A United Nations human rights expert today urged the international community to scale up its protection measures for Palestinian children living under occupation in the West Bank and Gaza and called on Israel to adopt guidelines in line with humanitarian law for children who are arrested or detained by its military authorities.
In his statement to the General Assembly’s third committee, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories Richard Falk expressed concern for the security of children living in the West Bank, saying that occupation is having alarming effects on their health and well-being.
“Prolonged occupation deforms the development of children through pervasive deprivations affecting health, education, and overall security,” Mr. Falk warned. “The insecurity of Palestinian children is aggravated in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem by settler violence and night time raids and detentions by Israeli occupation forces, house demolitions, threatened expulsions, and a host of other practices.”
In Gaza, he remarked that children are affected by “traumatizing periodic violent incursions and sonic booms resulting from over-flights, as well as the still unrepaired destruction of refugee camps, residential communities, and public buildings by Israeli forces.”