Being a Palestinian child carries risks. Airstrikes, home (and school) invasions, home (and school) demolitions, inability to access medical care – these are just some of the dangers of being not-Jewish in a land under Israeli control.
Below are just a few of the many recent examples of “normal” childhood experiences for Palestinian youth at the hands of Israel. The trauma of going through an airstrike, or of being brutally attacked while at home in the middle of the night, or on the way to school, make life precarious. The possibility of going out to play and leaving in an ambulance, or of getting sick and having limited access to medical care, is very real.
All of this is subsidized by the US at a rate of $10.5 million every day in aid to Israel. Our Congress and UN ambassadors have supported this – thanks to the pro-Israel lobby – while Americans oppose it (read this, this, and this).
Israel Delivers Deadly and Enduring Christmas Gifts to Sick Gazan Children
by Asya Abdul-Hadi, reposted from Washington Report on Middle East Affairs (WRMEA), March-April 2021
Fatma el-Deeb was staying with her ill 5-year-old, Jood el-Deeb, at Al-Durra Hospital for Children in the Gaza neighborhood of al-Tuffah, when suddenly she heard airstrikes after midnight on Christmas. “I was still up browsing the Internet around 1:00 a.m. on Dec. 26 when I heard the first strike. I didn’t take it very seriously until it was followed by much stronger strikes and I could see fragments of the missile hitting the window,” said El-Deeb, who carried her terrified and screaming child and ran out of the room. “Jood was sound asleep and he woke up to the sound of the strikes and ran to me screaming and hugged me,” she added.
Israeli warplanes fired a series of missiles on Saturday, Dec. 26 in the eastern, northwestern and central parts of the Gaza Strip, including open farmland, wounding a six-year-old girl and a young man, according to the Palestinian News Agency, Wafa. The bombing caused heavy damage to the hospital compound, a rehabilitation center, a mosque, homes and a factory.
Dozens of sick children and their mothers, who were staying at Al-Durra Hospital for Children, were terrified by the bombing. Palestinian sources reported that the bombing caused a state of panic, hindered the provision of health services, and shattered windows, scattering glass inside the patients’ rooms.
Jood, who was hospitalized for chronic asthma, has been suffering from anxiety and fear since the strikes. “This affected his appetite and since what happened he’s scared to leave the room or sleep with the light off,” said his mother.
Director of Al-Durra Hospital for Children, Dr. Majed Hamada, called on all humanitarian, international and health organizations to put an end to what he described as “barbaric assaults” on Palestinian children.
“The occupation and many international organizations know that this place is a special hospital for children, but the enemy did not take into account any moral or human value,” stated Dr. Hamada… [full article here]
Raided and Razed: The Settler Assault on Palestinian Childhood Education
By Walter L. Hixson, reposted from Washington Report on Middle East Affairs (WRMEA), March-April 2021
The title of a recent webinar – “Raided and Razed: West Bank Education Under Attack”—aptly summarizes an ongoing Israeli assault on childhood education in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT).
Held on Jan. 11 and sponsored by the Foundation for Middle East Peace (FMEP) as well as the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), the webinar focused on efforts spearheaded by Zionist settlers to disrupt and frequently to demolish schools and community facilities, especially in Area C, which comprises more than 60 percent of the occupied Palestinian West Bank.
Led by Sarah Anne Minkin of the FMEP, the webinar analyzed a recent NRC study that detailed scores of raids on schools, arrests of students, school demolitions, and attacks on buildings, buses and other facilities from 2018 to 2020. The worst of these assaults centered on Hebron, but they also took place in and around East Jerusalem, Nablus and other areas of the West Bank.
The outmoded Oslo occupation framework, which was established in the early 1990s as a step in the comprehensive “peace process,” has instead enabled an ongoing and illegal occupation. The occupation, in turn, has allowed the Zionist settlers, backed by the Israeli government, to “maximize control of the land and minimize responsibility for the people,” explained Khaled Elgindy, an author and analyst at the Middle East Institute. Palestinians in the West Bank and especially Area C, more than half of which is under settler control, are forced to exist under “mob rule” rather than under the rule of law, he said.
Settlers often follow, block the path, verbally assault and threaten students, fire weapons near school grounds, and vandalize facilities, among other actions, noted Priscilla Washington, the author of the NRC study. In an incident near Nablus in Oct. 2018, to cite but one example, a settler mob backed by Israeli military forces shattered the windows of a school while classes were in session, injuring several students in the process…[full article here]
reposted from International Middle East Media Center (IMEMC), Feb. 27, 2021
Two children were injured Saturday when Israeli naval forces opened fire on them as they played on a beach in the southern part of the Gaza Strip.
The children were taken to Abu Yousef Al-Najjar Hospital in Rafah, where they were treated for their injuries. Medical staff have not yet reported on their condition or the extent of their injuries.
In addition to shooting the two children, the Israeli navy also opened fire on Palestinian fishing boats off the coast of the Gaza Strip on Saturday morning. This is the third time this week that Israeli naval forces have targeted Palestinian civilians on the Gaza coast.
"I couldn't go to school, Israeli gun boats shot me while playing the beach"
Tala a Palestinian girl deprived off basic human rights just because she was born in Gaza.pic.twitter.com/8J61U5vmPV
— # ICC4israel زعتر إخظر 🌿 🇵🇸☪️✝️ (@Green_Thyme) February 27, 2021
— gaza post News (@gazaapost) February 28, 2021
Israeli soldiers invade home, look for Palestinian child who threw a marble
reposted from B’Tselem, Feb. 24, 2021
On Saturday morning, 16 January 2021, seven soldiers entered the Da’na family home in the al-Harika neighborhood of Hebron. The settlement of Kiryat Arba was built next to the neighborhood.
The soldiers brought a marble with them and claimed to be looking for a child who threw it at the settlement.
The Da’na family has been suffering from repeated attacks by settlers and nocturnal raids by soldiers, during which they photographed the family’s children, claiming they had thrown stones. In past raids, soldiers arrested several of the family members. ..[full article and video here]
A Baby and His Mother: The Cancer Journey of a Palestinian Family
by Tamar Fleishman, reposted from Palestine Chronicle, Feb. 17, 2021
“We’re waiting for a cancer patient from Jenin so we can deliver him to Augusta Victoria Hospital on Mount Scopus in East Jerusalem,” said the member of the Jerusalem Red Crescent Medical team while waiting in their parked ambulance on the roadside of the Israeli military checkpoint at Qalandiya.
I waited with them.
We waited for a long time. We spent the time talking about various issues pertaining to their difficult mission, including when Palestinian patients are transferred between ambulances, about the vaccinations, and more.
But nothing prepared me for the fact that the cancer patient we were waiting for was an 11-month-old baby.
Furath, gravely ill with cancer, was taken out of the ambulance in his mother’s arms, his scrawny arm pierced by a plastic tube where the IV entered his little body.
Present were the 2 Palestinian medical teams – one from Jenin and one from East Jerusalem, the 2 ambulances, 2 stretchers, Israeli soldiers and security guards, guns, and in the midst of all of these – a sick baby and his mom.
The military procedure was followed strictly, including the baggage inspection: the mother had to hand Furath over to a member of the medical team and present the contents of her bags to a soldier.
While I do not accuse the military occupation of Furath’s cancer, as such illnesses are often the matter of fate, the occupation is still guilty: guilty of forcibly taking a little baby and his mother away from their city, isolating them from their own family, separating between a gravely ill child and his father, who was unfairly denied permit to accompany his wife in this painful journey…[full article here]
reposted from International Middle East Media Center (IMEMC), Feb. 22, 2021