Question of Palestine home || Permalink || About UNISPAL || Search

Follow UNISPAL RSS Twitter

Source: United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)
30 September 2011





Since 2007, a UNICEF-led working group has consolidated efforts to report on the impacts of armed conflict on children in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt). 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 months of July and August 2011.

KILLINGS AND INJURIES

During the months of July and August four Palestinian boys were killed. All of them were killed in Gaza during armed hostilities in the second half of August. A two year old and a five year old died as a result of Israeli Security Forces (ISF) air strikes and a 12 year old died when a rocket launched by a Palestinian armed group fell short in Gaza and exploded in the vicinity of his family’s home. In addition, a 17-year old boy with mentally disabilities was reported killed by the ISF around 400 metres from the eastern fence in central Gaza. No Israeli children were killed during the same reporting period.

In July and August, 42 Palestinian children (39 boys and 3 girls) and two Israeli children were injured. Fifty-seven per cent of the injuries took place in the West Bank, including five per cent in East Jerusalem, and thirty-eight per cent in Gaza. Five per cent of the injuries took place in Israel. Twenty-five children were injured by Israeli security forces, ten by Palestinian Armed Groups, eight by Israeli settlers, and one child was injured by unknown perpetrator due to a UXO.




Seventeen Palestinian boys were injured in Gaza from 17 to 21 August. Nine boys were injured due to an ISF air strike, while eight boys were injured as a result of the activities of Palestinian armed groups.

Twelve Palestinian boys were injured by the ISF during demonstrations in the West Bank, including tear gas inhalation, sound bombs and physical attacks.

Eight Palestinian children, including three girls, were injured as a result of settler violence. On 19 July three boys, aged five, ten and thirteen, were injured and hospitalised after being physically assaulted by a group of Israeli settlers. This incident was preceded by a number of other attacks that resulted in the displacement of the al Baqa'a community (Ramallah Governorate) affecting 81 children.

Four Palestinian boys were injured in the West Bank by Israeli Security Forces (ISF) during search operations and during clashes with the ISF or at check points.

Two Israeli children were injured by a rocket fired by Palestinian Armed Groups towards Israel.

A 15 year old Palestinian boy was injured on 12 August by the explosion of a UXO (sound grenade) that he found and picked up out of curiosity while he was grazing sheep near Nablus.

Since the beginning of the year 15 Palestinian children were killed and 351 injured. This represents a marked increase in the number of children killed and injured compared to the same period last year (6 Palestinian children killed and 250 Palestinian children injured).

In addition, since the beginning of 2011, 4 Israeli children were killed and 2 children injured, this also marks an increase compared to the same period last year when one child was reported injured. No Israeli children were reported killed last year.

ARREST AND DETENTION

At the end of August 2011, 180 Palestinian boys between the ages of 12 to 17 years (including 40 between the ages of 12 and 15 years) were in Israeli detention for alleged security violations, a decrease by nine in the number of children detained since the last reporting period. No children are currently held in administrative detention. Seven children from the West Bank were transferred to prisons inside Israel in contravention of the Fourth Geneva Convention.




ILL-TREATMENT AND TORTURE

In relation to the cases of detention mentioned above, twelve incidents were documented of ill-treatment and acts in some cases amounting to torture of Palestinian boys aged 12 to 17 years.

The cases involved the use of handties (11 instances), blindfolding (9), beatings (8), stripping of clothes (6), verbal abuse (6), and threats of violence (6).

Since the beginning of the year 86 cases were documented of ill-treatment and acts tantamount to torture of Palestinian children (one girl and 85 boys) aged 9 to 17 years. 74 % of the children are from the West Bank and 26 % from East Jerusalem.



EDUCATION-RELATED VIOLATIONS

During the reporting period there were five documented incidents of attacks on schools in Gaza, and one incident in Israel.

Three schools were damaged in Gaza as a result of ISF military attacks against nearby targets. Another case involved the damaging of the al Qastina Boys School when a Palestinian-launched Grad rocket fell short. In another instance, an UNRWA school was attacked on 28 July 2011 by perpetrators belonging to a Palestinian armed group. The attack occurred the day before the opening of the Summer Games and threats were issued. Similar attacks against Summer Games activities were documented in May and June 2010.

An Israeli school in Beer Sheva was hit on 21 August by a rocket launched by a Palestinian armed group, causing damage to the structure. The Popular Resistance Committees claimed responsibility for this attack.

Since the beginning of 2011, 35 attacks against Palestinian schools by ISF, settlers and Palestinian armed groups were reported affecting 6,466 students. 13 attacks occurred in Gaza and 18 in the West Bank. Two attacks were perpetrated by Israeli Settlers and 27 by Israeli Security Forces and 2 by Palestinian Armed Groups. This marks a 29% increase compared to 2010, when 25 incidents were reported.

Four attacks were reported in Israel since the beginning of the year compared to one in 2010.

Despite the fact that school was out of session during this reporting period, three incidents of denial of access to education were documented, two of which relate to the new school year in 2011/12.

The first case involved the denial by the Israeli Prison Service of the right for Palestinian children in detention to sit for their secondary school exams. This is the third year in a row (since 2009) that Palestinian children were not permitted to participate in school exams. The second case involved eight Palestinian secondary students who were granted scholarships to study in the USA and were prevented from travelling by the Palestinian Ministry of Education in Gaza for "social and cultural reasons". In another instance, 81 children belonging to 19 families from the Bedouin community of al Baqa'a (Ramallah Governorate) were displaced at the end of July as a result of ongoing and increasing settler violence from the Ma'ale Mikhmas settlement. The families relocated to areas that are far away from the Mikhmas schools they used to attend. As a result the children need to register in new schools, causing interrupted access to education.

An additional incident was reported in which the kindergarten of the Anata community (Jerusalem) received a stop work order. In a second case, settlers from Kfar Adumim filed a petition against the Khan al Ahmar School (Jerusalem governorate) requesting 1) not to let the school reopen for the new term and 2) to carry out the demolition order issued against the school.







Since the beginning of 2011, 27 cases of denial of access to education were reported, 4 in Gaza and 21 in the West Bank. This included 16 cases perpetrated by Israeli Security Forces, 8 perpetrated by Israeli Settlers, two by Palestinian Armed Groups and one by Gaza de-facto authorities. Forty-one cases were reported in 2010.

On 12 July 2011, the Gaza Ministry of Interior shut down the Sharek Youth Forum, an independent Palestinian organization implementing youth programmes. The decision has been strongly condemned by human rights groups and the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in oPt.

DENIAL OF HUMANITARIAN ACCESS

Children in need of specialized medical care outside of Gaza continue to face delays and denials of access to health services. In July 2011, the Israeli District Liaison Office approved 362 out of 378 applications for children to cross Erez for medical treatment outside of Gaza. In addition, sixteen applications were delayed.

RECRUITMENT AND USE OF CHILDREN BY ARMED FORCES AND GROUPS

During the summer camps organised by the de-facto Government in Gaza, there were reports that children attended sport activities, some of which appeared to include training in military discipline.

FORCED DISPLACEMENT

In July, Israeli authorities demolished 30 Palestinian structures across the West Bank, including 8 homes. As a result 66 people lost their homes, including 41 children. Another 174 people, including 76 children, were otherwise affected by the demolitions, which caused community displacement and threats to livelihood.

During the month of August no demolitions were reported. Since the beginning of the year 387 demolitions of Palestinian structures were recorded in the West Bank, including 140 homes. This represents a 40% increase in demolitions in 2011 compared to 2010.

Bedouin communities remain at high risk of displacement. In July the Israeli Civil Administration (ICA) informed the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) about its intention to “relocate” Bedouin communities from strategic areas throughout Area C, which covers over 60% of the West Bank and is under Israeli control, in particular targeting those in the Jerusalem periphery, thus putting them under the threat of forced displacement.

Contact: Catherine Weibel - cweibel@unicef.org - +972 2 584 0400


Complete document in PDF format (Requires Acrobat Reader)

Follow UNISPAL RSS Twitter