Defence for Children International-Palestine Section

Another innocent child dies in Israeli bombardment of northern Gaza

At 5.30pm on Monday 10 April 2006, at least six artillery shells fired by the Israeli military fell on the family house of Mohammed Rabe’eya Ghaban in Beit Lahiya, in the north of the Gaza Strip. Shrapnel from the shells pierced the skull of Mohammed’s eight-year old daughter Hadeel, killing her instantly. The shelling also resulted in the injury of eight other family members, including Hadeel’s brothers and sisters: Rawan Ghaban (18 months); Rana Ghaban (3); Munir Ghaban (4); Amneh Ghaban (9); Ghassan Ghaban (11); Bassam Ghaban (15) and Tahrir Ghaban (17). 

Over 200 Palestinian children arrested in two months

Israeli occupation forces are arresting scores of Palestinian children each week, bringing the number of juveniles currently held in appalling conditions in Israeli detention centres and prisons to new record levels. Information gathered by the Defence for Children International shows that since the start of 2006 over 230 Palestinian children have been arrested, with the Israeli army appearing to target in particular youths from the Bethlehem Nablus and Jenin areas of the West Bank. The scale of arrests over the past two months brings the number of Palestinian children in Israeli custody to almost 400. This represents a significant increase on the already-inexcusably high numbers of recent years and marks a further indication of the scant regard Israeli pays to Palestinian children’s rights. 

Human rights groups condemn "targeted assassinations"

Human rights groups based in the occupied Palestinian territories are concerned regarding the intensified Israeli campaign of “targeted assassinations” of Palestinian activists. In an open letter to diplomatic missions they stated that the policy of “targeted assassination” “not only circumvents the fundamental right to due process but also risks the further destabilisation of an already volatile political situation.” With ten Palestinians killed in the last five days the human rights groups call on the international community to demand an end to the illegal Israeli practice and to ensure the respect of international humanitarian law. 

Five years of child rights abuses in Palestine

Five years ago today, massive protests against the ongoing Israeli occupation erupted throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT). Since that day in September 2000, the systematic and daily violations of the rights of Palestinians in general and of Palestinian children in particular, have intensified profoundly. Children too young to walk or speak have been shot dead, thousands have been injured, still more have looked on horrified as friends and family members have been killed, maimed, arrested, humiliated. Schools and homes have been demolished, hospitals destroyed. A vast array of discriminatory and illegal movement restrictions including closures, curfews, checkpoints and roadblocks have been imposed on the Palestinian residents of the OPT, plunging the Palestinian economy further and further into crisis. 

Palestinian Children: Surviving the Present, Facing the Future

Defence for Children International recently published an analysis of human rights violations against Palestinian children during 2004. The report includes case studies, DCI field documentation and analysis of developments regarding the impact of the Wall on Palestinian children’s lives. In the year under review, Palestinian children’s rights were systematically violated on a daily basis by Israeli occupation forces. Often these abuses were perpetrated directly against individual children who were killed, injured, arrested or humiliated by military personnel. But just as frequently, these rights violations stemmed indirectly from general attacks or collective punishments imposed upon the wider Palestinian population. 

Israel recruits Palestinian children to collaborate

In the occupied Palestinian territories, a collaborator is understood as any Palestinian who cooperates with the Israeli security forces. Recruiting Palestinians as collaborators is perceived in the OPT as part of Israel’s policy to maintain control over the territory and the Palestinian people. Most cases of collaboration are found in interrogation centers and prisons where detainees are put under extreme physical and mental pressure to collaborate. Palestinian children often find themselves under such pressure. The Israeli intelligence services continually seek to recruit children as informants. 

Release of children should be a priority

Amid the fanfare surrounding Israel’s 27 December release of 159 Palestinian prisoners as a “goodwill gesture” to Egypt’s President Mubarak, the fate of Palestinian child detainees is all but forgotten. Some 350 Palestinian children currently remain in Israeli jails, detention centers, and interrogation centers. Under international law, their release should be a priority. As it is, not one child has released as part of this initiative. 

Youth in Gaza bear the brunt of Israeli war crimes, 20 children killed in current invasion

For seven consecutive days, Israeli occupation forces (IOF) have carried out brutal raids on the northern part of the Gaza Strip in the largest attack in this area since the current intifada began. The siege and invasion of Beit Hanoun, Beit Lahiya and Jabaliya town and refugee camp has seen the IOF targeting civilians and their properties. A total of 75 Palestinians have been killed during Israel’s so-called “Days of Penitence” military campaign, among them 20 children in the north of Gaza. In addition, one child was killed in the south and two children in the central area of the strip. More than 285 Palestinians have been injured in the raids, among them over 100 children. 

Child rights group notes sharp increase violations of children's rights

Defense for Children International released a report on violations of children’s rights in the occupied Palestinian territories over the period of the first six months of 2004. The report shows that since the beginning of the Palestinian uprising against occupation in September 2000, the frequency and severity of violations of Palestinian children’s rights has progressively increased. This trend has continued in 2004, with a steady decline in the economic and social conditions in the occupied PAlestinian territories. Israeli forces have killed 81 Palestinian children during the first six months of 2004, bringing the death toll to 595 since 29 September 2000. Over 10,000 additional children have been wounded since the beginning of the Intifada. 

Child rights group: "Israel should respect rights of child detainees"

Today, Palestinian political prisoners detained inside Israeli prisons are marking the tenth day of an open ended hunger strike in protest of the inhumane conditions in which they are incarcerated. The prisoners are demanding that the prison authorities respect internationally recognised rules governing detention. They insist that the prison administrators move immediately to improve general conditions on all levels inside the detention facilities and that the prisoners’ basic rights be unconditionally respected. Embarking on a hunger strike is a measure of last resort. The decision to strike follows repeated requests by inmates for an improvement in conditions. These have been met with silence from prison administrations.