common decency.”After visiting Sderot, Ms. Farrow went to Ramallah, in the West Bank, where she was briefed on conditions faced by children who had been detained by the Israeli military and subsequently sentenced to prison. She travelled to a nearby village to meet with a former child detainee, and also talked with former child detainees processed through the Palestinian Ministry of Social Affairs.She was briefed on the closure regime enforced across the West Bank, including some 600 physical obstacles to movement such as checkpoints and roadblocks, as well as the 710-kilometre barrier that Israel is building largely on Palestinian land. “Daily life is agonisingly difficult for Palestinians, with barriers and checkpoints separating them from their families, farmlands, schools, hospitals and places of work,” she said.Officials she conferred with during her trip included Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and Israeli Social Welfare Minister Isaac Herzog. 19 October 2009United Nations (UNICEF) Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow ended a six-day mission to the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel over the weekend, in which she focused on the suffering of children traumatized by conflict.