Beyond the Wall: My name is Saleh
A new teaching resource on Palestine for use in schools has just been launched in the UK. Beyond the Wall is a series of films made with young Palestinians in Israel and Palestine in which they talk about their lives and their aspirations. The aim is to encourage young people around the world to find out more about life for young Palestinians; to help young Palestinians have their voices heard; and to encourage young people in the UK to take some steps to bring about change. Find out more about it here
Palestinian Children targeted at home, school and at play
Several reports (links below) outline how Israel continues to target children in its efforts to repress protests against the occupation. Harassment and assault of civilians by soldiers and settlers is routine and systematic in many Palestinian towns and village. Being a child brings no protection.
In February, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator James W Rawley called for safe access for children to schools in the West Bank and East Jerusalem after figures showed that incidents of violence and harassment of children had almost tripled in the last year.
Incidents involving school children and schools almost tripled in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, from 2013 to 2014, affecting nearly 25,000 Palestinian children in 2014. Affected children grow up exposed to violence from an early age and many suffer from emotional and psychological distress, including experiencing recurrent nightmares and bed- wetting. Over 77 per cent of students in Hebron showed symptoms of moderate to severe post- traumatic stress disorder, according to a recent study.
You can read the full statement here: UNOCHA statment on children’s access to schools in West Bank & East Jerusalem
Israel kills more Palestinians than any other year since 1967 Guardian 27th March 2015
Israeli forces target children with live ammunitionDCI Palestine 23rd March 2015
Israel military’s pattern of lethal force against Palestinian children DCI Palestine 28th January 2015
NBC News reports on the Israeli Army’s routine night raids, terrorising children and traumatising families. The latest report from UNICEF documents the continuing systematic ill-treatment of Palestinian children detained by the Israeli army. “Despite an ongoing dialogue with UNICEF over nearly two years, Israeli authorities have persistently failed to implement practical changes to stop violence and ill-treatment against Palestinian child detainees,” said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, Accountability Program director at Defence of the Child International-Palestine. Evidence collected by DCI during 2014 shows:
- 75% of Palestinian child detainees endured some form of physical violence between the period of their arrest and interrogation,
- 50% of them were also strip searched
- In 93% of cases children were denied access to legal counsel, and rarely informed of their rights, particularly their right against self-incrimination.
- The use in many cases of prolonged periods of solitary confinement for interrogation purposes, a practice that amounts to torture under international law.
Palestinian schools attacked
Schools near the occupied West Bank city of Nablus have been repeatedly attacked since our earlier reports in September. A report by Electronic Intifada documents the ongoing targeting of schools in Nablus by Israeli forces.
The Right to Play?
Children in Hebron are routinely targeted by illegal Israeli settlers on the way to school and when they play outside. They must also navigate the checkpoints in and out of the Old City and are regularly harassed by soldiers who stop and search them with little or no reason. Read regular updates from the Christian Peacemakers team based in Hebron. On Saturday, 10 year old Saleh Abu Shamsieh was attacked by a group of illegal settlers whilst playing in the snow. He was beaten on the arm with a metal object and taken to hospital. Tweets from ISM suggest Saleh was also later arrested but has now been released. Read more
Defence of the Child International petition on Gaza handed in to Downing Street and The White House
On Friday 12th December, A4PC delivered the Defence of the Child International Gaza petition calling for an inquiry into possible war crimes in Gaza. We were supported in this action by Jeremy Corbyn MP.
The petition, signed by 17, 286 people calls on David Cameron & Barack Obama “to support the United Nations Human Rights Council Commission of Inquiry into possible war crimes in Gaza, to achieve accountability for the 501 children killed in the 2014 Israeli military offensive on the Gaza Strip.” On the same day, DCI-Palestine delivered a copy of the petition to the White House.
Click here for more details: Justice for Gaza’s Children
Children of Palestine newspaper
A4PC marked UN Human Rights Day by working with Jews for Justice for Palestinians to produce and distribute a tabloid newspaper ‘Children of Palestine’. Over 20,000 copies have been handed out around England & Wales including in Salisbury, Bristol, Nottingham, Liverpool, Worcester, Leicester, Cardiff, West Midlands, Powys, Hove, Buxton, Brighton, Southampton, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Cambridge, Lewes, Norfolk, Gwynedd, Aberystwyth, Hastings, Peterborough, Somerset, Luton, Worthing, North Devon, Sandwell, London and Newcastle. There have also been over 20,000 views of the newspaper on Facebook.
This newspaper aims to tell some of the many, varied, stories of Palestinian children taken from a wide range of sources including Adalah, B’Tselem, DCI-Palestine, Jahalin, Military Court Watch, Oxfam, Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, Rabbis for Human Rights, Save the Children, Unicef, UNWRA, War on Want, and the YMCA. The stories in Children of Palestine are testimony to the many ways in which Palestinian children are prevented from enjoying a childhood free from fear or the expectation of a life where their human rights are protected and upheld. These stories tell the real story of life in Palestine for children. We would like to thank everyone who has helped us get their stories heard. A print-ready PDF is available here: Children of Palestine PDF If you have any other queries just email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Children under attack
It is clear that children are seen as legitimate targets by the Occupation. Every day, children (some as young as 7) are arrested, often violently by Israeli soldiers; attacks by armed illegal Israeli settlers are growing in number and boldness.
No More Forgotten Lives #beituniaboys
On May 15, 2014, Mohammad Abu Daher, 16, was fatally shot in the back by an Israeli soldier in the occupied West Bank city of Beitunia. One hour earlier, Israeli forces shot and killed Nadeem Nawara, 17, in the same spot. Read the facts about what happened that day and the light these facts shed on the frequent assault and killing of people in Palestine by the Israeli authorities. Then take action.
24 October 2014 Israeli army kills 14 year old Palestinian boy
14 year old, Orwah Hammad has become the 10th Palestinian child to be killed by live ammunition in the West Bank in 2014 according to Brad Parker from DCI Palestine as reported in this article from Mondoweiss : “A Palestinian teen with U.S. citizenship was killed today by the Israeli army at a demonstration in the West Bank town of Silwad, near Ramallah. Fourteen-year old Orwah Hammad was shot with a live bullet that entered his neck and exited through his head, according to Ramallah hospital staff. He died while being treated at Ramallah hospital around 6 p.m. this evening, Jerusalem time.”
20 October 2014 Israeli soldiers detain developmentally-disabled boy
B’Tselem reports that soldiers arrested the boy, who is under the age of criminal responsibility, on suspicion of throwing stones. His brutal arrest was caught in this video filmed by a B’Tselem volunteer and exposes the central role of settlers and settlements in the oppression of the Palestinians. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BkIPsGnMqQw “The boy, A. a-Rajbi, (full name withheld in interest of privacy) who will be 12 in a month, was detained after Palestinian children threw stones at soldiers on the main road of the Jabel Johar neighborhood in Hebron, close to the settlement of Kiryat Arba. A-Rajbi was handcuffed, blindfolded, and held on the floor of an army jeep for some 15 minutes until his father arrived and convinced the soldiers to release his son, who is mentally disabled and cannot speak. “In the video footage, filmed by B’Tselem volunteer Samih Da’na from his window, soldiers are seen holding the boy, handcuffing him, blindfolding him and closing him in the jeep, despite cries by Palestinian residents that the boy is mentally disabled. The footage also shows settlers from Kiryat Arba, watching the incident from behind the settlement’s fence. Some are seen calling out encouragement to the soldiers, including several racist remarks.”
19 October Inas Khalil, 5, killed after being run over by Israeli settler
Inas Shawkat Khalil has died after being hit by a car driven by an Israeli settler who did not stop. Another girl, Toleen Omar Asfour, is currently stable in hospital recovering from her wounds. Both girls were on their way home from kindergarten in Sinjil, Ramallah. Read more in the Middle East Monitor
16 October 2014 Baha Eldeen Samir Bader, 12 killed by IDF bullet
Defence of the Child International reports: “Baha Eldeen Samir Bader, 12, was killed by a bullet to his chest after Israeli soldiers raided Beit Liqya, southwest of Ramallah, on the evening of Thursday, October 16. Israeli soldiers bombarded the village with tear gas and ammunition. “Israeli forces continue to fire live ammunition at Palestinian children, killing them with impunity,” said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, Accountability Program Director at DCI-Palestine. “Israeli soldiers consistently violate their own live-fire regulations and know that they will not be held accountable for their actions no matter what the result.” According to eyewitness testimonies collected by DCI-Palestine, three Israeli military jeeps entered Beit Liqya at around 5:00 pm on Thursday afternoon. The raid resulted in a confrontation between Israeli soldiers and local youths. Eyewitnesses said that about eighteen soldiers were present in the village when Baha was shot. One bystander told DCI-Palestine that Baha was returning home from playing on the football field, and had not been involved in the clashes at the time he was fatally shot. The witness was standing only 2 meters (6.5 feet) away from the child when he was shot. Baha died as a result of severe bleeding from a gunshot wound to his chest, according to medical sources. Baha arrived at the hospital without vital signs and was pronounced dead at around 8:30 pm.”
10 September 2014: Schools attacked, teachers threatened
Illegal Israeli settlers attacked two schools in Nablus, Alaban & As-Sawiya. These photographs show the incident and some of the damage caused:
8 September 2014: Children violently detained near Hebron
Two adults and two children, aged seven and twelve, were arrested by Israeli soldiers at a checkpoint near the West Bank city of Hebron, with the help of stun grenades and tear gas canisters. Fortunately the International Solidarity Movement were there to record the incident.
This is just one of many recent incidents in the West Bank, where children have suffered aggression on the way to and from school. An ISM spokesman said: “It is clear to see how the Israeli army’s tactic of collective punishment is carried out in the daily lives of Palestinians, and children suffering from tear gas inhalation before and after school is not an unusual occurrence in Hebron.” Children as young as six have been arrested. Read more about our campaign for child prisoners.