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RECENT DEVELOPMENTS 17-year-old boy killed near Gaza border 12-year-old boy and threeyear-old brother pelted with stones by settlers 9-year-old boy injured in settler attack 10-year-old boy beaten by settler in East Jerusalem Two brothers beaten by soldiers and settlers in East Jerusalem New DCI report: Recruitment and Use of Palestinian Children in Armed Conflict Leaked EU report on Settler Violence RECENT REPORTS Financial Times - Unsettling actions in the West Bank The Independent - Netanyahu accused after legalising settlements Chicago Tribune – Israel tries to save West Bank settlements it vowed to dismantle Sydney Morning Herald – Carr warns Israel over settlements Haaretz – First Palestinian family evicted from Beit Hanina Haaretz - Settlers in West Bank outpost build new homes on private Palestinian land
Mahran (9), injured in settler attack on 29 April 2012. Credit: DCI-Palestine
April 2012 - Overview
During the month of April, DCI-Palestine documented one child fatality, three settler attacks, and one case of soldier and settler violence against Palestinian children. On 4 April, 17-year old Hashem was killed by tank shells near the Gaza border. He was carrying Molotov cocktails and a knife. According to his older brother, Hashem never recovered after their 12-year-old sister Nadia was killed in an Israeli drone attack in January 2009 (Operation Cast Lead). On 19 April, two brothers were physically assaulted by soldiers and settlers in East Jerusalem. Two days later, 12-year-old Odai went with his father and three-year-old brother to work on their land south of Hebron, when they were pelted with stones by settlers. On 29 April, nine-year-old Mahran was injured in a settler attack at his home in the old city of Hebron. The following day, on 30 April, 10-yearold Ameer was beaten by a settler on his way home from school in East Jerusalem. In a recent EU report leaked by a Dutch organisation, EU heads of Mission stated that Israel is failing to protect the Palestinian population from settler violence. Also in April, DCI-Palestine released the report: Recruitment and Use of Palestinian Children in Armed Conflict. The report focuses on three types of recruitment and use of children: the use of children as human shields by the Israeli army; the recruitment of children as informants by Israeli interrogators; and the use of children in hostilities by Palestinian armed groups.
Child fatality figures Case summaries In the spotlight
Number of Palestinian children killed as a result of Israeli military and settler presence in the OPT
2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
DCI-Palestine ● Violations Bulletin, Issue 19 ● April 2012
VOICES FROM THE OCCUPATION Voices – Injuries Voices – Settler/soldier violence Voices – Settler/soldier violence Voices – Injuries - Gaza border Voices – Settler violence Voices – Injuries Voices – Injuries Voices – Fatalities -Gaza Voices – Settler Violence Voices – Injuries-Gaza Border Voices – Settler Violence Voices – Settler Violence Voices – Human Shields Voices – Settler violence Voices – Fatality Voices – Injuries Voices – Settler violence/detention Voices – Settler Violence Voices – Soldier violence URGENT APPEALS UA 6/11 – Children of Beit Ummar UA 1/12 – Solitary confinement UA 3/11 – Settler Violence UA 4/10 – Children of the Gravel UA 4/11 – Children of Azzun UA 2/11 – Children of Silwan
Name: Ameer B. Date of incident: 30 April 2012 Age: 10 Location: East Jerusalem Nature of incident: Settler violence On 30 April 2012, a 10-year-old boy from occupied East Jerusalem is attacked by a man when he is heading home from school. Ten-year-old Ameer lives in the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sur Bahir, and goes to school in the old city of Jerusalem. “At around 2:00 pm on Monday, 30 April 2012, I was on my way home from school,” he recalls. “I was alone, rushing to catch the bus. When I was going to cross the street in front of Damascus Gate, a man came towards me and started punching me in the face. He was wearing a white shirt, a black jacket, black trousers and a cap [kippah] on his head.” “I was very scared,” continues Ameer. “He punched me hard on the head many times, so hard that I fell on the sidewalk, and he continued to kick me in the chest and the back. I heard voices around me but I could not understand what they were saying. I started crying. I was in a lot of pain [...]. Many people gathered around me and the man stopped beating me and disappeared. I was screaming and crying in pain.” Ameer was carried by bystanders and placed on a bench. One of them telephoned his father. In the meantime, the people around him kept asking him what had happened. “I told them I didn’t know. I actually don’t know why the man beat me,” Ameer says. About half-an-hour later, an ambulance arrived and Ameer was placed inside for examination. Ameer recalls that while he was inside the ambulance, the Israeli police arrived, but “they did not even talk to me. They just stood there and kept watching.” Ameer waited for his father inside the ambulance. When his father arrived, he was transferred to hospital for treatment. He was discharged that evening. “I couldn’t sleep well that night,” says Ameer. “I only fell asleep at dawn. When I woke up the next morning, I found out that I had wet myself. I felt scared and burst into tears.” Later that morning, Ameer’s mother took him to the doctor. “The doctor said I wet myself because I was very scared,” he says. “The same thing happened the following night as well. I even had a dream about the man who beat me. In my dream, he tried to kill me. I am very scared and do not want to go to school because I do not want him to beat me again. I even lost my schoolbag that day. [...] I am ashamed to go to school because I wet myself. I love my school but I am afraid to go,” Ameer adds.
DCI-Palestine ● Violations Bulletin, Issue 19 ●2 May 2011 April 2012
MEDIA ARCHIVE The Guardian – Videos on East Jerusalem The Independent - Jewish settlers are terrorising Palestinians, says Israeli general IRIN - Growing number of children with anxiety disorders The Australian – Stone cold justice The Guardian - Palestinian children in Israel's Al Jalame jail (solitary confinement) Sydney Morning Herald – Palestinians live in fear for their lives BBC - EU report calls for action against Israeli settlements The Guardian - Israel 'turning blind eye' to West Bank settlers' attacks on Palestinians Reuters - UN rights body launches probe into Israeli settlements Haaretz - Settlement policy will cause Israel to self-destruct The Independent - Israel 'must end impunity of violence by settlers'
For information on Palestinian Child Prisoners read: Bound, Blindfolded and Convicted: Children held in military detention
In the spotlight
Leaked EU report on Settler Violence On 5 April 2012, The Rights Forum, an organisation headed by former Dutch Prime Minister Dries van Agt, leaked an EU report on settler violence against Palestinians that had previously been blocked by the Netherlands. The report was issued in April 2011 and updated in February 2012. In the report, the EU heads of Mission:
Reiterate that Israeli settlements are illegal under international law, and threaten to
make a two-state solution impossible. For information on child recruitment read: Recruitment and Use of Palestinian Children in Armed Conflict
Criticise the application of two different legal systems for settlers and for
Palestinians: “The coexistence in the West Bank of these two legal frameworks, one civil – more favourable – applied to the settlers, and one military applied to the local Palestinian population, has institutionalised de facto discrimination before the law.” State that settler attacks, and the absence of legal remedies, have a deep physical, psychological and economic impact on the affected population. State that settler attacks are compounded by the discriminatory protections and privileges afforded to settlers, which “create an environment in which settlers can act with apparent impunity,” adding that “the political impact of the de facto impunity is significant.” The EU heads of Mission further state that Israel has “so far failed to effectively protect the Palestinian population.” They urge the Israeli authorities to respect their obligations under international humanitarian law and human rights law to protect Palestinians, and call for accountability for perpetrators.
For information on the situation of children in East Jerusalem read: Voices from East Jerusalem: The Situation facing Palestinian Children.
New DCI report: Recruitment and Use of Palestinian Children in Armed Conflict On 23 April, DCI-Palestine released the report: Recruitment and Use of Palestinian Children in Armed Conflict. The report finds that in the context of the military occupation of the Palestinian Territory, both Israel and Palestinian armed groups have violated the international law prohibition on recruiting and using children in armed conflict. The report covers an eight year period (2004 – 2011), and focuses on three particular circumstances: the use of children as human shields by the Israeli army; the recruitment of children as informants by Israeli interrogators; and the use of children in hostilities by Palestinian armed groups. The key findings of the report include: 1. In 16 out of the 17 cases documented involving the use of Palestinian children as human shields, the event occurred after the Israeli High Court of Justice declared the practice illegal. It is also significant to note that in only one case, was anybody held accountable for using a child as a human shield. Since publication, DCI is aware of two new cases of children used as human shields by the Israeli army. The report identifies 16 cases in which attempts were made by Israeli interrogators to recruit children as informants. Most attempts at recruitment occur during interrogation following arrest. Due to the sensitive nature of the subject, it is difficult to ascertain the scale of the problem, although there is anecdotal evidence to suggest that the practice is widespread. Finally, the report identifies 26 cases involving the recruitment and use of children by Palestinian armed groups. In 23 out of 26 cases (88 percent), the children were from the Gaza Strip. Significantly, in all 26 cases (100 percent) the evidence indicates that the children were not forcefully conscripted, but volunteered to join a group or to participate in hostilities. The report finds that the recruitment and use of children by Palestinian armed groups increases during large scale incursions by the Israeli army, but such involvement does not appear to be either widespread or systematic.
For information on settler violence against Palestinian children read: Under Attack: Settler Violence against Palestinian Children in the Occupied Palestinian Territory
Lawyers and fieldworkers for DCIPalestine collect sworn affidavits from victims and/or eye witnesses of human rights violations against Palestinian children. These affidavits are reviewed by trained staff to determine appropriate follow up action. Additional case summaries are available on request. For further information contact us through our website: www.dci-palestine.org Page 3
The full report is available on line and hard copies are available on request. DCI-Palestine ● Violations Bulletin, Issue 19 ● April 2012
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