Date: April 5, 2022
On the occasion of the Palestinian Child’s Day
ICSPR calls on the international community to protect Palestinian children from the Israeli occupation’s crimes.
The fifth of April marks the Palestinian Child Day. The adoption of this day dates back to 1995, when the first Palestinian Child Conference was held, where the late President “Yasser Arafat” declared his commitment to the International Convention on the Rights of the Child, declaring that the fifth of April is a day for the Palestinian child, with the aim of raising national awareness of children’s rights, and therefore this day constitutes a serious and real opportunity to remind officials from various parties of their responsibilities towards the Palestinian child, and to urge them to mobilize their efforts in the contexts of providing protection, prevention and care for the children of today, the leaders of tomorrow.
This year, the occasion comes while the Palestinian children are still paying a heavy price as a result of the continued practices and policies of the Israeli military occupation forces against them, which turned the lives of Palestinian children into living hell. These policies include field executions of children in the cities and villages of the West Bank and occupied Jerusalem, arresting children and threw them in prisons, exposing them to the most horrific methods of torture and inhuman treatment, and bringing them before military courts, where the occupation authorities continue to arrest about (160) minors under 18 years, knowing that -according to the statistics of the Prisoners and Ex-Prisoners Affairs Commission- the occupation has arrested no less than 1,300 Palestinian children and minors since 2021.
Palestinian children are still paying a price which effects are difficult to enumerate due to the continuation of the unjust Israeli siege on the Gaza Strip. Medical studies and research indicate that 75% of Palestinian children at the age of nine months suffer from malnutrition and anemia, as a result of the poverty of their unemployed families due to the siege and their inability to provide balanced food for their children, in addition to the fact that one third of the patients that the occupation deprive them of their right to travel abroad for treatment are children, and the number of children who suffer severe psychological trauma due to the current conditions in the Gaza Strip and the repeated scenes of death resulting from Israeli military operations has risen to worrying levels.
The International Commission to Support Palestinians’ Rights (ICSPR) considers that the Israeli policies and procedures against Palestinian children constitute a clear deviation from the international obligations of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the special protection rules stipulated in the First Additional Protocol of 1977 annexed to the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949. Accordingly:
- ICSPR renews its condemnation of the Israeli occupation crimes against Palestinian children, and considers that these crimes are a clear reflection of the existing occupation doctrine that killing children today is killing the enemy of tomorrow.
- ICSPR calls on the international community to work immediately to pressure the Israeli military occupation forces to compel them to respect human rights, abide by the principles of international humanitarian law, and put an end to the continuous Israeli violations against Palestinian civilians, foremost of which is lifting the siege imposed on the Gaza Strip.
- ICSPR calls on the international community, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children, UNICEF and all relevant institutions, to take urgent action to provide protection for Palestinian children in the Gaza Strip, and to work without delay to add the Israeli occupation forces in the black list of countries that violate children rights.
- ICSPR urges the Palestinian government to take the necessary measures to ensure fulfilling its obligations stipulated in the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and to work to address all violations of the rights of the Palestinian child.