The Israeli occupation army has killed 40 Palestinian children and detained more than 800 others since the beginning of 2022, the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates revealed yesterday as it commemorated Palestinian Children’s Day. The ministry warned that Palestinian children remain the most targeted group by the Israeli occupation forces.
According to Wafa news agency, the ministry added that the criminal and illegal policies and practices encountered due to the Israeli occupation devastate the lives of Palestinian children. These include the demolition of schools and the use of civilians, including children, as human shields.
Palestine Children’s Day is observed on 5 April every year. In 1995, the late PA President Yasser Arafat started the day in order to highlight the injustices and struggles that Palestinian children suffer under occupation.
“Home demolitions, displacement of Palestinian Jerusalemites, the illegal siege on the Gaza Strip, torture and inhumane practices, as well as the escalating terrorist armed attacks by armed Israeli settler militias, are all instrumental in devastating the lives of Palestinian children,” said the ministry. “Combined, these criminal actions and illegal practices create an unbearable and traumatic daily reality for Palestinian children who remain deprived of any form of protection to which they are entitled.”
The ministry called for the coordination of efforts and interventions to protect children’s rights to education and life. “Protecting and defending the dignity, rights and lives of Palestinian children remains a central objective of Palestinian efforts at the diplomatic and legal levels, and we reiterate our determination to pursue this objective with determination and conviction.”
The Commission for Detainees’ and Ex-Detainees’ Affairs said that the Israeli occupation authorities have made children a permanent target of their destructive policies, either by killing or arresting them. Since 1967, when the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip began, Israel is estimated to have detained more than 50,000 children. Nearly 20,000 children have been detained since the outbreak of the Second Intifada in 2000.