"Every day after school, I go to the port of Gaza to sell biscuits and candy. Sometimes I miss school altogether. My family is poor, and I have to work so we can eat," says Omar.
Omar is not the first child who works in his family. His older brothers left school to work, after which Omar began working after school. Gradually, he began to miss some classes, sometimes for days to help his family. He says he needs money to cover household expenses, including medicines for his other two brothers and his sister, who suffer from zinc deficiency.
Omar doesn't like his job, because it makes him feel insecure.
"I always feel scared when I work at the port. I never felt protected there. I am ashamed. I have to sell biscuits to people. Some people don't treat me well. Sometimes I see children of my age playing and laughing with their parents while I sell biscuits." That makes me jealous. "
Palestinian boy Walid Marouf, who lives in Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip, left his school and went to collect gravel and destroyed houses to sell for money to help his family.
`` I left school, '' said Walid, 11, in the al-Amal neighborhood of Beit Lahia, the poorest area in the Gaza Strip.``I work to collect stones and plastic pipes from the rubble of destroyed houses to save money for my brother and sister, because my father is not working. ''
Walid sells what he collects to recyclers.
According to official Palestinian figures, the number of Palestinian children working between the ages of 10 and 17 has doubled in five years to 9,700.
About half of Gaza's 1.9 million people live below the poverty line. In six years, the sector has seen three wars. For 10 years, Israel has imposed a suffocating blockade on the Strip, while Egypt closed the crossing three years ago. Aid is distributed to about 80% of the population, while unemployment stands at 45%, one of the highest in the world.
Poverty forced the child Ibrahim Ghaben to collect gravel and debris from destroyed homes in the recent Israeli war on the Gaza Strip in order to support his family.
Ibrahim, 13, says he has been doing this for three years, selling gravel to a stone crusher factory to support his family of nine.
"My father is unemployed." He was collecting gravel, stones and iron pieces from the street and the settlements (formerly Israeli). '' My father and I used to work with gravel, and now I work alone.
"We had a carriage and a donkey, but the donkey died," he explains. He stated that he earns 20 shekels a day.
Ibrahim was working with other boys to collect gravel from the rubble of houses destroyed by the Israeli army in the summer 2014 war in the Bedouin village near the town of Beit Lahia. They then transport them on a donkey cart to sell to the concrete crushers they use in the concrete.
"Every day we are dying and the Israeli observation point is always shooting at us," he says.
Psychologist Aida Kassab of the 'Gaza Mental Health Program' that the Israeli war 'increased child labor as well as poor political and economic situation'.
She adds that 'the phenomenon of employment has become a dangerous indicator because children between the ages of 5 and 17 do very difficult work commensurate with their age and their bodies and mental abilities'.
Akram Said Sobh, 14, from Beit Lahia, said he was working from 6 am and was returning home in the afternoon. "I was selling five shekels or six to spend myself at school. When I need money, I collect plastic pieces and sell them, then I come to the center of hope to learn a craft that I benefit from instead of collecting plastic. '
`` The phenomenon of child labor reflects the economic, social and educational situation of the society, '' said Khatam Abu Hamad, director of the Land of Humans Foundation in Gaza, which oversees a rehabilitation center for children and the drop-out of children. Increasingly.
It works hard for a free and safe Palestinian child living in his country in dignity and without occupation, a child with full rights, a creative, promising child, a child safe from violence, abuse, neglect, poverty, and a child with protection, prevention and social services, based on his respect as a human being. It has the elements of life, independence, participation and development.