Taken from almanar
Israeli military uses Palestinian kids as human shields: UN rights group
A United Nations human rights body has criticized the Tel Aviv regime for torturing Palestinian children, saying the Israeli military frequently uses them as human shields in its operations.
The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child said on Thursday Palestinian children in the occupied West Bank and blockaded Gaza Strip are normally not allowed to have their birth registered, and are denied access to health care, decent schooling as well as safe drinking water.
“Palestinian children arrested by (Israeli) military and police are systematically subject to degrading treatment, and often to acts of torture, are interrogated in Hebrew, a language they did not understand, and sign confessions in Hebrew in order to be released,” it said in a report.
The UN committee also expressed regret over Israel’s “persistent refusal” to respond to requests for information on children in the Palestinian territories and occupied Golan Heights since the last review in 2002.
“Hundreds of Palestinian children have been killed and thousands injured over the reporting period as a result of Israel military operations, especially in Gaza where Israel proceeded to [conduct] air and naval strikes on densely populated areas with a significant presence of children, thus disregarding the principles of proportionality and distinction,” the report stated.
The UN report also stated that an estimated 7,000 Palestinian children aged 12 to 17, but some as young as nine, have been arrested, interrogated and detained over the past ten years.
Many are brought in leg chains and shackles before military courts, while youths are held in solitary confinement, sometimes for months, the report said.
It voiced deep concern at the “continuous use of Palestinian children as human shields and informants”, saying 14 such cases had been reported between January 2010 and March 2013 alone.
Israeli soldiers had used Palestinian children to enter potentially dangerous buildings and forced them to stand in front of military vehicles to deter stone-throwing, it said.
“Almost all those using children as human shields and informants have remained unpunished and the soldiers convicted for having forced at gunpoint a nine-year-old child to search bags suspected of containing explosives only received a suspended sentence of three months and were demoted.”
Israel’s “illegal long-standing occupation” of Palestinian territory and the Golan Heights, continued expansion of “unlawful” settlements, construction of the separation fence into the West Bank, land confiscation and destruction of homes and livelihoods “constitute severe and continuous violations of the rights of Palestinian children and their families,” it said.
The Israeli Foreign Ministry reacted angrily to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child report, and described it as “recycled old stuff.”
31% of Refugees in Palestine Live below Poverty Line
Al Ahed news</em>
he Palestinian refugee population in the West Bank and Gaza Strip is characterized by poverty, statistics issued Thursday revealed.
Some 31 percent of Palestinian refugees in the West Bank and Gaza Strip live below the poverty line, according to statistics issued by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics.
This is reinforced by a young population of which 41 percent are under the age of 15, compared with 39.7 percent of the non-refugee population in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Meanwhile, 27.9 percent of over 15-year-olds are unemployed, compared with 19.8 percent of non-refugees.
However, the illiteracy rate among Palestinian refugees is lower than non-refugees, with a rate of 3.7 percent of those aged 15 and above, compared to 4.3 percent of non-refugees.
While 86 percent of refugees owned their own housing units, only 15.9 percent owned private cars, 10 percent less than non-refugees.
The statistics were released to mark International Refugee Day and show that as of 1 January 2013, there were 5.3 million UNRWA-registered Palestine refugees.
Of the total number 40 percent are in Jordan, 24 percent in Gaza Strip, 17 percent in the West Bank, 10 percent in Syria and 9 percent in Lebanon.
According UNRWA’s website, when the Agency started working in 1950, it was responding to the needs of about 750,000 Palestine refugees.
IOA prevents tractors entering to lands behind the Apartheid Wall
WEST BANK, (PIC)– Palestinian farmers called for pressuring the Israeli authorities to cancel its decision to prevent tractors entering to agricultural lands behind the Apartheid Wall.
The Israeli recent decision aims to destroy the Palestinian agricultural lands located behind the apartheid wall, the farmer Walid Qabaha said.
He noted that the Israeli decision separated the farmers from their lands behind the Wall gradually in an attempt to annex them to the Israeli settlements.
The Israeli decision affects 2000 dunums of Palestinian agriculture lands in different villages in West Bank, he added.
Israeli settler runs over Palestinian child in al-Khalil
AL-KHALIL, (PIC)– An Israeli settler ran over a Palestinian child in al-Khalil in the southern occupied West Bank, while Israeli soldiers stormed several town in the district.
Four-year-old Amer Ahmad Jaber was injured on Tuesday after being run over by a settler in the Old Town in al-Khalil where he was transferred to hospital.
Meanwhile, settler’s dogs attacked Palestinian citizens and their sheep in Nabi village in Yatta.
Furthermore the Israeli soldiers stormed several towns in al-Khalil and erected checkpoints where Israeli troops stationed at their entrances. Several arrests were reported.
10,300 new settlement units in the West Bank within three months
RAMALLAH, (PIC)– A Palestinian research center concerned with Israeli studies says that construction of settlement units in the West Bank has increased by 176% during the first quarter of this year, compared to the same quarter last year.
Palestinian Center for Israel Studies, based in the city of Ramallah in the West Bank, reveals that the occupation has started to build 10,300 new housing units.
It says that these official data recently published by the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics prove that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has not frozen construction in settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem as alleged by some Hebrew media.
The center adds in a report that the Israeli Peace Now organization said in documentary reports that there are 166 settlements and more than 100 illegal outposts on the mountains of areas stretching from the north to the south of the West Bank.
It points out that the Israeli occupation governments have been always legitimizing these outposts, constructed without building permits.
Peace Now reports show that the occupation government is making it easier for Israelis to find houses in settlements than inside the Green Line where house prices is very high.
Average price of a home in the settlements is about 45 thousand dollars only, compared to 200 thousand dollars inside the 1948-occupied territories.
The Israeli NGO also notes that there is a general decrease in housing construction inside the Green Line by 3.4 per cent, while construction of new homes in West Bank settlements has recorded an increase of 176.4 per cent in the first quarter of this year compared to the same quarter last year.
Israeli construction works have also registered an increase in the Jerusalem area by 48 per cent.
“Israel” considers using dogs to attack Palestinian workers legitimate
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– Israeli B’Tselem organization reiterated its demand that the occupation authorities cease to use dogs against unarmed Palestinian civilians.
Incidents in which the soldiers use dogs to attack civilians have continued to occur, which indicates that the military considers it legitimate to use attack dogs in such a way.
B’Tselem Director Jessica Montell sent a letter to the Israeli Legal Adviser urging him to forbid the use of dogs against civilians.
This renewed demand follows a recent incident in which two Palestinians who were trying to enter the occupied territories for work were attacked by military dogs. The dogs were in the company of soldiers who then arrested the Palestinians and took them to an Israeli hospital to receive treatment.
Montell stated in her letter that “setting attack dogs on civilians under such circumstances is inherently wrong and morally reprehensible. This use of dogs is dangerous in that they cannot be kept fully under control. It intimidates the population at large and has already caused severe harm to civilians.”
The letter also deals with an incident that took place on Wednesday, 15 May 2013, when three Palestinian youths from the town of Beit Ula came to the section of the Separation Barrier close to their town.
The youths, who do not have permits to enter the occupied territories, intended to cross the wall in order to find work. A military force sighted them, called them to halt, and opened fire. Upon hearing the shots, the youths began running back towards the town.
As they ran, one of them was struck in the leg by a rubber-coated metal bullet fired at him, and the other two were attacked by the dogs.
B’Tselem said “the two required immediate medical attention and were taken by military ambulance to the Barzilai Medical Center in the Israeli city of Ashkelon. The following day, they were questioned by Israel Police and released with a summons for trial at the Ofer military court.”
It added that the third young man was provided with treatment and then released several hours after the incident without being questioned.
IOA seeks to close water wells in Jenin
JENIN, (PIC)– The Israeli occupation authorities (IOA) sent troops into Jenin province on Wednesday night to look for water wells.
Local sources said that the Israeli occupation forces raided southern Jenin and erected roadblocks at the entrance to the city.
Meanwhile, eyewitnesses said that IOF units were deployed in the area between Zababde and Qabatiya villages to look for water wells and demolish them.
They said that the IOF units accompanied water experts and employees with the civil administration.