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Concept paper on the protection of Palestine children

In light of the quick development of events currently taking place in the Occupied Palestinian territories, in terms of the criminal policies of the Israeli occupation which aim to evacuate the land and impose settlements by force, and fragment the Palestinian people and lands through implanting settlements and spreading organized terrorism which is being executed by the regular Israeli army units and terrorist groups that comprise of settlers who execute criminal acts with support and protection by the Israeli government – the most terrifying crime was probably the act committed against Dawabsheh family, resulting in the martyrdom of a child and both his parents with another child suffering serious injuries and burns, in addition to the killing of several men, women and children in cold blood under the claim that they execute “terrorist” actions, and the house demolition policy against those “terrorists”, including children not older than 13 years; all this in order to execute their schemes to empty and evacuate the territories from the Palestinian people who own the land and homeland, especially in the city of Jerusalem and its suburbs.

We, as Palestinian community organizations and NGOs, and in front of all the above-mentioned daily provocations that threaten the life of every Palestinian regardless of age and sex, condemn these hostile measures which resulted in the following daily scenes:

  • Harassing and terrorizing children and young people as they head to their schools;
  • Besieging residential areas and closing them with roadblocks and military checkpoints and banning citizens from reaching to their workplaces and schools and health centers; these measures led to the death of a woman from Esawiyyeh region in Jerusalem;
  • Opening gunfire at children and young people under the claim that they attack soldiers and settlers with knives;
  • Presence of a number of settlers in the Arab residential areas, in particular in the Old City of Jerusalem and in the schools areas, in order to provoke the students and push them towards confrontation;
  • Seizing the bodies of martyrs and refusing to hand them over to their relatives;
  • Detaining children in a criminal manner in order to terrorize them; in this context, a video recording was published showing child Ahmad Manasrah, 13, under interrogation;
  • Imposing house arrest on children, and transforming mothers into jailers monitoring the movement of their children; each mother is forced to sign a financial affidavit in case she does not inform the occupation authorities in case her son leaves the house.

Upon a quick review of events and developments in the Occupied Palestinian territories, everyone feels that the Zionist entity deliberately acts to create a climate that pushes children to clash with an army and settlers. Through the intensification of attacks by the soldiers against the children in a deliberate manner and the presence of settlers or settlement army patrols near the schools in a manner that provokes children, one can watch on a daily basis scenes of soldiers running after children trying to arrest them and mothers clashing with the soldiers trying to save their children; these are horrifying scenes that reflect the barbaric acts of occupation soldiers in a manner that goes beyond what used to happen in Rome.

The ongoing events have placed our children under two kinds of pressure:

  • The advice of parents and appeals of mothers and instructions of schools calling on children to avoid any clashes with the armed enemy soldiers (civilians/settlers and soldiers) and to ignore the provocations from the enemy;
  • Deliberate provocations by the enemy army pushing children to clash with them.

Based on the occupation soldiers’ repeated provocations against the children, kids get involved in a game of clashing with the soldiers without realizing that the acts of provocation committed by the soldiers are the result of chauvinist psychological studies aiming to wipe out a complete generation through striking them with full force at an early age. The enemy plans for early mental and psychological cleansing against our coming generations. The enemy also uses the huge media machine which portrays the Palestinian mother as a woman who throws her kids to death! These are racist studies designed to confiscate the human nature of the Palestinian mother and child. This is the dangers of media which portrays distorted images of people. The Zionist official media was able to influence the western media through changing and distorting facts and through concealing the racist and barbaric conduct of the other side. The proof on that is when the world don’t see how a woman and a minister of justice (not a war minister) Ayaleet Shaked prepared and designed a draft law that aims to try children at the age of 12 and imprison them; this is in violation with the current law which stipulates bringing to trial kids who have reached the age of 14, and this is also in blatant violation with the international agreement on children rights and all international human rights conventions and the international humanitarian law.

The control of media and capital prevented the United Nations from holding the state of Israel accountable on its measures that led to the creation of a climate that provokes and scares children at the same time; they even published a video recording showing an interrogation session with children, revealing the inhumane methods used with children during interrogation in order to implant in them fear and also to provoke them; this video was published, but what about the torture that is not published in videos?!

Historians, including Zionist historians, documented several massacres committed by the Zionist entity against the Palestinian people in 1948, in addition to the attacks committed in some Arab countries surrounding the Occupied Palestinian Territories, such as “Bahr Al-Baqar” School massacre in Egypt, Qana massacre in Lebanon, the aggression against Lebanon in 2006, three aggression operations against Gaza Strip in the period between 2008 and 2014 and the killing of children and women and air raids that targeted residential buildings and communities. However, the world media does not care to highlight these massacres and their resulting tragedies; the international media only shows the image of a Palestinian child “terrorist” throwing a stone that barely touches its target and can never cause any harm to the armored military vehicles of the enemy; throwing the stone is only a symbol and a message to convey to the world that the Palestinian people reject the occupation and its measures.

In front of all this, we find ourselves urged to demand the following:

  • To reinforce the role of family and parental guidance and counseling to children since they (the children) are the future of our people and not symbols of death… they are the future of the homeland; we need to warn them of the dangers of participating in clashes with the occupation soldiers;
  • To develop the role of school counseling and the role of the school in protecting children; we need to be creative and find ways to form teams of volunteers with the role of keeping the children away from the clash zones;
  • To invest in developing awareness, such as booklets, counseling videos and children stories that offer advice and warn children away from falling into the trap set by the occupation;
  • To demand from the Palestinian mass media which have become a device to track down the number of martyrs and convey this to the world in a manner that made the world think that we are a people who exercise death with pride, which is not the case; they need to change this approach and adopt a new policy that works to consolidate our rights and the rights of children to live with dignity and to highlight the role and responsibility of the international community to provide protection to our children and people;
  • To approach the local, Arab and international mass media and ask them to stop their irresponsible coverage which allures children to die under the illusion of martyrdom.

The world need to see that the Zionist soldier has been trained and instructed to kill our children… the world needs to know that this soldier has no respect to the military code of ethics, and that this soldier does not fight or confront another army; this soldier is a pirate who attacks civilians and children and kills them in cold blood; the world has to face this blatant reality.