Mahmoud’s face crumples into tears. “We took him to the hospital … but he died. He was a good boy. He was a good student who liked football and followed Barcelona. He was religious, like his brothers. This year he was supposed to have been in the twelfth grade. I wanted him to go to university and become a teacher.”
The stark conditions afflicting millions of displaced Palestinians across the Middle East risk destabilizing the region and plunging it into a deeper humanitarian and security crisis, the head of the United Nations agency assisting Palestinian refugees has warned.
Last week, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon capitulated to pressure from the Obama administration and removed Israel’s armed forces from a child rights “blacklist.” The decision not only undermines a strong global tool necessary to protect children in armed conflict, but provides Israeli forces with tacit approval to continue committing egregious violations against children with impunity.
A new report and video from Human Rights Watch documents how illegal Israeli settlement farms in the West Bank are using Palestinian child labor to grow, harvest, and pack agricultural produce, much of it for export. The farms, built on Palestinian land, pay the children low wages and subject them to dangerous working conditions in violation of international standards.
International Women’s Day: Mona al-Farra, MECA's Director of Gaza Projects, was named “the mother of the poor children of Gaza” for her tireless work and for her book on her experiences in the besieged territory.
Palestinian children are taken from their beds in night raids and not returned to their families for months. Most show classic symptoms of PTSD, including being on high alert, suffering from insomnia, and when sleep finally comes, waking up screaming from night terrors. They lose their appetites, withdraw from friends and even refuse to play with siblings. Many detainees drop out of school. Most disturbingly, they are shadowed by a deep sense of futility about the future.
Palestine and The Arab World lost an eminent academic scholar, an internationally recognized and highly respected intellectual, a committed and unwavering Palestinian patriot and a progressive Arab nationalist. Dr. Naseer Aruri passed away on February 10th, 2015.
A little-publicized report released during the final weeks of Israel’s summer offensive on the Gaza Strip last year accuses Israel of targeting water and wastewater infrastructure during the 51-day assault, despite having been provided the coordinates of all water and wastewater facilities.
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