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Tuesday, 05 February 2019 16:47

Children’s rights continue to be violated in Occupied Palestinian Territory

Children’s rights continue to be violated in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank according to UN officials.

In a joint statement, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), Jamie McGoldrick; the Head of the UN Human Rights office (OHCHR) in the OPT, James Heenan; and the Special Representative for the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in the State of Palestine, Genevieve Boutin, said they were “deeply concerned” by continued reports of “children killed or seriously injured, some as young as 11” in Palestinian-administered areas.

According to figures provided by UN agencies in the region, since the start of demonstrations at the border fence against Israel’s longstanding blockade and deteriorating living conditions in Gaza on 30 March, 26 Palestinian children have been killed.

21 were shot during the demonstrations, and five others were killed by Israeli shelling, or outside the context of demonstrations. In the same period, hundreds more children have been injured by live ammunition.

“A number of these children will suffer lifelong disabilities, including as a result of the amputation of limbs,” the UN officials said. “Thousands are in need of urgent psycho-social assistance, specialised medical care, and support for their rehabilitation.”

The statement stressed that “all over the Occupied Palestinian Territory, but particularly in the Gaza Strip”, children are “robbed of every right.”

“Families cope with four hours of electricity per day in the sweltering heat, clean drinking water is expensive and hard to find. The start of the school year in one month will be very difficult for tens of thousands of families who cannot afford basic school supplies,” said the three UN officials.

“Children should never be the target of violence and must not be put at risk of violence, nor encouraged to participate in violence,” the joint statement read.

On 23 July, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, briefed the UN’s Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, on the many human rights violations facing women, children and men living in the OPT.

Darul Ihsan Media Desk

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