Children Affected by Armed Conflict – Israel and State of Palestine (Second Quarter 2015) – UNICEF Bulletin

Since 2007, a UNICEF-led working group has consolidated efforts to report on the impacts of armed conflict on children in Israel and the State of Palestine. The bulletin is published on a quarterly basis highlighting trends and patterns in grave violations against children.

Members of the working group include: DCI-Palestine, B'Tselem, Medecins du Monde — Suisse, Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, Save the Children, War Child Holland, World Vision, OCHA, OHCHR, UNESCO, UNICEF, UNRWA, UNMAS and WHO.

This edition covers April. May & June 2015.

• The total number of incidents documented in the second quarter of 2015 is 415, affecting at least 4,902 children. Compared to the first quarter, there has been a 24 per cent increase in the number of Palestinian children injured as a result of clashes between Palestinian and Israeli security forces (ISF), military operations, settler-violence and Explosive Remnants of War (ERW).

• Since the beginning of the year, two Palestinian boys were shot in the head with rubber-coated metal bullets by Israeli Security Forces in Shufat, East Jerusalem, in separate incidents on 31 March & 20 May. Both boys lost an eye and needed a prosthetic.

• During the second quarter of 2015, 32 education-related incidents were documented in the West Bank, marking a decrease compared to the 55 incidents documented in the first quarter, in part due to the fact that the school year ended on the 30th of May.

• The number of incidents affecting children in Gaza remained low as a result of the ceasefire of 26 August 2014; however, an increase was noted in the number of children injured near the Gaza fence with Israel and as a result of the detonation of Explosive remnants of war (ERW) (ten children were injured in the second quarter of 2015 compared to three children in the first quarter).


During the second quarter of 2015, one Palestinian boy was killed and 137 Palestinian children were injured (129 boys and eight girls.) The vast majority (all but twelve) were injured by the use of force by Israeli Security Forces (ISF), predominantly in the West Bank (127 in WB versus 10 in Gaza).

No Israeli children were killed during the reporting period; two Israeli boys were injured.


• On 25 April 2015, a 17- year-old Palestinian boy was shot and killed by ISF at Za'ayyem checkpoint in East Jerusalem, as he allegedly ran toward police officers stationed at the checkpoint.

• In the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, 127 Palestinian children were injured during the reporting period, including 120 boys and seven girls aged between four months and 17 years.

• Forty (40) boys were injured during clashes between Palestinians and ISF in the context of demonstrations against the Barrier or Israeli settlements, and clashes following the Friday prayer. Of these, 11 boys were injured by live ammunition, 21 boys were hit by rubber-coated metal bullets, six boys suffered from tear gas inhalation, one boy was injured after being hit by a tear gas canister, and the last boy was hit by sound grenades.

• Sixty-seven (67) children, 62 boys and five girls, were injured by the ISF during security operations, such as search and arrest operations and ensuing clashes between Palestinians and the ISF, including in and around refugee camps. During these military operations, children were injured by live ammunition (11), rubber-coated metal bullets (28), tear gas inhalation (23), physical assault (4), and hit by a sound grenade (1).

• Sixteen (16) children, 14 boys and two girls, were injured in the context of violence involving Israeli settlers and related incidents involving the ISF. Israeli settlers injured five children, three boys and two girls, as a result of assault and stone throwing. ISF interventions during clashes between Palestinians and Israeli settlers led to the injury of 11 Palestinian boys by live ammunition (10), and rubber-coated metal bullet (1).

• Four (4) boys were injured by ERWs. Two boys aged five and six years were injured by unexploded sound grenades found near the barrier in Azzun Atma village in Qalqiliya. The other two boys, aged nine and 16 years, were injured in the Jordan Valley in two separate incidents after playing with ISF ERWs in a military training area near their house.


In Gaza, ten Palestinian children were injured during the second quarter of 2015, including nine boys and one girl, aged between eleven and 17 years.

• Seven boys were shot and injured in the Access Restricted Areas (ARA). Six boys, aged between 16 and 17 years, were injured by ISF positioned at the Gaza perimeter fence in Khan Younis (southern Gaza) and in Beit Lahiya (northern Gaza) in the context of presence near the fence with Israel, stone throwing and ensuing clashes. The other boy was shot and injured by Israeli naval forces while he was fishing in the Sudaniya area, west of Beit Lahiya.

• Three children, two boys and one girl, were injured by ERWs in two different incidents. Two boys and one girl were injured as a result of playing and mishandling ERWs in the Abu Al Ajeen area (southeast of Deir Al Balah), and in Zaitoun area (southeast of Gaza City).


On 24 May, two 17-year-old Israeli boys were injured as a result of being stabbed by a Palestinian near Damascus Gate in the Old city of Jerusalem.


No cases of child recruitment were reported in the second quarter of 2015.


According to the data provided by the Israeli Prison Services (IPS), at the end of May 2015, 160 Palestinian children (159 boys and one girl aged 14 to 17 years, of whom 21 boys aged between 14 and 15) were held in Israeli military detention facilities. Out of the 160 children, 90 were held in pre-trial detention and 70 were serving a sentence. From January to June 2015, on average 169 children were held in Israeli military detention per month, which marks a ten per cent decrease compared to the monthly average in 2014 (188 children).

Note: The figures represents a head count of children in IPS detention at the end of each month.


In relation to the cases of military detention, the Working Group on Grave Violations against Children (WGGV) gathered 15 individual affidavits (sworn testimonies) of boys aged between 14 and 17 years reporting ill-treatment by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), the Israeli police, the Israeli Security Agency (ISA) and/or the Israel Prison Service (IPS) while in Israeli military detention in the West Bank, excluding East Jerusalem. Out of the 15 cases, 14 boys reported being subjected to at least ten different types of ill-treatment, including but not limited to painful hand-ties, blindfolding, strip-searching, leg-ties, verbal abuse, physical violence, no notification of rights and/or no presence of a lawyer or parent during interrogation. Three boys reported being held in solitary confinement for a total period ranging between four and 14 days in Al Jalameh Interrogation Centre.

During the reporting period, two boys reported being arrested at night and three boys reported having received a summons at night requesting them to appear to the Israeli military authorities. Eleven of the 15 boys were transferred outside the West Bank to detention facilities inside Israel, in contravention of the Fourth Geneva Convention (Article 76).

The WGGV also documented instances of arrest and ill-treatment in East Jerusalem. The United Nations documented 26 cases of ill-treatment through individual affidavits collected there. All of the 26 boys, aged between nine and 17 years, reported being subjected to ill-treatment by the Israeli Security Forces including the Israeli police and the Border Police. Out of 26 boys, eight were arrested at night. Twenty-three (23) boys reported being subject to physical violence, 19 reported verbal abuse and 17 threats made against them.


Attacks on schools

Between April and June, 17 incidents relating to attacks on schools were documented in the West Bank (14) and Gaza (3). No incidents were reported in Israel.

Out of the 17 incidents, there were nine instances of attacks against schools, two instances of attacks on children in relation to schools, and six instances of threats of attacks against protected persons in relation to schools.

Attacks on schools: In the reporting period, nine incidents of attacks against schools were documented affecting 941 children.

In five instances, ISF fired tear gas canisters towards schools during day time, causing tear gas inhalation for students and/or interruption and cancellation of the school routine in the West Bank. In another instance, Israeli settlers attacked the premises of the AI-Ibrahimmye Primary school for boys in Hebron and vandalized the school's main gate locks.


The last three incidents were reported in Rafah, Gaza, in April, when three Palestinian schools located near the border with Egypt sustained minor damage as a result of military operations of the Egyptian Army in Rafah on the Egyptian side of the border.

Attacks on protected persons: Two incidents of attacks against protected persons in relation to education were documented in the second quarter of 2015 in Bethlehem and East Jerusalem. In one instance, a ten-year old boy from Al-Razi School in Shu'fat was on his way back from school when Israeli forces shot him with a rubber bullet in his left eye, which he lost. In another instance, ISF chased students from Taqu secondary school for boys and fired tear gas canisters while on their way home from school.

Threats of attack: Six incidents of threats of violence to school and staff were documented in Bethlehem, Hebron, Jerusalem and Nablus. Incidents involved the ISF entering school premises and threatening teachers to shut down the school if students threw stones at settlers, threatening school children to throw stun grenades at them at checkpoints, and threatening and chasing students on their way back to home.

Denial of access to education

West Bank

Fifteen (15) incidents of denial of access to education were documented in the second quarter of 2015. This marks a decrease in the number of documented incident comparing to the first quarter of 2015 when 28 incidents were documented. The decrease is in part due the end of the school year on 30th May 2015. All of the incidents took place in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and no cases were reported in Gaza or Israel.

In nine instances, children were detained by the ISF while on their way to and from school in Bethlehem, Hebron, Jerusalem, Ramallah and Nablus. In one instance, a teacher was detained by the ISF while on the way to school at Huwwara checkpoint in Nablus. In three instances students could not reach their school due to preventive measures by ISF in Nablus and Jerusalem. In one instance students lost school time after being held up for one hour at the checkpoint in Bethlehem. In the last instance ISF confiscated a student's bag while he was on his way to school in Beita village in Nablus.



Children in need of specialized medical care outside of Gaza continued to face delays when accessing health services. The main reasons include the Israeli authorities' denial of permits for accompanying adult relatives to cross the Erez terminal, and the ongoing restriction of access through the Rafah terminal by the Egyptian authorities since 2014.

 Erez: In April and May 2015, the Israeli District Liaison Office approved without delay 879 out of 1,058 applications (83%) for children to cross the Erez checkpoint for medical treatment outside of Gaza. 175 (16%) applications were delayed and 4 (0.4%) were denied. This is a 1 per cent decrease in the percentage of delays compared to the previous reporting period.

 Rafah: In April and May the Egyptian side of the Rafah border with Gaza remained closed for exit. Since January 2015, the border has been exceptionally opened for 5 days: three days in January, and two in March, allowing 42 patients to cross.



During the reporting period, the number of internally displaced persons in UNRWA collective centres decreased from 7,072 to zero as all residents moved to alternative housing thanks to UNRWA support. All UNRWA collective centres were closed as of 17 June 2015. There is no data available for IDPs living with host families or in their destroyed houses.

West Bank

In the second quarter of 2015, Israeli authorities demolished 16 Palestinian homes and 76 other structures (including water wells and animal shelters) throughout the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. As a result, 56 persons were left homeless, including 31 children. Another 588 persons, of which 248 children, were also affected by the demolitions, through diminished access to services and threats to livelihood.


UNICEF State of Palestine: + 972 2 58 40 400

Catherine Weibel –

Monica Awad –


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