Israel continues with unlawful treatment of child prisoners
Although it is four years since a delegation of prominent British lawyers published a report on the ill-treatment of Palestinian children in Israeli jails, recent investigations have found that little has changed.
According to data collected by the organisation Military Court Watch, 47 per cent of children continue to be arrested at night; 62 per cent of parents of children arrested at home are not provided with reasons for the arrest; 82 per cent of children continue to be blindfolded; 76 per cent of children are tied in a manner not in accordance with the military’s own standard operating procedures; 82 per cent of children are transferred on the metal floor of military vehicles; no children are being informed of their right to silence at the time of arrest and only 14 per cent are informed prior to interrogation; 86 per cent of children do not consult with a lawyer prior to interrogation; no children are currently being accompanied by a parent during interrogation; and 60 per cent of children report being subjected to physical violence.
In June the US congress petitioned President Obama to appoint “a special envoy for Palestinian youth”, warning of the dangers of “ignoring the trauma being inflicted on millions of Palestinian children”.
‘Extreme Measures’ – HRW condemns Israel
In a recent report, ‘Extreme Measures’, Human Rights Watch has included Israel with Afghanistan, Nigeria, Congo and Iraq as one of the countries most guilty of abusing children being detained as ‘national security threats’.
Among the abuses is the failure to allow a child to consult with a lawyer before interrogation or to have a parent present. Physical and verbal abuse, detention without charge or trial and the use of solitary confinement are widespread.
‘Extreme measures’ is just one of a series of reports by international bodies listing Israel’s numerous violations of legislation relating to children. In July 2013, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child found that Palestinian children arrested by Israeli forces were systematically subjected to degrading treatment, and often torture, and that Israel had “fully disregarded” previous recommendations to comply with international law.
10 August 2016
140 children under immediate threat
140 children live in the village of Susiya in the South Hebron hills of the West Bank. They and their families could be made homeless in the very near future if threats by the Israeli authorities to demolish their homes are carried out.
Many of the families were first made refugees when, soon after the Nakba of 1948, Israel razed to the ground the villages they had lived in for centuries. They remade their lives in the village of Susiya in the South Hebron hills in the West Bank.
The residents were expelled from their village for the first time in 1986, and have suffered expulsion and house demolitions ever since. A ring of illegal Israeli settlements now surrounds Susiya, cutting the villagers off from their land.
The Israeli human rights organisation, B’Tselem, states: “The policy adopted by the Israeli authorities vis-à-vis these communities [in ‘Area C’, throughout the West Bank] keeps residents from maintaining any semblance of a normal routine, imposes a life of constant uncertainty on local residents and constitutes harassment per se… This policy is intended to serve the goal, explicitly declared by Israeli officials in the past, of taking over land in the southern Hebron hills in order to formally annex it to Israel in a permanent-status agreement with the Palestinians, and annex it de facto until such a time” – in violation of international law.
A number of human rights organisations, including Rabbis for Human Rights, are campaigning globally to stop the demolitions.
5 August 2016
25 years defending child prisoners
In an all too familiar story, Defence For Children International are appealing on behalf of yet another Palestinian child arrested in violation of international law. 14 year-old Osama was taken by soldiers from his home at 3.00 a.m., with his family having no idea where he was being taken. In this video his family speak of the trauma children regularly suffer at the hands of the Israeli authorities. The appeal marks 25 years of the work of DCI in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, monitoring and defending children caught up in the military judicial system of the occupying army.
Appeal and petition for 12 year-old prisoner
In December 2015 Shadi Farah and his 13 year-old friend Ahmad Zaatari,were arrested in
occupied East Jerusalem, after a group of illegal settlers called the police, saying they looked suspicious. The boys confessed after several days of interrogation with no lawyer or parent present. (Due to the form of interrogation and a system of plea-bargaining the conviction rate of young Palestinians is an extraordinary 98%.) Just one witness claimed the boys had been talking about stabbing soldiers at their school. They have been charged with attempted manslaughter.
The boys are currently being held in al Marsa youth detention centre in Northern Israel, which makes visiting a major problem for their families.
The al Marsa centre is a place for Israeli teenage criminals, who are frequently very aggressive with young Palestinian detainees. Shadi and Ahmad have been banned from activities and are confined to their rooms, spending most of the day under what amounts to solitary confinement
It could take years for the case to come to court.
n the meantime Shadi’s family have asked for help with providing legal representation, and have called on people around the world to campaign for fairer and more humane treatment of all child prisoners held in Israel.
‘Beautiful Resistance’: Palestine Youth Theatre to visit UK
From August – September, 14 young performers from the Alrowwad Centre for Culture & Arts in Bethlehem’s Aida refugee camp will be touring the UK.
The tour will include Edinburgh and Greenbelt Arts Festival, London, Bristol, Leeds and Derby.
Organiser Abdelfattah Abusrour says: “ As Palestinian refugees, we don’t have the luxury of despair. We choose Beautiful Resistance … We need to provoke miracles to happen.”
Lords debate plight of Palestinian children
Lord Warner, who initiated the debate, talked of “the appalling conditions under which Palestine’s children are living in both the blockaded collective prison of Gaza and the 50-year military occupation in the West Bank and east Jerusalem”. He spoke at length of the plight of Palestinian children in Israeli jails, and of the physical and mental trauma suffered by children after the repeated military invasions of Gaza, and of house demolitions and settler violence in the West Bank.
When, he asked was the government “going to start challenging the Israeli Government over their daily breaches of international law, especially the Fourth Geneva Convention?”
The full debate can be viewed or read online.
Palestinian Children Under Threat:
Speaking Tour 13th-21st July 2016
Speaking Tour by Ayed Abu Eqtaish from Defence of Children International
The deteriorating conditions for children under Israeli occupation in Palestine have been a cause of growing concern for human rights groups in Palestine and in the international community. Defence of Children International (DCI) is playing a crucial role in monitoring human rights abuses against Palestinian children and advocating for their protection. There are now over 400 Palestinian children under Israeli military detention, some imprisoned without trial and some sentenced by draconian military courts.
Action 4 Palestinian Children is sponsoring a visit to the UK by Ayed Abu Eqtaish, Accountability Program Director for DCI-Palestine, to speak about the current situation with key stakeholders including politicians, unions and civil society organisations. He will also tour the country, speaking at public meetings in Brighton, London, Bradford, Glasgow and Newcastle.
Ayed Abu Eqtaish has worked for DCI since 2000. His work focuses on child detention, documentation and both local and international advocacy for cases involving the ill treatment and torture of children.
His visit is particularly timely as it preludes a debate on 21st July at the House of Lords moved by Lord Warner on the conditions in which Palestinian children are living and the impact on their health and wellbeing.
You can come and listen to Ayed talk at the following venues:
Brighton: Wednesday 13th July 7.30pm
The Synergy Centre, West Street Brighton, BN1 2RA
Hosted by Brighton PSC Info here
London: Thursday 14th July 6.30pm
SOAS Room KLT, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London, WC1H OXG
Hosted by SOAS Palestine Society Info and tickets here
Bradford: Monday 18th July 7.00pm
St Mary and St Monica’s church, Cottingley, Bingley BD16 1SA
Newcastle: Tuesday 19th July 7.00pm
Broadcare House, Market Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 6HQ
Hosted by Newcastle PSC Further Info here
Glasgow: Wednesday 20th July 7.00 pm
The Clubroom, Centre for Contemporary Arts (CCA), 350 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, G2 3JD
During his tour Ayed Abu Eqtaish spoke to Middle East Monitor about the work of Defense of Children International and their efforts to monitor and combat the suffering of Palestinian children in Israeli jails.
Girls and boys enjoy football tournament in Ramallah!
Young footballers travelled from all over the West Bank earlier in the year for a tournament organised by Sports for Life Palestine organiser Tamara Awartani. The initiative brought together children from towns, villages and refugee camps. Awartani commented, “They are given the opportunity to play football competitively and see a different part of the West Bank, in an effort to overcome growing social fragmentation.”
Nationally there are huge barriers facing players as Israel often prevents them leaving. In addition, they are unable to host teams from other countries so forfeit the home advantage.
Some say that there are additional problems for girls and women as football is seen as a men’s game, but one young player in the tournament , Amar, from Balata refugee camp in Nablus, challenges this, saying she has plenty of opportunity to play. Her skills as shown on the video certainly support this!
Click here to watch the video
Palestinian boy, 15, killed by Israeli forces
On 21 June 15 year-old Mahmoud Raafat Badran was shot dead near an illegal Israeli settlement on the West Bank, and four other teenagers seriously wounded.
Youths had been throwing stones and Molotive coktails at settler vehicles, but Mahmoud was an innocent bystander, it was later admitted by Israeli authorities. His body has not yet been released ot the family.
Since October 220 Palestinians have been killed by settlers or Israeli forces in the Occupied Territories.
Jo Cox, a strong supporter of Palestinian rights, mourned by the people of Palestine
Jo Cox often spoke out against Israel’s policies, especially in relation to Palestinian children in Israeli jails, saying ‘Palestinian children are not subject to the rule of law’.
Dr. Hanan Ashrawi of the PLO said that the people of Palestine mourn the loss of ‘Palestine’s dear friend and peace and justice activist.’ She called the murdered MP ‘a passionate, courageous leader and human rights defender who tirelessly advocated for various causes, including the plight of Syrian refugees, Palestinian child prisoners and an end to the illegal blockade on Gaza.’
Nakba: then and now
Day school Saturday 14th May NUT HQ
A4PC is pleased to be taking part in this event organised by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign. It was originally part of the speaking tour arranged for Manal Tamimi, one of the leaders of the village civil resistance movement. Sadly, Manal was not granted a visa and will be unable to tour the UK. However, many of the dates are going ahead with alternative speakers including Mahmoud Zawahra.
This event is part of the week-long activities to commemorate the Nakba, the dispossession of the Palestinians in 1948.
Action for Palestinian Children will be running a workshop at the Nakba Day School on May 14th
For more information please visit-
Palestinian Child Prisoners – UK Government must act
Israel cancels the return visit by the UK legal delegation to check on treatment of child prisoners
Following the cancellation, for a second time, of a visit by a team of high-ranking UK lawyers to check on progress in the treatment of Palestinian children detained in the military court system, we need to redouble our efforts to demand action from our government on the blatant human rights abuses which were documented in the original Children in Military Custody report (2012). The 40 recommendations made were echoed by the later UNICEF report and make it clear that Israel is in breach of international law and human rights agreements.
Tobias Ellwood MP, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs expressed “strong disappointment” at the cancellation of the return visit butthis response does not adequately reflect the seriousness of this development or recognise the absolute contempt Israel has shown the UK government and its people.
All evidence from those on the ground strongly suggest that there has been little improvement in the situation with much being worse. Defence of the Child International Palestine reported last week that Israel was increasingly using administrative detention orders against children. Administrative detention is a procedure whereby a person is detained without charge or trial, by order of a military commander or other government officials, often renewable indefinitely.
For more on the treatment of children by the Israeli military authorities see
We will be working with other campaigners to publicise this shameful decision and to increase the pressure on our government to hold the Israeli authorities to account. Watch this space.
Moving Freely: Young Palestinians speak out
As part of a project between Edukid and teaching unions in Palestine and the UK, young Palestinians are being given a chance to talk about their lives.
The Askar Refugee Camp, talk about their lives and teach the Dabke dance – a traditional Palestinian dance. They explain why the Dabke means so much to them.
The accompanying teaching resources are linked to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and are suitable for use with students from Year 5-Year 13. These films would also be suitable for use at public meetings.
The second film, Just Like Us, filmed at a high school in Nazareth, Israel, is a fabulous chance to meet Palestinian teens and hear their views on life, their aspirations and their thoughts on the obstacles that face them. The film is 15 minutes long and features music from DAM-RAP and others. It is insightful and uplifting and would go down well at any meeting on Palestine. Click here to watch it.
Palestinian Children targeted at home, school and at play
Hares Teens sentenced to 15 years in prison
News that the Hares Boys have been sentenced to 15 years in prison once again exposes the unjust and inhumane Israeli military court system. The evidence against the boys in this case is utterly flawed and is a clear travesty of justice.
Read more here
Hundreds of Palestinian children are routinely arrested and detained by the Israeli authorities. In recent months, the numbers of young people targeted, detained and imprisoned has increased.
Military Court Watch reported that in December 407 children were held in military detention – an increase of 33% with 56% held inside Israel in violation of Geneva IV and Rome Statute;
Sarah Champion MP sponsored a parliamentary debate on this issue on 6th January. In particular, she raised concerns about the illegal transfer of detainees in to Israel which is in breach of international human rights law, and called for legal action against ‘war criminals’ who are party to it.
“The transfer of detainees en masse from occupied territory is a stand-alone issue, because it is a war crime. It is not contingent on the presence or absence of peace talks. It should not be contingent on one political view or another. After nearly half a century, it requires decisive action in accordance with our international legal obligations. The fourth Geneva convention makes it clear that the UK has a positive legal obligation to search for persons accused of committing grave breaches of the convention, regardless of their nationality, and to ensure that if such persons enter the UK, they are arrested and prosecuted with all speed. That is why I recommend that in order to begin to fulfil our legal obligations, we must establish and maintain a watch list of all known war crime suspects, whoever they may be. We should know, at all times, who is coming into this country, whether we need to be concerned and what action we are legally obliged to take. As a nation, we must send a strong message that we will no longer tolerate the commission of war crimes on such an industrial scale, and that we are a people who honour our commitments.”
Foreign Office Minister, Tobias Ellwood MP, asserted” the British government remains concerned by the treatment of Palestinian children detained in Israeli prisons”. He also confirmed the Foreign Office is funding a return visit by the UK legal delegation which wrote the 2012 Children in Military Custody report. That report made 40 recommendations which were very similar to the subsequent recommendations made by the 2013 UNICEF report
Read a report of the debate by Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights here
Read about children kept under house arrest for months https://electronicintifada.net/content/when-israel-turns-houses-jails/15486
Distressing footage has been leaked of the interrogation of Ahmed Manasrah, the 13 year old boy whose callous treatment by Israeli forces and civilians as he lay bleeding in the street was witnessed around the world. After an alleged stabbing near the illegal Israeli settlement of Pisgat Zeev in Jerusalem, Ahmed was seriously wounded but for received no medical assistance and was subject to sustained racist abuse as he lay bleeding. Initally reported dead, Manasrah was later photographed in an Israeli hospital receiving treatment.
The latest footage shows 5 minutes of an interrogation. It is very hard to watch. It is the kind of treatment any Palestinian child detained can expect as a matter of routine.
The deadly assault on Palestinians by Israeli forces and settlers continues to escalate and children are being targeted in what eyewitness accounts are evidence of a shoot to kill policy.
A report from the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights quoted on the Palestinian Information Centre website claims two young 17 year old Palestinians were shot in cold-blood with no provocation by soldiers in the West Bank. Dania Jehad Ersheid (17) and Ahmed Mohammed Sa’id Kmail (17) were both shot dead this week; Dania in Hebron and Ahmed in Jenin. Eyewitness accounts say there was no evidence they posed any threat at the time of their deaths. PCHR say Dania was on her way to an extended English class and was shot with her arms in the air; Ahmed was well-known at the checkpoint as a regular peddler and was selling chocolate biscuits.
Since the start of October 51 Palestinian civilians have been killed in the West Bank and Gaza including 14 children.
At the end of September, DCI Palestine reported that since 2000, more than 1,996 children had died as a result of soldier or illegal settler violence. These killings in October bring that number to more than 2000.
The obligation on the international community to bring an end to this violence is clear:
“PCHR reiterates its call upon the international community to take immediate and effective actions to put an end to such crimes and reiterates its call for the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 to fulfill their obligations under Article 1; i.e., to respect and to ensure respect for the Convention in all circumstances, and their obligation under Article 146 to prosecute persons alleged to commit grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention. These grave breaches constitute war crimes under Article 147 of the same Convention and Protocol I Additional to the Geneva Conventions.”
On Monday October 12th, Hasan Khaled Mansara, was left to bleed to death after an alleged stabbing attack. The video and accounts of this incident have been widely shared on social media. This report from the International Middle East Media Centre reports Israeli forces and medics did nothing to help him as he lay dying, subjected to vile insults from nearby Israeli civilians shouting “Die, you son of a whore”.
Ayed Abu Eqtaish, Accountability Program director at DCIP, said “It’s now a matter of when the next Palestinian child fatality will occur and not if it will take place. The complete disregard for human life that Israeli soldiers exhibit suggests that the use of lethal force is their standard operating procedure whatever the circumstance.”
Read more from DCI-Palestine on the violence & death suffered by Palestinian children at the hands of illegal Israeli settlers & Israeli soldiers here.
Reports from observers with Christian Peacemakers Team & the International Solidarity Movement show that the teargassing of children on their way to and from school is commonplace in places like Al-Khalil/Hebron.
In February 2015, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator, James W Rawley, testified to the ‘extraordinary challenges’ Palestinian children face in their attempt to get to school without fear of assault and called for action by Israel to ensure that Palestinian children’s right to access education is assured: “To safeguard the rights of children to education, schools need to be inviolable safe spaces for children, restrictions to access removed, and measures taken to avoid conflict or confrontation”, Mr. Rawley said. “Every child has the right to protected access to education. Israeli authorities must ensure that this right is fulfilled, and that those responsible for attacks against defenceless children are brought to account”.
13 year old boy shot and killed by Israeli forces in Bethlehem
Ma’an reports the killing of a 13-year-old Palestinian boy in Aida refugee camp in Bethelehem. Abed al-Rahman Shadi Obeidallah, was shot near the heart by Israeli forces during clashes in the refugee camp.
Where is the Outrage?
Three year old targeted in Kafr Qaddum in Qalqiliya
Maan News reports on the shooting with rubber-coated steel bullets of the daughter of local police chief, Colonel Abd al-Latif al-Qaddumi, as she stood on her balcony. Maram Abed al-Latif al-Qaddumi was shot in the head and her father came under fire as he attempted to help her. They are both recovering in hospital. The family was recently evicted from their home which has been turned into an Israeli military outpost.
Military Court Watch Update
Military Court Watch has issued its August update. 153 Palestinian children are currently held in military detention with 48% of these being held in Israel in violation of Geneva IV and Rome Statute. The update also reports on the devastating impact of night raids and the increased awareness of the situation in the US as more Congress members raise concerns. A more detailed briefing note is available here.
Israel considers using live fire on stone throwers
Israeli Prime Minister has said the government is considering giving armed forces the right to shoot live fire at stone-throwers. Al-Jazeera America reports a statement from Netanyahu’s office which says: “Since the justice system finds it difficult to deal with minors who throw rocks, changes to orders on opening fire toward stone and petrol-bomb throwers will be examined”. This follows Israeli Culture Minister Miri Regev’s comments that soldiers should have fired on unarmed civilians including children at the Nabi Saleh protest where an Israel soldier had a 12 year old boy with a broken arm in a head lock (see below).
Israeli military violence towards civilian communities is exposed at Nabi Saleh
Video footage of an Israeli solder brutally restraining a 12 year old boy in a headlock has gone viral after last Friday’s weekly protest in Nabi-Saleh. Another child and two women successfully fight to free the boy from the soldier’s grip. After a violent struggle, the soldier releases the boy and withdraws. The footage and photos have created shock waves around the world with even the UK’s Mail On-line reporting the story with some sympathy. Predictably, the backlash from some Israeli sources have sought to blame the villagers and the children. There are reports that the unarmed civilians involved in releasing the boy will be arrested and Mondoweiss reports that the Israeli Culture Minister, Miri Regev, has said that the soldier should have fired on the unarmed civilians:
Stop Arming Israel – Defence of the Child International launch petition
DCI-Palestine has launched a petition to demand justice for the children of Gaza. DCI-Palestine says: “The U.S. and U.K. governments share complicity in Israel’s human rights violations in Rafah and elsewhere in Gaza. Both must investigate and impose an immediate arms embargo on Israeli military units that violate human rights and international humanitarian law as required by American and British arms export control laws and policies. The U.S. and U.K. governments must also support the International Criminal Court in examining alleged war crimes committed in Rafah between August 1 and 4. “In the first half of 2014, the U.K. government approved £7 million ($11 million) in weapons transfers to Israel including ordinance that was likely used in the 2014 bombing of Gaza. While the U.S. government allowed Israel to resupply itself from a U.S. weapons stockpile located in Israel with grenade and mortar rounds at the end of July last year. “Reports from international human rights organizations, from the United Nations, and from the U.S. State Department are presenting a set of mutually confirming data that shines a bright light on the physical and psychological harm the Israeli state has perpetrated upon Palestinian children, in the vast majority of cases in violation of international human rights law, covenants and conventions.” Click below to sign the petition:
New report from Save the Children ‘The Lasting Scars on Children’ B’Tselem video shows Palestinian teenager, Muhammad Ali Qusbah, being shot by IDF as he ran away 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 More Palestinian civilians were killed last year than at any time since 1967 says UN Independent 27th March 2015 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.