Urgent call from Defence of the Child International for action for the children of Gaza.
Defence of the Child International today, 27th September 2014, launched a petition urging 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.” Click here for more details: Justice for Gaza’s Children
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.
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.
“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.