By: Khursheed Alam Dawood Qasmi*
"World Children's Day" is celebrated on 20th November worldwide. It is because the United Nations General Assembly, through a resolution, has approved 20th November as "World Children's Day". The motive behind it is to promote international togetherness, awareness among the children worldwide and to improve children’s welfare. Furthermore, World Children’s Day offers each of us an inspirational entry-point to advocate, promote and celebrate children’s rights, translating into dialogues and actions that will build a better world for children as it has been mentioned at www.un.org. Now, let us see how the rights of the Palestinian children are violated. This year, just one day before World Children's Day, on Saturday, 19th November, 2022, Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS), presented the data regarding the Palestinian children’s detention that this year (November 2022), the usurping Israeli’s occupying army have arrested 750 Palestinian children so far. This data does not cover the full current year of 2022; as there is still a period of more than a month left to complete it. The PPS report also has highlighted that some of these children were injured; while some others were sick at the time of the detention. The report has also mentioned that “Most of the children were subjected to all sorts of physical and psychological torture during their detention in violation of international agreements and conventions on the rights of children.” Even in such situation, the tyrant prison authorities do not provide proper treatment facilities to the children. This report, on the occasion of World Children's Day, highlights a key aspect of the usurping Israeli government's tyranny, oppression and cruelty against the Palestinian children and the violation of their fundamental rights.
According to another report, this year (2022), 40 Palestinian children have been martyred by the inhumaneness of the Israeli occupying army so far. This large number of children being injured and martyred by the army of the Zionist Israel state, on the Palestinian land, in front of their near and dear ones, is alarming for any civilized nation and human-loving people. This is the current year's report; while to complete this year, still one month and ten days are left. If we look at the previous year's report in this regard, we find that in the year 2021, 78 children were martyred by the armed forces of the Zionist state. Those martyrs belonged to the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. According to the data of a local Palestinian organization, "Palestinian Child Organization", 17 of these martyred children were directly targeted and killed by the Israeli army.
Following the report of almost 11 months on the innocent Palestinian children being arrested by the army of the Zionist state of Israel, the readers can understand the number of the Palestinians as a whole being arrested by the Zionist army. To know the number of the Palestinians who have been arrested just in the last one month, i.e. October, let’s see a report of “Palestine Center for Prisoners Studies” below. This report makes clear the number of the Palestinians who have been arrested by the Zionist soldiers in just one last month.
In the beginning of November 2022, the Palestine Center for Prisoners Studies has mentioned in its report that 595 Palestinians were arrested by the Israeli army in the last month, October 2022 alone. Amongst those arrested, 76 minors, 22 women and girls are included. Riyad Al-Ashqar, the director of the center, said that more than 290 arrests were made in Jerusalem, including 41 children, 18 women and girls, 110 arrests were made from Al-Aqsa Mosque, its surroundings and nearby streets. Then Palestinians were also arrested from the town of Shufat, Al-Aissawiya and Silwan.
This is the shocking story of the Zionist state’s armed forces regarding the arrest and killing of the innocent Palestinian children, elders and women. The brutality of the Zionist army is not only limited to arresting and killing of the Palestinians; but they are also not behind in destroying the property of Palestinians. Whenever the Zionist army and the Zionist settlers find a chance, they do not hesitate to demolish the houses of the Palestinians, burn the crops in their fields and uproot their gardens. It was reported this month on 8th November that occupying Israeli army and terrorist Jewish settlers demolished the properties of the Palestinians in the West Bank and occupied Jerusalem. In the presence of the Israeli occupying army, Ahmed Isa's bakery was demolished in the Shufat camp of the northeast of occupied Jerusalem. The bakery is located on an area of one hundred and ten square meters. Ahmed Isa had built this bakery by spending one hundred thousand Shekels (about 24 lakh rupees). In another report, the Israeli army arrived in a big number with a bulldozer in the village "Qibya" located in the west of Ramallah city and demolished a two-story house belonging to a Palestinian citizen. The owner of the house fulfilled all the legal requirements and the documents; but these documents were ignored and the house was demolished.
It has been reported this month (November 2022) that the Israeli occupying army unearthed the valuable agricultural land of the Palestinians in "Salfit", the northern city of West Bank. In this place, there was an olive garden of the Palestinians, which was uprooted by the army. It is said that there were two thousand fruit bearing olive trees in the garden, which were destroyed by the army. Nowadays, due to global warming, the people avoid cutting the trees and the plantation is encouraged in the world. Those who plant trees are awarded by a government. In contrary to that the Israeli Zionist army uproots two thousand olive trees at a time. If a person tries to find out its reason, he doesn’t find any reason except that the owner of these trees is a Palestinian Muslim. It very crucial point which must be noted here that the settlers’ violence against the Palestinians – the real native of Palestine including today’s so-called Israel – and their properties is a routine. Despite that rarely they are prosecuted by the biased and unfair authorities of usurping Israel. We thank Allah that He created us as the followers of a religion in which planting tree is encouraged.
Some organizations say that the action of the Israeli police in terms of arresting and detaining the Palestinian children is in violation of the international agreements and conventions on the rights of children and their protection. The Zionist Israeli police sometimes would pick up the children from their homes at night, sometimes a child goes out to buy some goods and he would not return home. Latter, it is learned that the child has been arrested by the Israeli police. After arresting these children, the police beat them up. Then the police take these arrested children to the investigation center. They are investigated about a certain incident which they never committed. Israeli police allegedly treat these children with violence during investigation and they use brutal and nasty method against these children. The police have also been accused of blindfolding and handcuffing the arrested children during the investigation. Then the police send these children to the jail after their so-called investigation – for crimes which they never committed – is done.
The Israeli army always claims that the Palestinian children who are imprisoned and detained in the Israeli jails are a threat to their national security. The children's rights group says that Israel is allegedly committing the crimes against these children which are internationally prohibited. Following the arrest, these children are kept in the detention in an inappropriate and inhumane environment. They are deprived of their basic rights. The fact is that the Israeli army uses such deadly weapons and forces against the Palestinian civilians, children and women that is a clear violation of international human rights law. The Israeli jails in which the Palestinians are kept are itself a kind of punishment. The fact is that there is an attempt to instill terror and fear in the minds of the Palestinian prisoners and to control an entire community through oppression and brutality so that after their release, they would not raise their voices for Palestine.
Definitely the Palestinians are undergoing a great loss of their lives and properties at the hands of the occupying army of the Zionist government since the illegal establishment of Israel. Any Palestinian who raises his voice for his sovereignty and the freedom of Al-Aqsa Mosque has to face the hardship of imprisonment. It is duty of the United Nations and other international organizations to investigate the arrest of Palestinian children and the atrocities against them. It is also their duty to include the Zionist Israeli government in the list of governments that violate the children's rights; rather on the top of the list. The member countries of the United Nations General Assembly would pass a resolution that would compel the usurping Israeli government to compensate for the losses of the lives and the properties. But currently, there is no such hope; because the oppressive Israeli government has the backing of the United States of America and some Western countries. The second important point is that no country has any materialistic interest in Palestine. However, we hope that the terrorist Israeli government, its armed forces and the oppressive Zionist police will have to pay for the crimes they commit regularly against the Palestinians a day and the Palestinians will be successful, In Shaa Allah. ●●●●
*Moon Rays Trust School, Zambia, Africa