Returning from a recent visit to Israel and Gaza as an ambassador for Save The Children, author Michael Morpurgo gave an emotional account of his experience, describing it as "outside the comfort zone of fiction" during his Hay Library Lecture at the festival on Friday afternoon.
He recalled the experience of waiting at the Palestinian Authority barrier on his way out of Gaza. He watched children at work, "heard the shots, then the screaming, saw the kids running to help their wounded friends".
"It was like a video game - a virtual shooting, only it wasn't: there was blood."
Morpurgo spoke of the children he met in a library in Gaza City and the stories they told him. Recounting the experience, he asked, "Where in all this is a child's right to survival?"