This edition covers October. November & December 2014.
Killing and injuries
No Israeli children were killed. Four Israeli children were injured in settlements in or around the West Bank, including one child in East Jerusalem.
During the fourth quarter of 2014, six Palestinian children were killed and 300 were injured: three children were killed and 284 were injured in the West Bank, including 26 in East
In the West Bank, three Palestinian boys aged between 13 and 16 years were killed by Israeli Security Forces (ISF):
• On 16 October, a 13-year-old boy was killed in Beit Liqya (Ramallah governorate) by ISF using live ammunition, during a military operation in the village.
• On 24 October, a 14-year-old boy was killed by ISF using live ammunition in Silwad (Ramallah governorate) during a demonstration against Israeli settlers which resulted in clashes.
• On 29 December, a 16-year-old boy was killed by ISF using live ammunition in Baita village (Nablus Governorate) in response to stone throwing.
2 — Injuries
During the fourth quarter of 2014, 284 Palestinian children were injured in the West Bank, including 277 boys and seven girls aged between one and 17 years, during:
• Demonstrations: One hundred and ninety one (191) children, 189 boys and two girls, aged between two and 17 years, were injured during organized demonstrations resulting in clashes between ISF and Palestinians. Demonstrations and ensuing clashes occurred in the context of protests against Israeli activists entering Al Aqsa Mosque Compound / Temple Mount; the killing of the head of the Palestinian Liberation Organization's (PLO) Commission 'against the Separation Wall and Settlements'; the killing of civilians; and weekly protests against the Barrier and settlement expansion. Data for the fourth quarter of 2014 shows a significant decrease in the number of children injured during demonstrations, compared to the 462 cases recorded in the third quarter. In the course of these military operations, children were injured by live ammunition (145), including 88 children by rubber-coated metal bullets; by severe tear gas inhalation (36); by being hit by tear gas canisters or sound grenades (8) and by physical assault (2).
• Military operations: Sixty-five (65) children, 61 boys and four girls aged between one and 17 years, were injured in military operations. Children were injured by live ammunition (35) including 20 by rubber-coated metal bullets; by severe tear gas inhalation (14); by physical assault (10); and by being hit by tear gas canister (6).
• Settler-violence: Twenty-one (21) children, including 20 boys and one girl aged between 8 and 17 years, were injured in the context of settler-related violence. This marks an increase compared to 11 incidents reported in the previous quarter. In seven instances, children were injured in direct violence by Israeli settlers: three children were physically assaulted, and four children were injured as a result of being hit by stones thrown at them. The remaining 14 children were injured as a result of ISF intervention in the context of other settler-related incidents, including Israeli settlers attacking Palestinian villages and refugee camps by firing live ammunition or throwing stones, and entering Palestinian land.
• Explosive remnants of war (ERW): Seven (7) boys aged between two and 14 years were injured as a result of the explosion of a sound grenade near their houses.
In the fourth quarter of 2014, three Palestinian boys were killed in Gaza. Two boys, aged 15 and 16 years, died of wounds they sustained during the Gaza conflict of July-August 2014 (one as a result of Israeli airstrikes and one as the result of artillery shells.) The third boy, a four-year-old child, died of wounds sustained when an Explosive remnant of War (ERW) exploded as a result of tampering.
Sixteen (16) children were injured in Gaza, ten boys and six girls:
• Six boys were injured in the Access Restricted Area (ARA) as a result of ISF shooting with live ammunition towards Palestinian children approaching the fence with Israel. In one instance, a boy was injured in Al Qarara area (Khan Younis); another boy was injured in Al Yahodia area (Rafah), and two other boys were injured in east of Jabaliya (North Gaza). One boy was injured at Salah Eddin road, west of Beit Hanoun and another one was injured and arrested in the east of Jabaliya, in the North Gaza District.
• Ten children, four boys and six girls, aged between three and 17 years, were injured by mishandling ERW in four different incidents in Rafah, Gaza City, Al Mughraqa (Middle Area), and in Jabaliya (North Gaza).
Four Israeli children were injured in the fourth quarter of 2014 (three boys and one girl) as a result of stone throwing (3) and throwing of a Molotov cocktail (1) by Palestinian civilians near settlements in the West Bank and in the Muslim Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem. One girl was injured in East Jerusalem and the other three boys were injured in the West Bank in Qalqilia, Bethlehem and Ramallah governorates.
Recruitment and use of children
No cases of child recruitment were reported in the fourth quarter of 2014.
Arrest and detention
According to the data provided by the Israeli prison Service (IPS), by the end of December 2014, 151 children (148 boys and 3 girl) aged 14 to 17 years (including ten boys aged 14 to 15) were held in Israeli military detention facilities (Ofer, Hasharon and Megiddo). Out of the 151 Palestinian children, 104 were held in pre-trial or trial detention and 47 were serving a sentence. The data shows that, during the fourth quarter of 2014, on average 156 children were held in Israeli military detention per month, which marks a decrease compared to the monthly average in the third quarter of 2014 (191 children).
Note: the figures represent a head count of children in IPS detention at the end of each month
In relation to the cases of military detention, the UNICEF-led Working Group on Grave Violations against Children gathered 32 affidavits (sworn testimonies) of children aged between 14 and 17 years reporting ill-treatment by the IDF, the Israeli police, the Israeli Border Police, the Israel Security Agency (ISA) and/or the IPS, while in Israeli military detention in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Out of the 32 cases, 24 boys reported being subjected to at least ten different types of violations, including but not limited to painful hand-ties, blindfolding, strip-searching, leg-ties, verbal abuse, physical violence, no notification of rights and/or no presence of a lawyer or parent during interrogation. Five children reported being held in solitary confinement for periods ranging between 15 and 26 days in Al Jalame and Petah Tikva detention centers inside Israel. During the reporting period, 12 children reported being arrested at night and two children received a summons during a night-time military operation. Thirteen (13) of the 32 boys were transferred outside the West Bank to detention facilities inside Israel (Megiddo), in contravention of the Fourth Geneva Convention.
Attacks on schools
Between October and December 2014, 46 education-related incidents, including attacks on and military use of schools, were documented in the West Bank and Gaza. None was documented in Israel.
In the West Bank, 45 incidents were documented, including 38 instances of Israeli military operations inside or near schools, three demolition orders for schools, and four settler-related incidents.
• Settler related violence: Of the four settler-related incidents, three incidents were reported in Nablus and one in East Jerusalem. Two attacks affected the Urif Secondary School for Boys. In one instance Israeli settlers attacked a school with live ammunition and in another instance Israeli settlers and Israeli soldiers fired tear gas canisters in the direction of the school, causing instances of severe tear gas inhalation. In the other instance, the administration of the As-Sawiya Al-Libban School (Nablus) was threatened with school closure. In East Jerusalem, a settler broke into the AI-Aytam secondary school for boys in At-Thuri, claiming that students were throwing stones at his house, and threatening to 'shoot students who throw stones'.
• Demolition orders: Three schools in Tubas, Hebron and Jerusalem received a demolition order.
In Gaza, one incident was documented in the fourth quarter of 2014: on 20 December, when Israeli Air
Forces launched an airstrike targeting a site reportedly used by Palestinian armed groups for training, northwest of Khan Younis, the nearby UNRWA School sustained minor damage.
Denial of access to education
Twenty-eight incidents of denial of access to education were documented in the fourth quarter of 2014, marking an increase compared to the 13 incidents reported in the third quarter of 2014. All of the incidents took place in the West Bank and no cases were reported in Gaza or Israel.
In 16 situations, children lost school time as a result of IDF closing areas near schools for military exercises or military operations in Jerusalem and Tubas (six cases), or causing delays at check-points or school entrances in Hebron, Bethlehem, Nablus, and Jerusalem (eight cases), or military escorts not accompanying children as they are supposed to in order to protect them from settlers in Hebron Governorate (two cases). Nine other cases related to the detention of teachers and children by the IDF while on their way to and from school (Hebron, Jerusalem, Ramallah, Tubas and Nablus). The three remaining cases are related to settler attacks against teachers and school children on their way to school (Hebron).
The aftermath of the summer 2014 hostilities continue to be felt by children in particular, who continue to experience the lasting psycho-social trauma of the summer conflict in large numbers. UNRWA schools have placed particular focus around psychosocial and recreational activities and targeted counselling for students. Government schools supported by UNICEF and partners devoted the first week of school to recreational activities meant to ease the transition back to learning, and nearly 12,000 school counsellors, teachers and supervisors were trained on improved counselling skills to help them address student anxieties after the conflict and to identify those who need more specialized help.
Moreover, ninety percent of the 252 UNRWA schools in Gaza and eighty five percent of the 395 government schools run on a double shift basis, and some even on triple shift within the same installation. As a result, children in Gaza continue to receive a severely truncated education and have little or no opportunity to engage in recreational or creative pursuits.
DENIAL OF HUMANITARIAN ACCESS FOR CHILDREN
Since the closure of Gaza in 2007, some children in need of specialized medical care outside of Gaza
(West Bank, East Jerusalem, Israel, Jordan or Egypt) continue to face delays when accessing health services. During the fourth quarter of 2014, the main reason for lack of proper medical access for children from Gaza remains denial by the Israeli authorities of permits for accompanying adult relatives to cross Erez terminal, and the sharp reduction in access through Rafah terminal by the Egyptian authorities.
• Erez: From October to December 2014, the Israeli District Liaison Office approved without delay 1,097 out of 1,332 applications (82 per cent) for children to cross Erez checkpoint into Israel for medical treatment outside of Gaza. Two hundred (200) applications were delayed (15 per cent) and 35 were denied (three per cent) for security reasons.
• Rafah: Rafah terminal to Egypt has been completely closed since 25th October; it was open for only three days in December, during which 28 patients travelled to Egypt. In 2014, the terminal was closed for 241 days (66 per cent of the year).
In the fourth quarter of 2014, Israeli authorities demolished 66 Palestinian homes and 69 other structures (including water wells and animal shelters) in East Jerusalem, as well as in Area A and B and across Area C of the West Bank. As a result, 251 persons were left homeless, including 123 children. Another 576 persons, of which 292 children, were also affected by the demolitions, through diminished access to services and threats to livelihood.
During the reporting period, a large number of internally displaced persons continued to face serious challenges to find decent shelter and resume their lives. By 1 October, there were 60,000 IDPs in 19 UNRWA collective centres; the number was reduced to around 17,000 IDPs in 18 Collective Centres by 31 December 2014.
UNICEF State of Palestine: + 972 2 58 40 400
Catherine Weibel - firstname.lastname@example.org
Monica Awad - mawad@uniceforg