[News] Palestinian Child Day - Tuesday, April 5, 2005

News at freedomarchives.org News at freedomarchives.org
Tue Apr 5 08:34:18 EDT 2005

What about Security for Palestinian Children?
Date posted: April 04, 2005

On Palestinian Child Day, April 5, 2005, MIFTAH calls on the global 
community to improve protection of Palestinian children against Israeli 
violations of human and children's rights, and to help provide long-term 
assistance for grossly neglected basic children's needs in the Occupied 
Palestinian Territories.

Whereas the world seems fixated on the need to provide Israel with security 
at this stage of the Middle East peace process, the violations of 
Palestinian children's rights are not even considered an issue. Yet, no 
less than 872 Palestinian children have been killed by Israeli forces since 
the outbreak of the Second Intifada in September 2000. That is more than 
one child every two days over a period of four-and-a-half years. Tens of 
thousands more carry physical and mental scars that will accompany them for 
the rest of their lives. During the same time period 113 Israeli children 
were killed. All of these little people were innocent. Children are, under 
no circumstances, legitimate targets of lethal force in any conflict, for 
any reason whatsoever. Yet both sides of this conflict are guilty of 
violating this most basic precept of international law.

And Israel's army is the main perpetrator. Aside from seemingly senseless 
attacks on unarmed children, Israeli blockades and closures have led to 
serious malnourishment of children, child labor, jailings of children, 
torture of Palestinian children in Israeli jails, and a lack of sufficient 
health care and education. At present, some 323 children are being held in 
Israeli jails, including 10 girls. There are no Israeli children in 
Palestinian jails. Twenty Palestinian boys are being held in so-called 
'administrative detention', i.e. as political prisoners, without ever 
having been informed of any charges leveled against them. Like freedom of 
movement, education is another basic human right that is being denied 
several generations of Palestinians by the Israeli closure regime. The 
prevention of education amounts to a crime against humanity.

Furthermore, three-quarters of the children in the Gaza Strip today suffer 
from anxiety and nightmares. Many suffer flashbacks of violent events. 
According to research by the Gaza Community Center for Mental Health, 55 
per cent of kids in areas of intense conflict, such as Rafah, have acute 
post-traumatic stress disorder. In the Gaza Strip, for thousands of 
recently wounded children, there are only two physicians who offer physical 
rehabilitation therapies. Many of their patients are unable to reach them 
because of closures and curfews imposed by the Israeli military. MIFTAH 
believes that only a concerted effort by the global community can achieve 
peace and justice.

The Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue and 
Democracy, MIFTAH, is a non-governmental, non-partisan Jerusalem-based 
institution dedicated to fostering democracy and good governance within 
Palestinian society through promoting public accountability, transparency, 
the free flow of information

The Freedom Archives
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