United Nations Children’s Fund

Palestinian children hit hardest in ongoing Gaza crisis

Two young girls were killed early this evening in Jabalia in northeast Gaza and a three-year old girl, Sabrine, was killed in Al Shujayieh, a densely populated area in east Gaza. These latest casualties bring the total number of children who have died in Gaza since the hostilities began on 28 June 2006 to 33. Some 100 children have also been injured. “Children of all ages are afraid.” says UNICEF oPt Communication Officer Monica Awad. “They have nightmares. Parents in Gaza tell us that children won’t let go of their mothers. They are afraid to get out of the houses.” 

UNICEF and WHO on escalating violence in Lebanon and Israel

Civilian deaths include dozens of children, with many more injured. The psychological impact is serious, as people, including children have witnessed the death or injury of loved ones and destruction of their homes and communities. In Lebanon alone, more than 200 people have been killed and more than 550 injured. Hundreds of thousands of people are reportedly internally displaced, with more than 30,000 finding refuge in schools and public gardens in and outside Beirut. The movement of medical supplies and ambulances to the affected areas is seriously curtailed. 

UNICEF: "Sad day for children of Gaza"

UNICEF said Monday was a sad day for the children of Gaza, after five were killed in conflict-related incidents. In the first incident, two brothers, aged 14 and 15, were killed instantly when they were exposed to an unexploded device in a pond in Bereij, south of Gaza City. Later in the day, two brothers, aged 11 and 15, and a 14-year-old boy were killed as bystanders during an air attack. Monday’s tragic incidents bring the year’s death toll of Palestinian children to conflict-related violence to 11. UNICEF said the events of Monday starkly illustrate the how children are impacted in many ways by the conflict. In line with the Convention on the Rights of the Child all efforts should be made to protect children from violence as well as their rights to education, health and play. 

Palestinian children's right to quality education

In a very poor neighborhood in the old city, in a tall tiny shabby building, sounds of children’s laughter can be heard as we walked up the 50 steep steps leading to the main hall of the Children’s Center. More than 100 girls and boys of various age groups were gathered in the main hall, listening to Sana’, the facilitator of the activity, giving instructions of the day. Main hall was full of excitement, it was the third day out of the six-day activity planned by Tamer institute, a local non governmental organization, supported by UNICEF, aiming at improving quality of education through creative reading and writing. Loud foot steps of kids running to their respective training rooms were heard. 

Spain steps-up support for education in occupied Palestinian territory

The Government of Spain has stepped-up its support to UNICEF education humanitarian action through contributing €1 million (US$ 1.2 million) for Palestinian children in the occupied Palestinian territory. The major issue of concern in education is to ensure full access to learning opportunities and to guarantee good-quality learning in a child-friendly environment. The quality of education is showing signs of decline and in the worst affected areas, the learning achievements for students are deteriorating. Few children have the opportunity to experience a child-friendly learning environment with safe spaces and opportunities for sports and recreation. 

More than 1 million Palestinian children return to school

More than one-million children returned to school today after a summer break which saw many developments affecting children in both West Bank and Gaza Strip. This is a very important day for the children, for the parents, for the teaching staff and for the Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MoEHE). All have done remarkable work keeping schools open and functioning during difficult times. Many students in the occupied Palestinian territories go to school under very challenging circumstances. To help address these issues UNICEF this year is supporting the Ministry of Education in a wide range of issues - from improving the quality of education to providing essential learning supplies, and supporting teacher training. 

Happy to be going back to school

For 12-year-old Sahl, riding a bicycle to school is a dream come true. Sahl lives in Aba’a which is a small picturesque village near Jenin. The vast majority of the 400 or so residents are kids below the age of 18. Ordinarily, the drive to Aba’a from Jenin would take less than five minutes. However, villagers avoiding the Israeli checkpoints have to travel more than 35 km. Poverty is pervasive in a community where most families depend on farming. Aba’a is surrounded by two small Israeli settlements – Jannim and Kaddim – among the hundreds that dot the West Bank. During the past years, the villagers at Aba’a have not had any problems with the nearby settlements. 

UNICEF: "Children must be safe during Gaza withdrawal"

UNICEF today urged that children be kept out of harm’s way during the planned withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and parts of the northern West Bank. “Palestinian and Israeli children have suffered terribly over recent years as a result of this conflict,” UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman said Friday. “Next week’s events offer new hope for peace, and it’s critical to ensure the safety of the children in the region.” Along with the entire UN system, UNICEF expressed a hope that the withdrawal that is set to begin next week would occur smoothly and peacefully. If the disengagement does not proceed peacefully, children could be in particular danger, said Veneman, noting that children under 18 make up about half of the Palestinian population. 

UNICEF boosts aid deliveries before Gaza disengagement

With less than a month remaining before Israel’s disengagement from the Gaza Strip, UNICEF has completed final deliveries of aid supplies to some of the most isolated enclaves in the area. In preparation for the mid-August disengagement, the organization has also expanded activities in psychosocial support, health and education. The disengagement plan calls for the evacuation of some settlements and installations. Because of their close proximity to the soon-to-be-evacuated settlements, many enclaves in Gaza are being sealed off, making humanitarian aid deliveries virtually impossible for the next several weeks. This is why special attention has been devoted to these areas, some of which are currently accessible only by a single gate for a few hours a day. 

Four weeks of activities launched to mark Palestinian child day

This year Palestinian Child Day will mark the start of four weeks of UNICEF-supported activities in the West Bank and Gaza, aimed at providing more than 7000 children aged 6-16 years, with a supportive and productive environment. The activities are led by the Ministry of Social Affairs and UNICEF. “The events we are supporting are aimed at making a difference in the lives of the most marginalized children in society,” said UNICEF Special Representative Dan Rohrmann. The activities will be conducted in 15 districts. In cooperation with the Ministry of Social Affairs, the Municipality of Gaza, including the Children Municipality Councils, will help more than 700 kids participating in Fun Days held at safe play areas.