Gaza children return to school after war | world | Hindustan Times
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Gaza children return to school after war

Tens of thousands of children returned to schools across Gaza after three weeks of war, playing games for some relief from the devastation and telling friends and teachers about the explosions they'd heard and relatives they'd lost.

world Updated: Jan 25, 2009 09:49 IST

Tens of thousands of children returned to schools across Gaza after three weeks of war, playing games for some relief from the devastation and telling friends and teachers about the explosions they'd heard and relatives they'd lost.

In one classroom, signs with the names of three 14-year-old boys killed in the fighting were set on their desks, and their deskmates sat with stunned expressions next to the empty seats as the teacher encouraged the class to talk about their experiences during the war.

"It's very hard when one used to see 30 students in class, and after what happened, I see 27," their teacher, Bassam Salha told the class at the UN's Fakhoura Elementary school. "We lived three weeks in sadness, I want you students to help me to get out of the sad mood I am in now."

Meanwhile, an Israeli foreign office official said President Barack Obama's newly-appointed special envoy to the Middle East is expected in Israel on Wednesday for talks on reviving Mideast peace negotiations after the Gaza fighting and on ensuring an arms blockade on the territory's Hamas rulers.

George J Mitchell will meet with Israel's prime minister and other leaders, as well as the Palestinian president and prime minister in the West Bank, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because there has not yet been an announcement from Washington. The White House and state department declined to comment.

Also on Sunday, international aid organizations called for the unfettered entry of humanitarian and building supplies into Gaza.