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Source: United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)
30 November 2013



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 on a bi-monthly basis highlighting trends and patterns in grave violations against children. Members of the working group include: Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights, Save the Children, DCI-Palestine, B’Tselem, Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, War Child Holland, OCHA, OHCHR, UNESCO, UNICEF, UNRWA and WHO.

This edition covers the second quarter of 2013.

In the first half of 2013, four Palestinian children were killed (all boys) and 871 were injured (851 boys and 20 girls). No Israeli children were killed and five boys were injured.

The second quarter of 2013 saw a significant increase in the number of Palestinian children injured (512) compared to the first quarter of 2013 (359), confirming the increased level of violations in 2013 compared to previous years. The monthly average of violations in 2013 is double the monthly average of 2012 and four times the monthly average of 2011. This is mainly due to intensified protests over issues such as Palestinian prisoners, the Barrier, and Israeli settlements. There has also been an increase in the number of children injured due to settler related violence. Furthermore, the number of children displaced due to demolition of houses has increased.

The total number of incidents documented in the second quarter of 2013 is 398, affecting 9,887 children.



KILLINGS AND INJURIES

During the second quarter of 2013, no Palestinian children were killed and 512 were injured (503 boys and nine girls). No Israeli children were killed or injured during the same period.

This increases the monthly average of children injured in 2013 to 146, more than double the monthly average of 2012 (56). Five hundred seven (507) of the Palestinian children injured in the first quarter of 2013 were injured in the West Bank, marking a significant increase in violations compared to the first quarter, and five in Gaza, a decrease from 22 casualties in the first quarter.








West Bank

The vast majority of the 507 children injured in the West Bank (398 boys and two girls) were injured by Israeli Security Forces (ISF) during demonstrations to commemorate the 65th anniversary of ‘Al Nakba’ Day1, to protest against the death of a Palestinian prisoner while in detention, in support of prisoners and during weekly demonstrations against the Barrier or Israeli settlements. The children, aged between one and 17 years, were injured with live ammunition (seven boys) and rubber-coated metal bullets (203 boys and two girls), hit by tear gas canisters (four boys), suffered severe tear gas inhalation (176 boys), or were physically assaulted (eight boys).

Another 81 children, 75 boys and six girls, including three infants, two girls and one boy, were injured by ISF during military operations, including search and arrest operations and clashes with Palestinians. Among them, 54 boys were injured with rubber-coated metal bullets and five boys with live ammunition; three boys were physically assaulted, and 19 children - including six girls - suffered severe tear gas inhalation.

In addition, 25 of the 507 child casualties in the West Bank were injured in settler-related violence. Ten boys were injured as a result of stone throwing by Israeli settlers (in Nablus and Qalqiliya) and six boys were physically assaulted by settlers (in Jerusalem, Hebron and Nablus). ISF intervention during clashes between Palestinians and Israeli settlers in Nablus, Qalqiliya, Hebron and Ramallah led to severe tear gas inhalation (5 boys), physical assault (three boys) and injuries by a rubber-coated metal bullet (one boy).








Gaza

In Gaza, two boys aged three and five and an 11-year-old girl were injured by shrapnel when an explosive item accidentally went off inside a nearby house in Jabalia; the explosive item was being tampered with by a Palestinian militant. In addition, two 16-year-old boys were injured on 5 April and 26 April in Jabalia, when ISF stationed at the eastern fence with Israel opened warning fire towards a group of young Palestinians who were present near the Barrier. However this marks a decrease compared to the 22 children injured in Gaza during the first quarter.

RECRUITMENT AND USA OF CHILDREN SY ARMED FORCES AND GROUPS

No cases were reported in the second quarter of 2013.

ARREST AND DETENTION

At the end of June 2013, 193 boys aged 12 to 17 years (including 41 between the ages of 12 and 15 years) were in Israeli detention for alleged security violations. Out of the 193 children, 92 were in pre­trial detention and 101 were serving a sentence. There has been a slight reduction in the number of children in custody since May this year as well as a 14 per cent increase in the monthly average compared to the 2012 monthly average. The statistics below are not cumulative and simply show the head count of the children in detention at the end of each month. They do not indicate how many children go through the Israeli military detention system.








ILL-TREATMENT

In a sample of 31 cases of children arrested and detained (see above), the boys, aged 13 to 17, provided sworn affidavits in which they reported being subjected to ill-treatment and/or acts that could be tantamount to torture by the Israeli army and police. All the 31 children suffered at least ten different types of ill-treatment including, but not limited to, being painfully hand-tied, blindfolded, strip searched, leg-tied, verbally abused, subjected to physical violence (beating, slapping, kicking, including with sticks), not informed of their rights and not allowed the presence of a parent or lawyer during interrogation. Three boys, aged 15 to 16 years, reported being threatened with sexual violence. Out of these 31 sample cases, 24 child detainees were transferred to prisons inside Israel in contravention of the Fourth Geneva Convention during the second quarter of 2013.

EDUCATION-RELATED VIOLATIONS

Attacks on schools2

During the second quarter of 2013, 17 incidents of attacks on schools were documented in the West Bank, marking an increase compared with the 12 incidents reported in the first quarter of 2013. Since 21 November 2012, the date of the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas de-facto authorities in Gaza, no incidents were reported in Gaza and Israel, confirming the positive trend of the first quarter of 2013.

In the West Bank, the 17 incidents included 11 instances of military activities3, three instances of military use of schools, two settler-related incidents and one instance of expropriation of school yard to build the Barrier. Out of the 11 incidents resulting from military activities, eight involved clashes between Palestinians and ISF that resulted in children being treated for severe tear gas inhalation and rubber coated metal bullets injuries, as well as damages to the schools, including broken windows and burnt books. These incidents were reported in Bethlehem governorate (14 and 30 May, 2 and 5 June), Ramallah (19 April, and 15 and 21 May) and the Old City of Hebron (14 April). In two instances, ISF conducted search operations inside schools on 19 April in Ramallah and on 24 April in the Old City of Hebron. In another instance, on 9 April, a teacher and three students of the ‘Al Khansa’a Basic Mixed School’ were injured due to the explosion of a sound bomb4 which had fallen in the school yard.

The three instances of military use of school involved ISF occupying a school to secure an area (Nablus, 24 April, 6 May and 6 June). The two settler-related incidents occurred at the ‘Urif Secondary School for Boys’ (Nablus), on 16 and 30 April when Israeli settlers attacked the school in the presence of ISF. In both cases students were evacuated from the school. The instance of expropriation was reported on 17 June, when workers from an Israeli building company took 900 square metres of the school yard in Azzun Atma (Qalqiliya) to build the barrier5.

Denial of access to education

Twenty seven (27) incidents of denial of access to education were documented in the West Bank, marking an increase compared to the 24 incident documented in the first quarter of 2013. No incidents were reported in Gaza and Israel.

In the West Bank, 21 incidents were perpetrated by ISF and six by Israeli settlers. The two most affected Governorates are Hebron (ten incidents, including four reported in the Old City of Hebron), and Nablus (nine incidents). In 15 instances, students or teachers were detained by ISF while on their way to or from school (seven cases in Hebron, three in Nablus, three in Jerusalem, one in Jenin and one in Ramallah). In six instances students lost school time as a result of delays caused by ISF, including the closing of areas nearby schools for military exercises (in Tubas), due to their designation as ‘closed military area’ by ISF (in Hebron) or due to clashes (Hebron and Jerusalem).








The six instances perpetrated by Israeli settlers included stone throwing by settlers at students on their way home from school (Nablus), and the alleged attempted abduction of two girls on their way to school reported by a Village Council in the Jordan Valley.

On 30 of April, Israeli settlers marched in groups and attacked Palestinian vehicles at intersections leading to Nablus city. The windshield of a school bus was broken due to stone throwing and thirty students and six teachers injured. Nearby schools were evacuated as a preventive measure and students lost school time. These attacks followed the killing of a 32-year old Israeli settler near the Za’tara/Tapuah check point (Salfit Governorate) on the same day.

Two instances involved the Urif Secondary School for boys, which was surrounded by Israeli settlers and evacuated to prevent incidents on 30 April and 2 May. Since the beginning of the year, six settler related incidents have been reported at the Urif Secondary School for boys, four perpetrated directly by settlers and two by ISF.

DENIAL OF HUMANITARIAN ACCESS FOR CHILDREN

Since the closure of Gaza by the Government of Israel started in 2007, children in need of specialized medical care outside of Gaza have continued to face delays when accessing health services. During the second quarter), the Israeli District Liaison Office approved 933 out of 1,103 applications for children to cross Erez for medical treatment outside of Gaza. One hundred and seventy (170) applications were delayed.

Delays are usually due to the denial or delay of a permit for the child’s parent, which delays the child’s medical treatment while a permit application for a substitute is processed as all children aged 17 or below must be accompanied by a first-degree relative.

This marks a seven per cent decrease in number of applications approved in 2013 compared to the average rate of approvals for 2012 (88 per cent approved in average in 2013 compared to 95 per cent approved in 2012 in average).

DISPLACEMENT

During the second quarter of 2013, Israeli authorities demolished 185 Palestinian structures (homes, water wells, animal shelters, etc.) in the West Bank, including 62 homes. As a result, 267 people were displaced and left homeless, including 122 children.







Another 938 people, including 420 children, were affected by the demolitions, which caused community displacement and threats to livelihood. This marks a steady increase in demolitions as compared to the last two quarters. In addition, during the second quarter, 138 households, including 239 children, were temporarily forcibly displaced from their homes due to Israeli military training exercises in the Jordan Valley (Tubas Governorate). The temporary evictions lasted for a period ranging from 9 to 23 hours.

Contact:
UNICEF State of Palestine: + 972 2 58 40 400
Catherine Weibel - cweibel@unicef.org
Monica Awad - mawad@unicef.org

Endnotes
1Palestinian ‘Al Nakba’ (the catastrophe) marks the day of the creation of the state of Israel, when the majority of the Palestinian
population became refugees.
2”Attacks on schools” include the targeting of schools (or medical facilities) that cause the total or partial destruction of such facilities. Other interferences to the normal operation of the facility may also be reported, such as the occupation, shelling, targeting for propaganda of, or otherwise causing harm to schools or medical facilities or its personnel.
3 The term ‘Military activities’ includes three types of incidents: search operations in schools; demonstration and clashes that affects the school; direct weapon fire.
4Sound bombs are bombs that make a very loud noise when they explode. They are used for crowed control to disperse protestors.
5 It should be noted that the original plan was to build the barrier in such a way that the school would be separated from the rest of the village. After an appeal the barrier was rerouted to make sure the school would not be cut off from the rest of the village.

http://www.unicef.org/oPt/UNICEF_-_CAAC_bulletin_-_January_2013.pdf


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