Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Palestinian Child Day

In the face of an every-deteriorating situation, including food shortages in Gaza, bantustanization of the West Bank, and scores of children's detention and deaths in both areas in recent weeks, Palestinians commemorated Palestine Child's Day today with actvities and events. Here is a statement by the Palestinian Network for Children's Rights (headed by Defence for Children International/Palestine Section) on Palestinian Child Day:

For the past few years, this day – Palestinian Child Day – has become synonymous with grief and pain. On the 5 April each year, Palestinian children have searched for their childhood and sought to renew their broken dreams. The event revives memories of their suffering and the suffering of their colleagues at the hands of the Israeli occupation. Since April 2002, when Israeli troops launched the largest military campaign against Palestinian civilians across the West Bank, the level of suffering increased. The campaign resulted in the killing, arrest, injury and bereavement of scores of children; and in the months and years that have followed, these atrocities have been repeated time and again across the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT).

This year, the circumstances surrounding Palestinian Child Day are no different – our children continue to feel the pain of occupation. Israeli forces continue to deprive children of their right to life – since the start of this year alone, 12 children have been killed, bringing to 740 the total number of children fatalities since the start of the intifada. In the same period, around 4,000 minors have been arrested, of whom some 400 are still in prison.

This Palestinian Child Day, we remember with particular concern the Israeli practices and pressure against our children in the Gaza Strip. Despite the physical Israeli military withdrawal from Gaza last August – much hailed by the international media and politicians – the area remains a big prison with Israeli forces controlling all exit and entry points. The Israeli authorities have kept sealed for most of this year the only cargo crossing point into Gaza, and at the risk of triggering a humanitarian catastrophe have prevented food and medicine supplies from entering the strip. It is unacceptable that the Israeli authorities use the lives and rights of Palestinian children as a political bargaining card and we call on the UN and international community to exert pressure on the Israeli government to stop these cynical practices.

In the West Bank, Israeli actions impinge on all those fields of Palestinian children's rights which are supposed to be protected by international human rights standards. The repeated incursions to areas in the West Bank and the continued construction of the separation wall undermine Palestinian children's rights – including their rights to education, adequate standard of living, healthcare and in some cases their most basic right – the right to life.

As such the Palestinian Network for Children's Rights urges the international community and the States Parties to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) to abide by their obligations to protect children's rights without discrimination. We also ask the international community to practice pressure on the Israeli government to abide by the international law through ceasing at once all violations against Palestinian children and implementing immediately the concluding observations of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child regarding the applicability of the CRC on the OPT.

On the internal level, as members of the Palestinian community, we too must act to protect, respect and implement Palestinian children's rights. One year ago, the Palestinian Child Law entered into force. We must now join together to push for the law to be activated, and for bylaws to be issued specifying the scope and responsibility of each ministry in fulfilling its part in relation to this law.

Moreover, we call on the Palestinian Legislative Council to accelerate the enactment of the Juvenile Justice law. This must be a priority, for without this children in conflict with the law will continue to suffer due to an of absence legislation guaranteeing their protection and taking into consideration their best interests.

Childhood should not be regarded as a preparatory stage for adulthood. It is an independent developmental stage which all children should experience. Today, we, as members of the Palestinian community, should work to transform this Palestinian Child Day into an occasion of fun and hope through enforcing respect for our children and their rights.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Right on Laila!

10:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sad just sad, maybe no one over there should be allowed to have children because they might just grow up to be IDF or terrorists... Maybe if everyone had to exchange children (fostering like they did in the middle ages) for a time each side would get a more balanced picture of who they are fighting... Another human being. All these Country and ethnic divisions just make me sick and it makes me wonder if religion and race matters at all except to make people THINK they are better than someone else. How about all the Jews and Muslims WAKING UP and looking your "ethnic/religious" neighbour in the face to see if you really are any different in the end

5:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon,You do not deserve any comment,but only to help you no to still so ignorant.
Talmud says anything about killing anyone. I am Jew and I know it very well,in contrary,we have to respect the whole humanity and love them like ourselves.
Please do not put religion and human stupidity together.If some say so,if people from both side kills,they are WRONG.
It does not come from Islamism or from Judaism.
I lived in Israel just a bit before the second Intifada began and I never saw NOBODY saying that they are going to join IDF for pleasure. At the other side Mothers are also tired to send their kids to army,but they have to.
Just do not use stupidity from some people to justify any violence,and more than that do not be ignorant and put religion together.
The only thing that I do not understand WHY for G-d sake those people can not live together? There´s so many anger and hate,even at Laila´s words.
The kids are not violent only because of the israelis,you allow to spank children at your schools,it´s that children rights?
That´s the way kids have been raised.
But of course we should not take any example from fundamentalists from any side.
In South America for example Palestinians,Arabs and Jews coexist in a very nice way.

10:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is getting of topic, but you can't know much about South America if you haven't heard of the Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina bombing in 1994. A lorry bomb demolished a seven-storey structure killing 85 people and wounding over 300.

Hezbollah were identified as the perpetrators, and they're considered to have a major network in the region, raising funds (legally and illegally) as well as laundering money. The attack cell used a Lebanese suicide bomber, and had assistance from the Iranian embassy. Parguay and the triple-border area are also thought to contain terrorist cells.

Anyway, happy children's day, and I hope it is a peaceful and joyous occasion.

11:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anom 11:53 You are right,sorry to "forget" that incident,but I meant in a general way.
There is no hostility between Arabs and Jews.
Unfortnelly we still have isolated cases all over the world.

12:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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1:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great pics.

4:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Laila, great job. Congratulation!

4:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, laila, Good luck to palestinian children!

4:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy holyday to you.

4:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regurds from Israeli children to you, Laila!

4:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

By the way congretulation and pease to you, Laila

4:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great pictures from palestinian kids camp!

4:11 PM  
Blogger refr. said...

Wish all those children in Palestian Well!

4:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There´s a slightly diference between young adults and children don´t you think so? They must be at least 18 years old and above,do you know the difference between a 18 years old boy and a 4 years old one?
Shaggy, I am a Jew and I lived in Israel and I can tell you that I do not raise my kids that way;and I never saw any healthy people doing it,and there is not the main education in Israel,to teach the kids,to kill people.
It´s written here at that you should kill as many palestinians as you can? It´s written here somewhere that you are going to be a martyr if you kill someone? You know the difference between a military and a Summer Camp? It´s written here that Judaism or G-d it´s going to love you more if you kill someone? That you are going to paradise?
Sorry but there is no brain wash in this site and it´s very clearly.
By the way I didn´t see any guns at all at this site.
And if you accept Laila,I want to wish you and the kids from Gaza a great kids day and hope for better ones.

4:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


You rant on & on but no one is listening to your propoganda!! I would like to see a peaceful palestine someday, but it will not happen if BOTH sides do not want it!! I do believe Israel does not want it because if it did then they wouldn't keep instigating by humiliating and destroying infrastructure every chance they get!!!


5:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bytw, here in the USA we have a big gang problem, if our army decided to bomb a neighborhood everytime their was a drive by shooting in the area, we would have a major war on our hands.

In essence that is what is going on everytime some exteremist commits a crime of shooting/bombing, Israel immediately retaliates by going into the neighborhood of these extremists & destroys everything in the area, including innocents & homes of innocents. Can you imagine the anarchy that would create in the USA if that happened here?


6:17 PM  
Blogger Peter Shea said...

"Childhood should not be regarded as a preparatory stage for adulthood. It is an independent developmental stage which all children should experience."

Laila, you may be interested in the book The Disappearance of Childhood by Neil Postman, who was known for his studies into the way in which information technology affects societies.

7:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 6:17 PM,
you really have no Idea what you are talking about do you??
"Israel immediately retaliates by going into the neighborhood of these extremists & destroys everything in the area, including innocents & homes of innocents"

Do you really believe this or are you just ranting on, based on some vague concept you got from reading some 5th rate source?

9:37 PM  
Blogger Gert said...

I've linked to your blog.

Remember, always remember, that many here in the West (but not enough), support the Palestinian cause. We see an entire people being strangled and the world just looks on. I'm not anti-Semitic or not even anti-Zionist but it baffles me that this kind of situation can be prolonged and prolonged, perpetrated by a people that have suffered persecution on their own flesh and blood.

You must get many hateful comments, so do I: do not be deterred. Keep going.

10:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I don't think you have a clue at the destruction Israel has done to Palestinian people & I am not speaking about the militants but the core of Palestine "the people". Yes I do really believe that because it is true!!

Just look at the facts of just how many children have been killed in Palestine alone, and don't tell me they were ALL militants.

5:39 PM  

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