Palestinian boy Mohammad Wahdan, whom medics said was wounded in Israeli shelling, is held by his aunt as he receives psychological care at Shifa hospital in Gaza City August 14, 2014. (REUTERS/Mohammed Salem)
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In a ward at Shifa, Gaza's largest hospital, child therapist Rabeea Hamouda is trying to elicit a response from two small brothers, Omar and Mohammad, aged three and 18 months, hoping for some words or perhaps a smile.Omar and Mohammad are just two of the 400,000 Gazan children the United Nations estimates are in need of psychological care as a result of not just the latest war in the territory but the three previous conflicts fought with Israel since 2006 .There is also deep trauma on the other side of the border, with tens of thousands of Israeli children mentally disturbed by the regular rocket fire from militants during the monthlong war and over the seven years since Hamas seized control of Gaza.Hamouda and his team, like other psychotherapy units working across the small territory -- home to an estimated 1.8 million people, more than half of whom are aged under 18 -- can barely cope with the number of patients requiring help.One of Gaza's most successful trauma assistance projects is the Gaza Community Mental Health Program, launched in 1990 .
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