Israel’s War on Palestinian Schoolchildren
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org - Home - Stephen Lendman)
Israel is a flagrant human rights abuser, Palestinians treated like enemies of the state, children as viciously mistreated as adults.
They’re terrorized by Israel ruthlessly. Though some are too young to know why, they learn soon enough what they’re up against - what oppressive apartheid rule is all about.
Israel ratified the 1989 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). It doesn’t matter, the Jewish state brazenly violating its provisions.
Article 37 states in part:
“No child shall be subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”
“No child shall be deprived of his or her liberty unlawfully or arbitrarily.”
“The arrest, detention or imprisonment of a child shall be in conformity with the law and shall be used only as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time.”
“Every child deprived of liberty shall be treated with humanity and respect for the inherent dignity of the human person, and in a manner which takes into account the needs of persons of his or her age.”
“Every child deprived of his or her liberty shall have the right to prompt access to legal and other appropriate assistance, as well as the right to challenge the legality of the deprivation of his or her liberty before a court or other competent, independent and impartial authority, and to a prompt decision on any such action.”
Principle 1 of the 1959 UN Declaration of the Rights of the Child states:
“Every child, without exception whatsoever, shall be entitled to (fundamental human and civil) rights, without distinction or discrimination on account of race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status, whether of himself or of his family.”
They’re entitled to special protections and opportunities to develop physically, mentally, morally, spiritually, and socially under conditions of freedom and dignity.
Not in Occupied Palestine. They’re terrorized for not being Jewish - at home, at play, and at school, including by tear gas fired into schoolyards and classrooms.
Last week, the IDF lied, denying that soldiers fired a tear gas canister at a Hebron school. They were caught red-handed on video, the incident happening in mid-November.
A Big Lie followed, the IDF claiming it was in response to children throwing stones. In class at the time, they were unaware of what was about to happen until aggressively attacked by tear gas.
It wasn’t an isolated incident. It happens repeatedly throughout the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
An IDF spokesman turned truth on its head, saying “(r)iots (sic) take place on a weekly basis in the vicinity of schools, where rocks are thrown at forces and civilians,” adding:
“As a rule, no tear gas is used against schools. However, the changes in weather must be taken into account and some of the tear gas smoke might disperse with the wind in different directions.”
Video evidence outside Hebron’s Al Khalil Schools for Boys showed an unprovoked soldier, firing a tear gas canister into the school’s yard. Its teachers explained that the same thing happens repeatedly.
According to Breaking the Silence research director Ron Zaidel, “while thousands of Palestinian students are suffocating from tear gas, the IDF spokesperson is trying to put up a smoke screen to hide the reality on the ground from the public,” adding:
“(T)housands of testimonies that we have collected over the years clearly show that violence against children is an unavoidable part of the military dictatorship ruling a civilian population.”
“When the facts are clear and known, each and every one of us must ask ourselves a simple question: Is this reality acceptable to us, or is it not?”
According to Palestinian officials, in 2017 alone, Israeli soldiers attacked 95 West Bank schools - terrorizing and traumatizing young children.
In its annual report, the Palestinian education ministry documented evidence of over 80,000 children and nearly 5,000 teachers and staff attacked by soldiers or settlers.
Last year, nine students were killed, around 600 children and teachers injured, hundreds arrested for the crime of teaching and learning.
What’s going on is related to Israeli land theft for exclusive Jewish development and use - including settlement construction, commercial projects, closed military zones, parks, open spaces, and the Separation Wall.
Palestinian schools are being demolished to make way for the above developments, young children and teachers terrorized to force them out.
Under the pretext of building classrooms without virtually impossible to get permits, Israeli authorities demolished EU-funded schools.
Military checkpoints and other obstructions greatly delay or prevent thousands of students and hundreds of teachers from reaching existing classrooms.
According to Masafer Yatta village council member Nidal Younis, “(c)an anyone else in the world imagine themselves as a child, or imagine their children, trying to get a proper education under these conditions?”
Can anyone imagine the obstacles teachers and schoolchildren face under conditions hostile to teaching and learning?
Israel wants control over all valued parts of Judea and Samaria - systematic ethnic cleansing its way of achieving its goal at the expense of millions of Palestinians denied their fundamental rights.
Young children in their formative years are harmed most.
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