A Palestinian human rights organization said that last year was a year of genocide against Palestinian children, after Israel killed at least 8,000 children since October 7, 2023. Gaza And 81 children in the West Bank, including Jerusalem.
Defense for Children International explained that this rate is likely to increase as thousands are still missing in Gaza, in addition to the occupation cutting off food, water, electricity, medical supplies and fuel to the residents of the Strip, and continuing to launch indiscriminate and direct attacks against residential buildings and civilian infrastructure. And the health system.
The organization added, in a statement, that the rate of “killing of Palestinian children during the past year is unprecedented,” noting that they constituted “major targets of the occupation,” stressing that the evidence it collected indicates the regular use of lethal force by the occupation forces against Palestinian children in circumstances that rise to the level of extrajudicial killing. Scope of justice or premeditated murder.
She stated that Israel is waging a deliberate and systematic campaign throughout the West Bank and Gaza to destroy Palestinian life, pointing out that last year witnessed the martyrdom of 121 children in the West Bank at the hands of the occupation forces and settlers.
She explained that the occupation forces and settlers shot and killed 102 Palestinian children with live ammunition, while 19 Palestinian children were martyred in air attacks in the northern West Bank. Among them were 14 children who were martyred in drone attacks, 4 others by missiles fired by an attack helicopter, and one child in an air strike by an Israeli warplane.
In this context, the human rights organization said that it documented that the Israeli army prevented paramedics and ambulances from providing assistance to wounded Palestinians, including children.
She added that during the year 2023, 38 cases were documented in which the occupation forces prevented ambulances and paramedics from reaching the injured, including children.
Arrest and torture of children
The human rights organization also confirmed that the Israeli army continued to arbitrarily arrest, torture, and try Palestinian children in military detention centers during 2023.
It estimated that the average number of children arrested per month during the past year reached 165 children. It also stated that Israel annually arrests between 500 and 700 Palestinian children and tries them in military courts.
She said that children are subjected to difficult interrogation conditions, including handcuffing, blindfolding, and sleep deprivation. They also give their confessions after being exposed to verbal abuse, threats, physical and psychological violence, and torture.
According to a questionnaire conducted by the organization on a sample of the testimonies of 75 children arrested by the army in the West Bank and Jerusalem, it showed that 61% of them were subjected to physical violence after arrest, and 96% of them were handcuffed and 88% were blindfolded.
The organization stated, according to the questionnaire, that 47% of children were arrested from their homes at night, while 69% of them faced verbal abuse and intimidation, and 65% were subjected to a strip search at least once.
The organization reported that 72% of the detained children were deprived of adequate food and water, and 97% of them were interrogated without the presence of any of their family members, while 95% of the children were not informed of the reason for their arrest.
The organization indicated that Israel isolated 24% of the children it studied for two or more days.