Members of the working group include: DCI-Palestine, B'Tselem, Medecins du Monde — Suisse, Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, Save the Children, War Child Holland, World Vision, OCHA, OHCHR, UNESCO, UNICEF, UNRWA, UNMAS and WHO.
This edition covers July. August & September 2015.
Compared to the second quarter of 2015, there was a 20 per cent increase in violations resulting in injuries of children. In particular, there was a sharp increase in the number of children killed or injured in the West Bank including East Jerusalem, particularly as a result of the use of live ammunition and rubber-coated metal bullets by Israeli Security Forces (ISF).
KILLINGS AND INJURIES
Three Palestinian boys were killed - two by Israeli Security Forces (ISF) and one by Israeli settlers. On 3 July, a 17-year-old Palestinian refugee boy was shot and killed by ISF with live ammunition near the Qalandiya checkpoint. Reports indicate that he was shot in the back by a senior IDF officer while fleeing. Also on 31 July, a 17-year-old Palestinian boy died as a result of critical injuries suffered when ISF shot him in the chest with live ammunition during a demonstration.
On 31 July, an 18-month-old boy was killed in the arson of his house by Israeli settlers in the village of Duma. His father and mother died as a result of critical injuries (burns) sustained in this incident; his four-year-old brother was gravely injured.
Forty (40) boys were injured during clashes between Palestinians and ISF, in the context of demonstrations against the Barrier or Israeli settlements, and clashes following the Friday prayer. Of these, 11 boys were injured by live ammunition, 21 boys were hit by rubber-coated metal bullets, six boys suffered from tear gas inhalation, one boy was injured after being hit by a tear gas canister, and the last boy was hit by sound grenades.
In the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, 147 Palestinian children (142 boys and five girls) aged between seven months and 17 years were injured:
• 92 children - 90 boys and two girls - were injured during clashes between Palestinians and ISF in the context of increasing demonstrations. Of these, 11 boys were injured by live ammunition, 59 boys and two (2) girls were hit by rubber-coated metal bullets, 20 boys suffered from tear gas inhalation.
• 36 boys were injured during ISF operations, such as search and arrest operations, and ensuing clashes between Palestinians and the ISF, including in and around refugee camps. During these military operations, children were injured by live ammunition (8), rubber-coated metal bullets (17), tear gas inhalation (4) and physical assault (7).
• 19 children - 16 boys and three girls - were injured in the context of violence involving Israeli settlers, and the intervention of ISF. Israeli settlers injured five children, two boys and three girls, by physical assault and stone throwing. ISF interventions during clashes between Palestinians and Israeli settlers led to the injury of 14 boys by tear gas inhalation (9), physical assault (3), and being shot with a rubber-coated metal bullet (2).
In Gaza, one Palestinian boy was killed and 18 Palestinian children (11 boys and seven girls) were injured during the reporting period.
• On 31 July, Israeli forces shot and killed a 17-year-old Palestinian boy in the Access Restricted Areas (ARA) near the fence surrounding Gaza.
• Three boys, aged between 10 and 17 years, were shot and injured by the ISF in the ARA. On 17 and 31 July, ISF shot and injured two boys, 14 and 17 years old, who were playing close to the fence. On 3 September, Israeli naval forces opened fire towards Palestinian fishermen off the shore of Beit Lahia, injuring a 10 year-old boy who was accompanying his father at sea.
• Fifteen (15) children, aged between eight (8) months and 17 years, were injured as a result of incidents involving Explosive Remnants of War (ERW). In the most serious instance, on 6 August, 11 children, aged between eight months and 17 years, were injured in an ERW-related incident in the Al Shaboura area of Rafah when an explosion took place in a densely populated area.
Three Israeli children (two boys and one girl) were injured in East Jerusalem as a result of Palestinians throwing stones towards the vehicle they were travelling in near Israeli settlements on Road 45 in Silwan, and near the Har Homa settlement.
RECRUITMENT AND USE OF CHILDREN
Information was received on military training for children run by two armed groups in Gaza. The Al-Qassam Brigade website reported conducting a 'military camp' for children in Gaza that took place from 25 July to 5 August 2015. Over 25,000 male youths aged between 15 and 21 years reportedly participated in the camp.
On 30 August 2015, a graduation ceremony following a 'military training' for girls was reported by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). The camp reportedly lasted a number of weeks, during which girls engaged in sports and recreational activities and took part in a military training on carrying weapons.
ARREST AND DETENTION
According to the data provided by the Israeli Prison Services (IPS), at the end of August 2015, 156 children - 154 boys and two girls aged 14 to 17 years (of whom 21 boys aged between 14 and 15) were being held in Israeli military detention facilities (data for September is not available at the time of writing). Out of the 156 Palestinian children, 90 were held in pre-trial detention and 66 were serving a sentence.
From January to August 2015, on average 165 children per month were held in Israeli military detention facilities, which marks a 12 per cent decrease compared to the monthly average in 2014 (188 children).
In relation to the cases of military detention, the Working Group on Grave Violations against Children (WGGV) gathered 17 individual affidavits of children (16 boys and 1 girl) aged between 13 and 17 years reporting ill-treatment while in Israeli military detention in the West Bank, excluding East Jerusalem. Out of the 17 reported cases, 12 children reported being subjected to at least ten different types of ill-treatment, including but not limited to painful hand-ties, blindfolding, strip-searching, leg-ties, verbal abuse, and physical violence. Two out of the 17 children were transferred outside the West Bank to detention facilities inside Israel, in contravention of the Fourth Geneva Convention (Articles 76 and 49).
During the reporting period, 11 children reported not being notified of their rights and 5 children reported being arrested at night.
The WGGV also documented instances of arrest and ill-treatment of children in East Jerusalem. Sixteen cases (16 boys, aged between 9 and 17 years) of ill-treatment by ISF, including Israeli Police and Border Police, were documented through individual affidavits collected in East Jerusalem. In particular, 12 children reported verbal abuse, 9 of them also reported being subject to physical violence, and 8 of them reported threats made against them. Of the 16 boys, eight were arrested at night.
During the third quarter of 2015, 19 education-related incidents were reported in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem,
marking a 40% decrease compared to the second quarter, in part due to the summer school vacation. No incidents were reported in Gaza and Israel. Ten incidents of attacks on schools and protected persons were documented
Attacks on schools
During the third quarter of 2015, 19 education-related incidents were reported in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, marking a 40% decrease compared to the second quarter, in part due to the summer school vacation. No incidents were reported in Gaza and Israel.
• Attacks on schools: Six incidents of attacks against schools were documented, affecting 1,075 children. In four instances, ISF fired tear gas canisters around schools during day time, causing tear gas inhalation for students and/or interruption and cancellation of the school routine. In two other instances, ISF broke into two schools, damaged gate locks. There were no ongoing clashes near the schools, and reasons for the attacks are unclear.
• Attacks on protected persons: One attack against protected persons in relation to education was documented in East Jerusalem. On 22 September, a student from the Omar Ibn Al-Khatab School was stopped and physically assaulted by ISF on his way back home from school.
• Threats of attack: Three incidents of threats of violence to school and staff were documented in East Jerusalem (17 September) and Nablus (07 and 09 September). Incidents involved the ISF interrogating school principals to get information on stone throwing, and threatening school children on their way home.
Denial of access to education
Nine (9) incidents of denial of access to education were documented in the reporting period. This marks a 40% decrease in the number of documented incidents compared to the second quarter, partly due to the summer school vacation. All of the incidents took place in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.
In six instances, students lost school time after being held up Israeli at military checkpoints, or due to ISF setting up temporary closed military areas in Bethlehem, East Jerusalem and Nablus.
In one instance, a school received a demolition order in the Hebron governorate — the Shab Albotom school in Massafer Yatta, a cluster of very vulnerable herding communities, some of which maintain a unique tradition of cave dwelling in the Southern Hebron hills.
In another instance, a student was detained by the ISF while on the way to Al Ibrahimiya primary school for boys in Hebron's Old City. In the last instance, in Tuqu' (Bethlehem), a student was called for investigation by members of the Israeli Security Agency (intelligence), which prevented him from attending school on that day.
DENIAL OF HUMANITARIAN ACCESS FOR CHILDREN
Children in need of specialized medical care outside of Gaza continued to face delays when accessing health services. The main reasons include the Israeli authorities' denial of permits for accompanying adult relatives to cross the Erez terminal, and the ongoing restriction of access through the Rafah terminal by the Egyptian authorities since 2014.
• Erez: In third quarter, the Israeli District Liaison Office approved without delay 1,424 out of 1,722 applications (82%) for children to cross the Erez checkpoint for medical treatment outside of Gaza. 285 (16%) applications were delayed and 13 (1%) were denied.
• Rafah: In the third quarter, the Egyptian side of the Rafah border with Gaza remained closed. It was opened for four days in August, allowing 21 patients to cross to Egypt, and five days in September for pilgrims only. Since January 2015, the border has been open for only 24 days, allowing 148 patients to cross into Egypt for health care. Before the July 2013 closure, more than 4,000 Gaza residents crossed Rafah monthly for medical assistance.
In the third quarter of 2015, Israeli authorities demolished 39 Palestinian homes and 142 other structures (including water wells and animal shelters) throughout the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. As a result, 234 persons were left homeless, including 133 children. Another 625 persons, of which 309 children, were also affected by the demolitions, through diminished access to services and threats to livelihood.
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