• Since 2007, a UNICEF-led working group has consolidated efforts to report on the impacts of armed conflict on children in Israel and the State of Palestine. The bulletin is published periodically highlighting trends and patterns in grave violations against children.
•The total number of incidents documented in the first quarter of 2014 is 265, affecting at least 13,376 children.
•Two Palestinian boys were killed in the course of IDF operations.
•Despite a general decrease in the number of Palestinian children injured in the West Bank compared to previous reporting period, 96 children were injured during clashes between Palestinian and Israeli security forces, military operations, settler-violence and by ERWs.
• During the first quarter of 2014, 41 education-related incidents were documented in the West Bank, marking a steep increase compared to the last quarter of 2013. The number of incidents affecting children in Gaza remained low as a result of the ceasefire understanding between Israel and Hamas since November 2012.
KILLINGS AND INJURIES
During the first quarter of 2014, two Palestinian boys were killed and 109 were injured (103 boys and six girl). No Israeli children were killed; two were injured (one boy and one girl.)
1- Palestinian children
In the West Bank, a 14-year-old Palestinian refugee boy was shot and killed by Israeli Security Forces with live ammunition on 19 March in Ar Ramadin (south Hebron), while crossing the Barrier to collect aromatic plants for income generation. An investigation was opened by the Israeli authorities.
• Sixty-four (64) children were injured during clashes between Palestinians and the IDF, including in the context of demonstrations against the Barrier or Israeli settlements, and clashes ensuing the Friday prayer. Of these, 25 children (24 boys and one girl) were hit by rubber-coated bullets; 19 children (18 boys and one girl) suffered from tear gas inhalation; eight children were injured by live ammunition; three boys were hit by a tear gas canister; and another boy was hit by a sound grenade.
• Twenty-five (25) children (23 boys and two girls) were injured by the IDF during security operations; such as search and arrest operations or clashes between Palestinians and the IDF, including in and around refugee camps. During these military operations, children were injured by live ammunition (9), rubber-coated bullets (7), as a result of physical assault (6) and due to tear gas inhalation (3).
• In addition, six out of the 96 children were injured in the context of settler-related violence (five boys and one girl); they were between three and 17 years old. Two children, one boy and one girl, were injured directly by Israeli settlers as a result of physical assault. IDF interventions during clashes between Palestinians and Israeli settlers led to the injuring of four boys children by physical assault (2), being hit by a tear gas canister (1) and due to tear gas inhalation (1).
• A 14-year-old Palestinian boy was injured by a UXO in Shaib al Butum (Yatta, south Hebron). The injury was caused by a helicopter flare which the boy mishandled. The boy was treated by the military and evacuated to the hospital.
Two Israeli children were injured. A two-year-old girl was injured as a result of stone throwing by a Palestinian in the Old City of Jerusalem. In addition, an Israeli boy was injured as a result of stone throwing against the vehicle he was travelling in near a settlement on Road 90, close to Al Auja village (Jericho). The age of the boy could not be confirmed.
In Gaza, a 16-year-old Palestinian boy died of wounds he sustained on 2 January 2014 after he was shot by Israeli forces at approximately 250 meters from the fence between Israel and the Gaza Strip.
Thirteen (13) children were injured in Gaza, 11 boys and two girls:
• Another seven children were injured as a result of shooting against people approaching the Barrier. Three boys were injured by live ammunitions and the other four boys were injured when hit by a tear gas canister.
According to the data provided by the Israeli Prison Service (IPS), which represents a head count of children in IPS detention at the end of each month, by the end of March 2014, 202 boys aged 14 to 17 years were held in Israeli military detention including 24 boys aged 14 to 15. They were held in Ofer, Hasharon and Megiddo military detention facilities. Out of the 202 Palestinian children, 132 were held in pre-trial or trial detention and 70 were serving a sentence. During the first quarter of 2014, on average 198 children were held in Israeli military detention per month, which marks a two per cent decrease compared to the monthly average in 2013 (202 children).
In addition, according to the data provided by the Palestinian District Coordination Office (DCO) for the first quarter of 2014, 95 children aged between seven and 17 years were taken into military custody by the IDF and released within a few hours or a day to their families through the Palestinian DCO and Palestinian police Family and Juvenile Protection Units.
In relation to the cases of military detention, the Reporting Mechanism on Children and Armed Conflict gathered 31 affidavits (sworn testimonies) of children aged between 13 and 17 years reporting ill-treatment by the IDF, the Israeli police, the ISA and/or the IPS, while in Israeli military detention in the West Bank. Out of the 31 cases, 22 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. One child reported being held in solitary confinement for a total period of 24 days in Petah Tikva and Al Jalame detention centers inside Israel. During the reporting period, six children reported being arrested at night and six children reported having received a summons requesting them to appear before the Israeli military authorities. A decrease was observed in the number of children reporting blind-folding, painful hand ties, and being transferred on the vehicle floor at the time of arrest. Twenty-one (21) of the 31 boys were transferred outside the West Bank to detention facilities inside Israel (Hasharon and Megiddo), in contravention of the Fourth Geneva Convention.
Since the publication of the UNICEF paper "Children in Israeli Military Detention — Observations and Recommendations" in March 2013, UNICEF has been engaged in a dialogue with the Israeli authorities on the implementation of the UNICEF recommendations. In October 2013, the IDF Central Command had announced that it would conduct a pilot test of summonses of children in lieu of night arrests. In early February 2014, the Israeli authorities started the pilot program in Nablus governorate.
Attacks on schools
During the reporting period, 42 education-related incidents were documented in the West Bank and Gaza, marking a steep increase compared to the 12 cases reported in the last quarter of 2013.
In the West Bank, the incidents included 25 instances of IDF military operations inside or near schools, seven cases of military use of school premises by the IDF, six settler-related incidents, two confiscations of school or building materials, and one land confiscation order. All cases were reported in the governorates of Hebron, Bethlehem, Jerusalem, Ramallah, Nablus and Jenin affecting also refugee camp schools.
• Regarding the seven incidents of military use of schools, on five occasions during the reporting period, IDF entered and used Haj Ma'zoz Al Masri School in Nablus to protect Israeli settlers visiting Joseph's Tomb nearby. In two other incidents, the IDF took over At Tabaqa Basic Mixed School in Hebron governorate and transformed it into an overnight detention center, and the IDF declared Al Mutanabi Basic School for Boys in Hebron H2 Area as a closed military area at the beginning of the exam session.
• Of the six settler-related incidents, five cases concerned attacks by settlers of Yitzhar settlement near Nablus on two schools nearby, Urif School on two occasions and Burin School on three occasions. Frequent settler activity in the area is increasingly becoming a source of tension and directly impacting schools through a visible increase in the number of confrontations. In one other incident, a 12-year-old girl was assaulted by a settler on her way to school in the Old City of Jerusalem.
In one incident in Gaza, on 13 January 2014, the IDF launched several airstrikes against training sites of Palestinian armed groups, as a result of which two UNRWA schools sustained minor damages.
37 incidents reported in the last quarter of 2013. All of the incidents took place in the West Bank and no cases were reported for Gaza or Israel. In 19 situations, children lost school time as a result of IDF closing areas near schools for military exercises or military operations (7 cases in Hebron and Nablus), or causing delays at check-points (4 cases in Hebron, Bethlehem and Tubas) and school entrances (eight cases in Hebron, Jerusalem, Ramallah and Nablus). Six other cases related to the detention of teachers and children by the IDF while on their way to and from school (Hebron, Jerusalem and Nablus). The two remaining cases are related to settler attacks on teachers and school children on their way to school (Hebron).
DENIAL OF HUMANITARIAN ACCESS FOR CHILDREN
Since the closure of Gaza in 2007, some children in need of specialized medical care outside of Gaza continued to face delays when accessing health services. From January to March 2014, the Israeli District Liaison Office approved without delay 1,241 out of 1,347 applications (92%) for children to cross Erez checkpoint for medical treatment outside of Gaza. Eighty-eight applications were delayed and 18 were denied. This means a slight decrease in the number of delays compared to previous reporting period (93%), but a steep increase in the number of denied applications compared to previous quarter, in which no applications had been denied.
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