The year 2014 was exceptionally devastating for Palestinian children, the human rights organization Defence for Children International-Palestine (DCI-Palestine) reports. Over 500 children have been killed by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) 50-day military offensive on the Gaza Strip. Several hundred thousand more have been injured, left homeless, or traumatized after the IDF’s latest campaign.
“Kids were being killed at a higher rate than at any time before, their homes, schools, families were destroyed,” said Brad Parker, an attorney and advocate of DCI-Palestine. “For six and seven-year-old kids, this was the third or fourth major military offensive that they’ve lived through.”
According to Parker the Palestinian children face regular physical abuse, violence and torture during arrest raids and detention. “In about twenty percent of cases, kids are brought and held in solitary confinement solely for interrogation purposes,” a practice that has been condemned by international law, which equates it to torture, Parker explained.
In November, the Israeli government passed legislation extending the maximum penalty for those found guilty of throwing stones to 20 years imprisonment. This bill also applies to children. DCI-Palestine estimates that 197 Palestinian children are taken into Israeli military detention per month.
DCI-Palestine has recently unveiled a campaign, “No More Forgotten Lives” which seeks accountability for Israel’s continual killing, arrest, detention and torture of Palestinian children.
“Child Fatalities,” DCI-Palestine, n.d., http://dci-palestine.org/content/child-fatalities.
“Israel Detained 1,266 Palestinian Children in 2014,” Middle East Monitor, December 30, 2014, https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/news/middle-east/16079-israel-detained-1266-palestinian-children-in-2014.
“How Was 2014 for Palestinian Children?” DCI-Palestine, December 31, 2014. http://www.dci-palestine.org/documents/how-was-2014-palestinian-children.
Nora Barrows-Friedman, “No ‘Respite’ From Israeli Violence Against Palestinian Children, Says Human Rights Group,” Electronic Intifada, January 19, 2015, http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/nora-barrows-friedman/no-respite-israeli-violence-against-palestinian-children-says-human.
Student Researcher: Paola Flechas (Florida Atlantic University)
Faculty Advisor: James F. Tracy (Florida Atlantic University)