Children Targeted by Israeli Occupation

Over the past six months, if you were following Palestinian and Israeli news, hardly a day would go by without reading a report that more children were detained in East Jerusalem. Now, various reports are coming out that confirm these impressions: children of East Jerusalem are being injured and arrested at an alarmingly high rate.

The Association of Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) found that twice the number of children arrested in 2009 in the entire West Bank was arrested in 2010 in East Jerusalem alone. A total of 1,267 Palestinian minors were investigated on criminal charges of stone throwing according to police statistics. The pattern continues: Today, 1 March 2011, Maan News reports that another five children were detained in Silwan by “undercover” forces. Furthermore, the Wadi Hilweh Information Center, a crucial hub of updates on the situation in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, reported that in January 2011, 25 children were detained and interrogated. Thus it appears that Israel’s new trend of targeting children will push on in 2011.

Most recently, UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund) published a 2010 annual review, Children Affected by Armed Conflict Israel & the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt). The report is a product of a collaboration with various NGOs and human rights organizations, including Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights, Save the Children, DCI-Palestine, B’Tselem, Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, War Child Holland, OCHA, OHCHR, UNICEF, UNRWA and WHO.

The report documents statistics pertaining to deaths, injuries, detentions, ill-treatment and torture, sexual violence, attacks on schools, and access to basic services and healthcare.

According to the report, while the overall number of deaths of children has decreased from 2009 to 2010, the number of Palestinian children injured has increased. These injuries include attacks by Israeli settlers, the Israeli police, army and private security forces: 37% of all injured children took place in East Jerusalem, 40% in the West Bank and 12% in Gaza Strip.

The report also found that the total number of military detentions of Palestinian minors has decreased since 2009, with the exception of East Jerusalem. In Silwan, there has been a documented increase in detention of children.

In addition, the report found that four children, all under three-years-old, died while waiting for permission to travel outside Gaza to receive necessary medical care.

Watch the following B’Tselem video of a mother from Silwan describing the arrests of her young children:

Originally published on Palestine Monitor.